Montgomery Parks is modifying its “open parkways schedule” to reopen portions of Beach Drive to vehicles on Fridays. Beach Drive will remain open to pedestrians and cyclists (closed to vehicles) on Saturdays and Sundays. The change will go into effect on Friday, Dec. 16. The modification is being made in response to an analysis of traffic data showing a substantial increase in vehicle traffic on neighborhood streets on Fridays.
“Throughout our Open Parkways Program, we have continued to measure usage data and traffic impacts and make adjustments to ensure the continued success of the program,” said Mike Riley, director of Montgomery Parks. “ In response to community feedback about an increase in neighborhood vehicle traffic, our engineers examined traffic data and concluded that reopening the parkway to vehicles on Fridays would alleviate traffic resulting from the closure and improve neighborhood safety. We opted to make this adjustment while continuing the benefits of the Beach Drive Open Parkway on Saturdays and Sundays, when it is most heavily used.”
Beach Drive is one of three parkways in Montgomery Parks' Open Parkways program, which was launched at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide more outdoor space for recreation and exercise by closing portions of the parkways to vehicles on weekends. Since its inception, more than 1,500,000 visitors have used the Open Parkways and the program remains popular.
The Sligo Creek Parkway Open Parkway will not be affected by this modification on Beach Drive. Little Falls Parkway currently has two lanes of 24/7 Open Parkways from Arlington Road to Dorset Avenue.
The open parkways include:
- Beach Drive between Connecticut and Knowles Avenue (2.9 miles).
- Sligo Creek Parkway between Old Carroll Avenue and Piney Branch Road (1.1 miles) and between Forest Glen Road and University Boulevard West (1.5 miles).
- Little Falls Parkway between Arlington Road and Dorset Avenue (0.4 miles) (two lanes of 24/7 Open Parkway).