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The Capital Crescent Trail (CCT) was created in the 1990s as part of one of the most successful of the Rails-to-Trails conversion efforts. A former railroad line (the Georgetown Branch of the B&O Railroad) and extending for approximately 11 miles from Silver Spring in Montgomery County to Georgetown in Washington, D.C., the CCT has become the most popular shared-use trail in Montgomery County with thousands of users each day. Little Falls Parkway (LFP) was constructed in the early 1960s to provide the community with greater access to the Little Falls Stream Valley Park. At that time, the train crossings of LFP were relatively infrequent and safely controlled. However, trails do not function like railroads, and the existing uncontrolled, multi-lane crossing has presented continual safety issues between the trail users and drivers on the Parkway. The purpose of the project is to develop a permanent safer crossing solution for CCT users at Little Falls Parkway. The outcome of this project will be the selection of the preferred alternative with community input, and the development of a 30% level design approved by the Montgomery County Planning Board. The project will also incorporate traffic calming measures along Little Falls Parkway, Arlington Road, Hillandale Road, and the Bethesda Pool entrances.
The previous Capital Crescent Trail Connector project has also been incorporated into the Capital Crescent Trail Crossing at Little Falls Parkway project. The Capital Crescent Trail Connector will tie Little Falls Trail into the Capital Crescent Trail. The Option “D” alignment for the Connector was approved by the Planning Board in 2016, which consists of a trail connection alongside Hillandale Road.
In January 2017, Parks initiated a Vision Zero response to increasing trail user safety (Montgomery County Vision Zero Information). This interim design consists of installing high-visibility flexible bollards to create a temporary “road diet” along Little Falls Parkway (between Hillandale and Arlington roads) that reduced the roadway from four lanes to two inside-only lanes at the crossing. The interim improvements also included additional safety signage at the CCT crossing and an educational outreach program by Park Police. While there were some initial concerns raised by the driving community about these changes, Parks has responded to concerns by incorporating minor adjustments to the interim conditions. These adjustments reduced redundant signage, reduced glare from reflections, and opened the southbound travel lanes sooner. Parks believes driver behavior has successfully adjusted to the interim conditions, and accidents at the crossing have been dramatically reduced.
The project goal is to develop a permanent safer crossing for all trail users while minimizing vehicle delay, construction/operations costs, and environmental impacts.
At the September 12, 2019, Montgomery County Planning Board meeting regarding the M-NCPPC FY21-26 Capital Improvements Project (CIP) budget, the Planning Board voted to delay funding permanent improvements for the Capital Crescent Trail crossing Little Falls Parkway project until FY25-26. The interim road diet will remain in place until permanent improvements are implemented. Parks will continue to monitor safety and traffic conditions at the crossing and we are assessing the installation of a raised crosswalk and additional street lighting along Little Falls Parkway and Hillandale Road.
Access the video of the September 12, 2019, Planning Board meeting: September 2019 Montgomery County Planning Board Archive Stream (click on “Item 4”)
On June 13, the Montgomery County Planning Board voted to divert the Capital Crescent Trail to cross at the traffic signal at the intersection of Little Falls Parkway and Arlington Road and to remove the interim road diet by re-opening all four traffic lanes along Little Falls Parkway. Park staff are currently studying the Planning Board approved the recommendation for inclusion in the FY 2021 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) budget. The interim road diet will remain in place until the construction of the approved recommendation. Montgomery Parks and the Planning Board continue to welcome all public input, which can be provided to the Planning Board at MCP-Chair@mncppc-mc.org.
Please see the links below for additional information on Montgomery Park’s recommendation for permanent safety improvements at the Capital Crescent Trail Crossing at Little Falls Parkway.
The full facility plan report and appendices can be downloaded in PDF format below:
Park staff will present the project to the Montgomery County Planning Board on June 13, 2019. The approximate start time of the Planning Board agenda items is published at https://montgomeryplanningboard.org/agendas/ before the meeting. If approved by the Planning Board, funding for the project will be requested in FY 2021 with construction in FY 2022.
Parks and the Planning Board welcome all public input and there will be opportunities for public testimony at the Planning Board meeting. Written comments may be submitted to Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org,
Address for mailed comments:
Chair Casey Anderson,
Montgomery County Planning Board,
8787 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910;
Comments can also be faxed to (301) 495-1320.
Please see the Montgomery County Planning Board website for additional information.
May 17, 2019
February 2019 Update:
October 2018 Update:
View the summary table for the three alternatives shown below. A program capable of opening PDF files is required to view the presentation and sketches. Click here to download a version of Adobe Reader.
Making the current interim road diet permanent: Re-configuration of Little Falls Parkway into a two-lane (one lane in each direction) road with an uncontrolled speed table crossing. Slight (+7 seconds) increase in average travel time for motorists compared to pre-road diet conditions. No change in trail user wait times.
Re-orientation of the Capital Crescent Trail to the Arlington Road intersection, with a controlled signalized crossing and a permanent road diet. Additional (+13 seconds) increase in average travel time for motorists compared to pre-road diet conditions. Increase in trail user wait times (+30 seconds).
Install a pedestrian overpass bridge over Little Falls Parkway.
Links to review meeting notes and presentations will be attached to each applicable calendar event as it is scheduled and completed.
DISCUSSION AND MEETING NOTES
|Winter 2018||– Data collection: Traffic and trail user counts, field survey, crash data
– Development of concept alternatives
– Ongoing observation of interim “road diet” four to two-lane reductions along Little Falls Parkway
|June 13, 2018||Community Meeting #1 – To present the project overview and concept alternatives
-Concept drawings will be presented
-Public feedback will be requested
|Somerset Elementary School
5811 Warwick Place
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
|Summer 2018||Continue to solicit community input and develop three preliminary alternatives to 10% design|
|October 9, 2018
6:30 – 8:30pm
|Community Meeting #2
– Joint Bethesda Bikeways meeting with Montgomery County DOT
– Present the top three alternative designs
– Public feedback encouraged
|Bethesda Chevy Chase High School
4301 East-West Highway
|* Thursday, June 13, 2019||Planning Board Meeting – Present recommended plan
– Approximate start time to be published on the Montgomery County Planning Board Agenda webpage before the meeting
Montgomery Regional Office
8787 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
* Date and time subject to change. Please confirm the schedule on the Montgomery Planning Board Agenda webpage closer to the date.
Andrew Tsai, P.E., Project Manager