Montgomery Parks to Present Traffic Study Results for Little Falls Parkway Pilot Project at Virtual Public Meeting on February 15

Montgomery Parks will host a virtual public meeting on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, from 7 – 8:30 p.m. to present data from traffic studies conducted on Little Falls Parkway between Arlington Road and Dorset Avenue. The meeting will take place on Zoom. (Click the link to join.) Participants have the option to register online for the meeting to receive project updates. The traffic counts were conducted during May, July, September, and December of 2022 as part of the Little Falls Parkway pilot project, The pilot project was initiated to address concerns with cut-through traffic in adjacent neighborhoods associated with the weekend closures of Little Falls Parkway while retaining space for recreation on the parkway. “We initiated the Little Falls Parkway pilot project to study whether two lanes between Dorset Avenue and Arlington Road could adequately accommodate vehicle traffic and potentially create more space for park users,” said Mike Riley, director of Montgomery Parks. “Now that the analysis is complete, we want to share this information with the public.”

After the public meeting, Montgomery Parks will present the findings of the traffic studies to the Montgomery Planning Board in a hearing during which members of the public will have the opportunity to testify. The Planning Board will then review the Parks Department’s recommendations and the public testimony and determine whether to proceed with the pilot project in a subsequent meeting. The Planning Board public hearing and meeting dates are yet to be determined but will likely be held in late March and early April. Once the dates are set, they will be publicly announced and posted on the Parks Department’s website on the project page. 

Since the Phase 2 lane conversion in November, the Little Falls Parkway pilot project area has provided 24/7 open space for community use, while maintaining two lanes for vehicular traffic. This section of Little Falls Parkway, between Arlington Road and Dorset Avenue, was previously part of Montgomery Parks’ Open Parkways program extending between River Road and Arlington Road (1.3 miles). If the lane reduction is made permanent, the next phase of the pilot project will include public outreach and implementation of a temporary linear park with amenities including seating, games, programmed activities, and space for biking, skating, running, and walking. 

The Open Parkways program launched at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide more outdoor space for recreation and exercise by closing portions of three parkways to vehicles on weekends. Since its inception, hundreds of thousands of visitors have used the Open Parkways and the program remains popular. The other two open parkways, on Sligo Creek Parkway and Beach Drive, will not be affected by the Little Falls Parkway pilot project.

Learn more about the Little Falls Parkway pilot project online.


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