For Montgomery County residents, enjoying the outdoors amid the coronavirus pandemic will become less challenging.
Beginning April 10, Montgomery County Parks announced it will open an additional section of Sligo Creek Parkway to people on weekends between Forest Glen Road and University Boulevard. Other weekend road closures are scheduled in Kensington and Bethesda as well.
The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission recently extended its regular Sunday closures of Sligo Creek Parkway for motorists to Fridays and Saturdays to free up more outdoor park space.
The news comes as the department continues its efforts to expand safe access to park facilities for recreation and exercise purposes.
In addition, the sections below of Sligo Creek Parkway will be closed to vehicles and remain open for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other park users Friday mornings at 9 a.m. through Sunday evenings at 6 p.m.:
- University Boulevard West to Dennis Avenue
- Dennis Avenue to Forest Glen Road
- Piney Branch Avenue to Maple Avenue
- Maple Avenue to Old Carroll Avenue
However, sections of Sligo Creek Parkway will remain open to vehicles at the intersection of Dennis and Maple Avenues.
“Overall, people are driving much less during the COVID-19 crisis, so we believe opening the parkway to people is a good way to help them get outside to exercise and relieve stress during this difficult times,” said Director of Montgomery Parks Mike Riley in a news release Wednesday.
“This additional 2.6 miles of roadway gives people more space for jogging, walking, biking, and other recreational activities while still adhering to social distancing guidelines.”
To ensure the safety of park and trail users, Montgomery Parks has taken various measures, including closing all indoor facilities, prohibiting the use of playgrounds, basketball courts and athletic fields and locking all tennis courts until further notice.
In addition, most of Little Falls Parkway will be closed to drivers between Massachusetts Avenue and downtown Bethesda on Fridays and weekends, giving joggers and cyclists who normally use the nearby Capital Crescent Trail extra space to spread out.
Most of Beach Drive in Kensington between Connecticut Avenue and Knowles Avenue will also be dedicated to pedestrians on Fridays and weekends.
Montgomery County has canceled events, classes and programs through April 30, 2020.
WTOP’s Dave Dildine contributed to this report.
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