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Vol. LXI, No. 2
January 23, 2009

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Have a question about some aspect of working at NIH? You can post anonymous queries at (click on the Feedback icon) and we’ll try to provide answers.

Feedback: There is a disturbing trend on campus of decreasing availability of general parking spaces and increasing reserved parking spaces for “high” level NIH employees. Parking should be on a first-come, first-served basis. Why is it necessary to reserve parking spaces for certain employees at the exclusion of others?

Response from the Office of Research Services: There have recently been additional reserved parking spaces established throughout the campus. They have been created to recognize the contributions of distinguished NIH scientists who have 30+ years of service and have also been recognized by selection into the National Academy of Sciences or Institute of Medicine.

The policy regarding red-sticker parking spaces sets a cap for these at 10 percent of the total number of campus spaces. These spaces are distributed throughout the campus in order to maximize their availability to the largest number of employees with this privilege.

ORS is committed to providing the largest number of spaces that are permissible, while recognizing that there are many demands from numerous customer bases about the perceived lack of spaces.

Feedback: Would somebody please reconsider the decision to make East Drive a one-way street? Many drivers simply want to get to MLP-10 but instead of a short quick route, one needs to wend a long way around, wasting gas, time and increasing vehicle/pedestrian interaction. I can see no logical reason to impose a one-way pattern.

Response from ORS: The decision to close East Drive to northbound traffic after the opening of the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Facility (CVIF) was made only after careful analysis of the safety and traffic implications for employees and commercial vehicles using that roadway. On average, the CVIF inspects over 500 vehicles a day. These vehicles, many of which are large semi-trailers, subsequently enter campus via East Drive after completing inspection.

Semi-trailers and other commercial vehicles often require an extremely wide turning radius. In some cases, it is necessary for them to use both lanes of traffic to exit the CVIF onto East Drive. Allowing vehicles to travel northbound on East Drive, particularly during peak periods, would create a dangerous situation, increasing the likelihood for vehicle and pedestrian accidents to occur. In addition, it would contribute to traffic backups as commercial vehicles would need to enter campus against additional oncoming traffic. After consulting with traffic and road safety experts, NIH felt this was, and remains, the correct decision to ensure the safety of employees and visitors and to reduce traffic delays.

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