Commuters driving through Bethesda, Maryland, over the next few months will see construction on Little Falls Parkway. The project will add an actual park that will run parallel to the road for about a half a mile.
This summer Montgomery County Parks and The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission reduced Little Falls Parkway between Dorsett Avenue and Arlington Road from four to two lanes with a median divide and large shoulders.
Starting Monday, the county will now begin to shift the southbound traffic lane east across the median. Both traffic lanes will then be separated by the plain double yellow lines.
The median will then separate the new linear park that is part of a pilot program that will determine if the road can function with just two lanes.
“The new park will add much-needed recreational space in an area where land is at a premium, and adjacent to the Capital Crescent Trail — one of the most popular trails in Montgomery Parks’ system,” the county said in a release.
The temporary park will welcome cyclists and pedestrians and the county plans to host games and events on the half-mile long park. The park will have tables and seating.
This portion of Little Falls Parkway was previously part of Montgomery Parks’ Open Parkways program that began during the COVID-19 pandemic and was suspended last summer.
The program closed off three different parkways for strict pedestrian use at certain times during the week.
Montgomery County hopes to open the Little Falls Parkway park in the spring of 2023. They will then gather feedback from residents and study how it affects traffic in the area.