fbpx Skip to the content
The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Home / Little Falls Parkway Vision Zero Project

Little Falls Parkway Vision Zero Project

Little Falls Parkway Open Parkways
Little Falls Parkway
Little Falls Parkway Open Parkways
People walking on Little Falls Parkway

Status/Project Update 

Updated February 2024

The Little Falls Parkway Project is a Vision Zero safety project that aims to improve bicyclist and pedestrian safety along Little Falls Parkway between Dorset Avenue and Arlington Road by reducing the total number of travel lanes from four to two and installing traffic calming measures. The project also improves bicyclist and pedestrian connectivity along Little Falls Parkway through the installation of a shared-use path and separated bike lanes along the south side of the Parkway and additional modifications to make the interim Capital Crescent Trail crossing permanent.  

Project Description 

Montgomery Parks launched the Little Falls Parkway pilot project in June 2022, to address concerns with cut-through traffic in adjacent neighborhoods associated with the weekend closures of Little Falls Parkway.  As part of the pilot, Montgomery Parks implemented a study and public input process to determine whether two lanes on Little Falls Parkway between Dorset Avenue and Arlington Road could adequately accommodate vehicle traffic.  

On April 27, 2023, the Montgomery County Planning Board voted 4-0-1 to approve a permanent two-lane configuration of Little Falls Parkway between Arlington Road and Dorset Avenue. The Board made no recommendation on how to modify or re-appropriate the unused southbound travel lanes, which have remained open for recreational usage since the Planning Board decision. Planning Board reports are available for download below.  

On May 8, 2023, The Montgomery County Council voted to require that any realignment of the remaining two lanes between Dorset and Arlington on Little Falls Parkway be reviewed by the Council before any funds could be used for that purpose. Subsequently, the Council also requested Parks develop an alternate Parkway design (“Council-Requested Alternate Option”) using the existing grass median to separate the northbound and southbound drive lanes, for review alongside the Planning Board-approved configuration.  

On November 27, 2023, the County Council’s Planning, Housing, and Parks (PHP) Committee reviewed both the Planning Board-Approved Configuration and the Council-Requested Alternate Option and supported adoption of the Council-requested alternative, which is a road diet consisting of one vehicle travel lane in each direction with a grass median in the middle, and a protected shared use path built in the right-of-way of one of the former south-bound lanes. 

On January 23, 2024, the Montgomery County Council reviewed and approved the PHP committee’s recommendation for the road diet on Little Falls Parkway between Arlington Road and Dorset Avenue. The Council-approved configuration included updates based on feedback and recommendations from the November 2023 PHP Committee work session. 

Between Arlington Road and Hillandale Avenue, the Council approved the permanent removal of unused asphalt pavement to ensure the safety of Capital Crescent Trail (CCT) users crossing the Parkway. A protected shared use path will be provided between Arlington Road and the Capital Crescent Trail crossing, enhancing community connectivity to the existing shared use path at the northern terminus of Little Falls Parkway. South of Hillandale Road to Dorset Avenue, all existing pavement is retained, and a buffered bike lane will be provided in the unused southbound drive lane. Low profile separators will be used to block off the unused drive lanes, which do not prevent usage by emergency vehicles when needed. Additional work will include safety enhancements at Arlington Road, Hillandale Road, and Dorset Avenue, improved signage, re-location of traffic signals, stormwater management, and accessibility improvements. View a PDF of the Council-approved design here. 

Following the County Council approval of the Little Falls Parkway two-lane configuration, Montgomery Parks has begun detailed design development and continued coordination with the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) for review of the project, per Capper-Cramton Act (CCA) requirements.  

More information on the NCPC review process is available on the NCPC project website. NCPC will host a Virtual Public Scoping Meeting on March 12, 2024 at 7 PM and anticipates Concept Review will take place in April with final review to occur in June. You can provide comments related to topic ideas and areas of analysis for the Environmental Assessment (EA) through this link.  

Calendar and Meeting Notes

DateEvents and Meeting Notes
June 2019Facility Plan Recommendation for Capital Crescent Trail Crossing at Little Falls
Parkway Safety Improvements Project
presented to the Planning Board. Additional attachments available under Item #8.
June 2022Pilot project phase one. A single-lane road diet was implemented on Little Falls Parkway between Dorset Avenue and Arlington Road .
October 2022Pilot project phase two. All vehicular traffic shifted to the northbound lanes of Little Falls Parkway between Dorset Avenue and Arlington Road with Open Parkways use in the southbound lanes. 
February 15, 2023Public meeting to present Little Falls Parkway pilot project traffic studies. Access the recorded virtual presentation here. A copy of the question and answer transcripts are also available. 
March 30, 2023Montgomery County Planning Board hearing on Little Falls Parkway pilot project traffic studies.
View the March 30, 2023 Montgomery County Planning Board meeting here.

The staff report can be accessed here and additional attachments are available under Item #12.
April 27, 2023Montgomery County Planning Board meeting work session during which the Little Falls Parkway pilot project was approved as a permanent two-lane road diet between Arlington Road and Dorset Avenue. The Planning Board did not make a recommendation on how to modify or re-appropriate the unused southbound travel lanes, which have remained open for recreational usage since the Planning Board decision.  

View the April 27, 2023 Montgomery County Planning Board meeting here.

The staff report and recommended site plan are also available.
May 8, 2023The Montgomery County Council voted to require that any realignment of the remaining two lanes between Dorset and Arlington on Little Falls Parkway must be reviewed by the Council before any funds can be used for that purpose. 
October 25, 2023A letter from the County Council invited Montgomery Parks to the Planning, Housing, and Parks Committee to review the Planning Board-Approved Configuration and a Council-Requested Alternate Option. 
November 27, 2023Montgomery Parks presentation to Montgomery County Council Planning, Housing, and Parks Committee (PHP). The PHP committee reviewed the Planning Board-Approved Configuration and a Council-Requested Alternate Option and provided feedback. The Council-Requested Alternate Option was advanced to the full County Council. The PHP Staff Report can be found here
January 23, 2024Montgomery County Council approved a revised configuration for Little Falls Parkway, incorporating feedback and recommendations from the PHP Committee. View a PDF of the Council-approved design here and the County Council Staff Report here.
March 12, 2024The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPS) will begin its review process with a public scoping meeting on March 12, 2024 at 7:00 PM virtually. Per the Capper-Cramton Act (CCA) of 1930, the NCPC has approval authority over park development in parkland acquired via CCA federal funding, to protect and preserve the region’s watersheds and adjacent parkland. More information on the meeting details can be found on NCPC’s webpage on Little Falls Parkway  
June 6, 2024NCPC Information Presentation (No commission action)
September 2024Anticipated final NCPC Review meeting
Fall/Winter 2024Final design and construction pending NCPC approval

 Little Falls Parkway Project Frequently Asked Questions:

Last Updated: May 24, 2024