NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

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here seems to be a persistent disregard for pedestrians on campus during construction. One example is the near constant closure of the sidewalk on Center Drive near Bldgs. 12 & 22. This closure requires pedestrians to cross the road twice, which is very dangerous. This could easily be remedied by simply moving the fence inside the sidewalk. Alternatively, simply narrowing the driving lane by a few feet would also work and would help to slow traffic. Prioritizing car traffic over pedestrians, and making it easier on the construction contractor, is outdated thinking and needs to change. At least make the contractor move the fence when they are done working for the day—there’s no reason for the sidewalk to be closed when no construction activity is going on, which is most of the time.

Response from Office of Research Services

Thank you for your observations regarding pedestrian safety. Our employee and visitor safety is a high priority, as evidenced by our investment in improved campus lighting and construction of pedestrian-activated crosswalks. In addition to such crosswalks in the vicinity of Bldgs. 3 and 35, we plan on awarding the construction of 8 additional ones this fiscal year.

Regarding pedestrian safety in the vicinity of construction sites, it is, indeed, a balancing act. We don’t want to force pedestrians to cross the street unnecessarily, but at the same time we don’t want to expose pedestrians to construction risks. Your suggestions are helpful and we will do our best to manage both categories of risks facing pedestrians—vehicular and construction. 


he parking lot next to Bldg. 45 often has vehicles (e.g., the NCI Frederick shuttle, taxis, caterers, police) parked in the outbound lane. They do not park next to the building where the shuttles pick up/drop off because that area is marked as a fire lane. However, when vehicles are parked in this very narrow lane (that is also on a curve), it makes exiting the parking lot very difficult. There is a No Parking sign posted, but enforcement is lacking. Can ORS start monitoring this area and ticketing offenders?

Response from Office of Research Services

The NIH Police have increased monitoring of the area and will take action as appropriate. If you see a vehicle improperly parked in a fire lane or “no parking” area anywhere on campus, call the NIH Police non-emergency line at (301) 496-5685 to report the violation.

The NIH Record

The NIH Record, founded in 1949, is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

Published 25 times each year, it comes out on payday Fridays.

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