UPDATE: The county has edited the initial release to correct misinformation in the original.
The Newell Street Streetery in Silver Spring will be discontinued and the street reopened to traffic after Labor Day, Department of Transportation officials announced.
“Newell Street, managed by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will reopen to cars after Labor Day. However, it will remain an event-related operation, closing to vehicular traffic for public events throughout the year,” according to a press release.
“Park and Planning issued a community survey this past spring and received mixed reviews regarding the desirability of use of the street as a public gathering space,” the release added.
However, Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson took to Twitter to dispute several points in the release.
“The county’s press release is inaccurate in several ways,” he wrote. “Newell Street is under [DOT] control, I have no idea what ‘survey’ they are talking about (by us or anyone else), and this was NOT a Montgomery Parks decision.”
The county created four Streeteries in 2020 to help struggling restaurants and other businesses during the pandemic.
“The Streeteries have provided a practical solution to a pandemic-related problem,” County Executive Marc Elrich said in the release. “They served as much-needed gathering spaces during the pandemic and provided a creative solution.
“Now as the situation has changed, we worked with the community in each area to decide how these spaces will continue to operate,” he continued. “The Streeteries showed new possibilities and I would like to see how we might continue some form of these activities as we move beyond just trying to accommodate the activities within the constraints of the pandemic.”
Norfolk Avenue in Bethesda and Price Street in Wheaton will remain closed can function as streeteries “for the foreseeable future,” officials said. The Woodmont Avenue streetery in Bethesda will close due to ongoing construction.
DOT photo of Newell streetery bordering Acorn Park.
The county’s press release is inaccurate in several ways – Newell Street is under @MCDOTNow control, I have no idea what “survey” they are talking about (by us or anyone else), and this was NOT a @MontgomeryParks decision – although we do think a shared street approach can work https://t.co/WAIqFwZNvy
— Casey Anderson (@CaseyAndersonPB) August 22, 2022