April 20, 2020
Montgomery Parks has expanded our open streets initiative to allow pedestrians and bicyclists to use parkways on weekends. The expansion of the program includes portions of Little Falls Parkway in Bethesda and portions of Beach Drive in Kensington (April 13 Press Release). This provides additional space to walk, jog and bike from the previously announced Sligo Creek Parkway initiatives (April 8 Press Release | March 28 Press Release). These sections will be closed to vehicles and open to pedestrians, bicyclists, and other park users beginning Friday mornings at 9 a.m. through Sunday evenings at 6 p.m. (It will be extended through Monday, May 25 for the Memorial Day Weekend Holiday).
|Sligo Creek Parkway||Beach Drive||Little Falls Parkway|
Sections of Sligo Creek Parkway will remain open to vehicles where the parkway intersects with Dennis and Maple Avenues.
Can I still walk on the closed roadways?
Yes, Friday mornings at 9 a.m. through Sunday evenings at 6 p.m., portions of Sligo Creek Parkway, Little Falls Parkway, and Beach Drive are closed to vehicles and open for pedestrians and cyclists.
What times will the roadways be closed?
Friday 9 a.m. to Sundays 6 p.m.
Why are you closing portions of these roadways?
To expand safe access to park facilities for exercise during the COVID-19 crisis and to provide additional space for easier social distancing.
How is this different from before?
Portions of Sligo Creek Parkway are always closed on Sundays from sunrise until sunset to allow for non-motorized vehicle and pedestrian use of the parkway. This change extends the vehicular closure time to Fridays and Saturdays also, and includes additional sections of Sligo Creek Parkway. The closures on Little Falls Parkway and Beach Drive are brand new during COVID-19 and begin Friday, April 16.
How long will these new closures be in effect?
Until further notice. We continue to assess the pedestrian traffic, input from the public and local leaders, and follow guidance from federal, state, and local health officials to ensure the safety of all our park patrons.
How is Park Police involved?
Park Police are monitoring foot traffic on the closed roadways and have increased their efforts on the trails in order to foster sound trail etiquette and ensure social distancing practices are being followed.
Will there be signs?
Yes, there is signage along the route to advise drivers and trail users of safety precautions as well as inform them of the changes.
How do I social distance when walking / biking on the roadways?
Can I walk/jog/bike on the closed roadways at night?
Our parks and trails are open from sunrise to sunset. While these sections of the roadways will remain closed overnight, patrons are not permitted after sunset. The closed roadway sections will be open to pedestrian use during traditional park and trail operational hours.
What sections of these roadways are still open to vehicular traffic?
Because the closure only impacts portions of the roadways, vehicles will be able to access the open sections. During the closure, vehicles will be required to detour using county and state roads. The roadways will be open to vehicular traffic Monday through Thursday. Friday to Sunday, vehicles can use the remainder of the roadways, outside of the closed areas.
How many miles of the roadways are closed to vehicles and open to pedestrians?
2.6 miles of Sligo Creek Parkway
1.3 miles of Little Falls Parkway
2.7 miles of Beach Drive
Can you add other streets/sections of the roadways to the closures?
We are actively assessing potential options for expanding these closures. We are also mindful of the operational and community impact of any extended closures and we are selecting closure areas in geographically different locations, so that multiple neighborhoods can reap the benefits.
How are you communicating these closures to the public?
We continue to keep the public informed through notification via press releases, social media, website, Nextdoor, and HOA notifications.
Can I walk my dog on the closed sections of the roadways?
Yes, you can but social distancing protocols must be observed and dogs must be leashed at all times. Also, please bag and dispose of dog waste in the nearest trash bin.
Can my walking/running/cycling group access these roadways when they’re closed?
We emphasize social distancing, and it is central to our protocols during this difficult time. Groups of no more than ten may exercise together and should move in single file to allow others easier access to pass. When passing others, users should call out or use a bike bell.
I have concerns about the resulting traffic in my neighborhood. Who can I report those to?
During this season of COVID-19, only essential driving is permitted so vehicular traffic has been reduced. If you have safety concerns about the vehicular traffic in your neighborhood, please contact your local Police Department.
Can I ride a dirt bike on the closed areas?
No motorized vehicles are allowed on the closed roadways. From 9 am Fridays to 6 pm Sundays, the roadways are open to pedestrians and cyclists only.