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Mayor Bowser Announces Sidewalk Extension Plan to Support Social Distancing Near Essential Businesses

Monday, April 20, 2020
Sidewalk Extensions Will Be in All Eight Wards; ANCs and BIDs Can Submit Suggested Locations

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will temporarily extend sidewalks near grocery stores and other essential retailers to allow pedestrians enough space to practice social distancing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. Sidewalk extensions will be located in all eight wards of the District, based upon DDOT’s evaluation and suggestions from the public.

“While staying at home is a crucial part of flattening the curve during the COVID-19 pandemic, we do recognize residents need to make trips to essential businesses like grocery stores, and sometimes existing sidewalk space makes social distancing a challenge,” said Mayor Bowser. “This tactic will allow for better social distancing as we all work together to flatten the curve.”

DC Health and federal guidelines define social distancing as individuals keeping at least six feet apart from each other as much as possible.

“These temporary sidewalk extensions will create more space for residents to practice effective social distancing,” said DDOT Director Jeff Marootian. “Under Mayor Bowser’s leadership, we are working to identify locations that will help keep residents safe.”

DDOT is currently evaluating sites and will also consider locations submitted by Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANC) and Business Improvement District (BID) representatives. Residents should submit their requests to their respective ANC or BID. In turn, the ANC or BID will send suggestions to [email protected]. For more information about the sidewalk extensions, please visit or call the DDOT Customer Service Division at (202) 673-6813.

For more information about the District’s response to COVID-19, please visit