The county will extend the Shared Streets program until at least March, officials announced yesterday.

The program was started during the pandemic to allow residents and businesses to use public spaces for in-street activities such as biking, walking, outdoor dining and other business activity.

“Many of our residents feel more comfortable gathering outside and Shared Streets has been a popular program to serve that demand,” County Executive Marc Elrich said in a press release.

“Shared Streets has brought friends, neighbors and communities together, keeping them safe from transmitting the virus, as well as from vehicular traffic.”

The program is being used in Bethesda and Wheaton as well as Silver Spring, and the county has collected community feedback that’s described as “overwhelmingly positive.”

Shared Streets also allows residents to apply to the Department of Transportation to temporarily limit vehicles to local traffic only for the selected blocks. Applications are available online for the program.