Paid Parking on Horizon
Campus Construction Boom Ushers In New Parking Era
On the Front Page...
To address the loss of campus parking spaces due to construction,
the Office of Research Services (ORS) has developed a parking
management plan that could forever change the face of parking on
During 1996, a total of 450 parking spaces were lost due to repairs
to the Bldg. 10 clinic parking garage and the essential maintenance
and safety program in the Clinical Center. This month, 300 spaces
will be lost as construction for the Consolidated Laboratory Facility
(Bldg. 50) gets under way at the site of parking lot 13C. The utility
tunnel and power plant expansion projects will claim another 100
spaces in July and August. The site work to relocate Center Drive
for construction of the Clinical Research Center (CRC) will begin in
the fall, and will result in loss of an additional 430 spaces. In 1998,
NIH is expected to lose 500-700 more spaces temporarily as the
foundations of the CRC affect the Bldg. 10 garage at the line where
the new building meets old Bldg 10.
A survey of all campus parking facilities earlier this year showed
that, in parallel to an overall shortage of spaces, chaotic parking
patterns dominate the parking picture, with a significant number of
illegally parked cars and an extremely high deficit in visitor spaces.
"In developing alternative solutions, we have tried to cope with this
loss and maintain capacity while finding ways to more efficiently
manage the spaces we have," explains Stella Serras-Fiotes, master
planner in ORS's Division of Engineering Services, who is
coordinating the new parking plans.
The ORS plan includes the following strategies: create new capacity
for employee parking, including new temporary spaces to offset
losses due to construction; increase management and control of
parking by contracting with Colonial Parking, a private parking
management service, to provide attendant-assisted parking; increase
visitor parking; institute parking fees for visitors; and increase
off-campus parking facilities.
Some plan details:
- In early July, temporary lots will add about 400 spaces to the
parking inventory, primarily to offset parking losses associated
with construction of Bldg. 50. The lots are to be located south
of parking lot 41B (south end of campus); east of the Natcher
Bldg.; near the National Library of Medicine; by the electrical
substation at Bldg. 17 (near Rockville Pike); and in front of
the Lasker Center.
- By August, visitor parking will be consolidated and expanded
to a capacity for approximately 1,200 cars. This will be
accomplished through four attended visitor parking facilities,
managed by Colonial Parking, and installation of parking
meters near buildings. Visitor parking will be located in the
following areas: MLP-8, top 21/2 levels; lot 4A (partial);
Natcher Bldg. temporary lot (partial); the existing P3 level of
the Bldg. 10 parking facility; and parking meters at the
Natcher Plaza and Bldgs. 13, 36, 38 and 31.
- Also by August, ORS plans to implement paid visitor parking
(except for patients, patient visitors and authorized users of
the P3 level in Bldg. 10). NIH has received permission from
GSA to collect the fees, which will help pay for the contract to
provide attended parking services campus-wide. Rates are
proposed to permit short-term visitor parking at a reasonable
rate ($2/hour up to 3 hours) and discourage nonvisitors from
purchasing daily parking ($12/day). The ICDs would have the
option of prepurchasing validated stamps to provide visitor
parking at no cost to their visitors.
- At the same time, all other existing visitor spaces will be
converted to employee parking. Additionally, managed
attendant-assisted parking for employees will be implemented
in the lower levels of MLP-8.
- Also beginning in August, construction contractors will park at
a new off-campus facility and will have a dedicated shuttle
service to the campus. This will free about 200-250 spaces on
campus for use by employees.
- By October, a net gain of approximately 330 new employee
spaces will be achieved through management of employee
parking at all the Bldg. 31 parking lots by Colonial Parking.
This added capacity will offset parking losses associated with
Clinical Research Center construction and relocation of Center
Drive. The operation calls for first-arriving employees to
self-park cars in existing spaces. Once lots are full, attendants
will direct employees to aisle parking where parkers leave their
car and ignition key and receive a claim ticket. Vehicle keys
are secured by attendants using key security locks. As
self-park spaces open, the "stacked" cars will be moved into
available spaces. Departing stacked employees will present a
ticket to an attendant who will move any blocking vehicles.
- Finally, the capacity of the NIH leased parking facility at
Mid-Pike Plaza has been increased to 425 spaces. Regular
shuttle bus service to this lot, as well as the other off-campus
facilities such as Garage 57 in Bethesda and 6006 Executive
Blvd. in North Bethesda, is available from the campus.
- The already established TRANSHARE Program, which
provides a subsidy for commuters using public transportation;
the Ridefinder Network, a carpool/vanpool matching service;
satellite lots; and bicycling amenities will continue to operate
and expand as opportunity allows.
"Eventually in later phases, we anticipate enhanced managed
operations of all parking and transportation resources on and off
campus," notes Stephen Ficca, NIH associate director for research
services. "One central Transportation and Parking Management
Center will then encompass the full range of parking initiatives
including phasing in the management of parking at other campus
facilities, shuttle operations and satellite parking." Costs would be
offset by revenues recouped from visitor paid parking.
More parking and transportation information can be found on NIH's
parking and transportation Web page at
on these and other commuter alternatives, including TRANSHARE
and the Ridefinder Network, call the Employee Transportation
Services Office, 2-RIDE.
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