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Construction Projects To Remove Parking

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There is no denying it — parking on the NIH Bethesda campus is fast becoming a major quality of work issue. While NIH has been fortunate in receiving support for new research facilities and security improvements to foster an expanding mission, this progress brings new construction, affecting an already strained parking situation.


NIH has several construction projects under way or planned this summer that will significantly reduce the availability of parking on the main campus. Although NIH is taking steps to improve the situation, the upgrading of current facilities and construction of new facilities will mean the loss of many existing spaces.

Currently under construction, the Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge broke ground in February 2003 adjacent to Bldg. 60 (Convent). This resulted in the loss of 100 parking spaces but was offset in part because of additional parking available in lot 41 and some parking garages that were underutilized.

Parking: Looking for Solutions

NIH is exploring ways to help lessen the impact of the parking shortage. An NIH parking advisory committee will be addressing this. More information will be available in the near future. Suggestions and comments are welcome. Use the email address in the accompanying article.

Several new research-driven construction projects are scheduled to begin in July/August 2003 that will further reduce parking availability. The construction of the zebrafish addition to Bldg. 6 will affect parking spaces at the traffic circle in front of the building and possibly several spaces at the loading dock. A new utility vault will also be built near Bldg. 10 to serve the west side of campus, removing numerous parking spaces.

Finally, three major projects will remove over 1,000 parking spaces in the Bldg. 31 lots. State and local regulations require NIH to build a new storm water management facility as part of the Clinical Research Center project to address storm water run-off. The construction of the new Infectious Diseases Research Lab, known as Bldg. 33, will also remove significant parking spaces in the 31 lots. Finally, as part of the NIH perimeter security system, a new commercial vehicle inspection (CVI) facility will be built on existing parking lots near Rockville Pike to comply with security requirements. The CVI will facilitate the inspection of all commercial vehicles in one central location, separate from employee entrances.

In all, current and upcoming construction projects will affect 1,700 employee parking spaces on the main campus.

All NIH parking permit holders are going to be affected. To the extent possible, NIH will attempt to reallocate spaces in other areas, but this may not serve all employees. Parking attendants will be placed in lot 41 to assist with employee parking. However, the addition of attendants will only make up approximately 250 of the lost spaces.

NIH strongly encourages all employees and other individuals working on the main campus to consider using alternative methods of transportation. Options include:

The NIH Transhare Program — Established in 1992 as a means of reducing traffic congestion and relieving energy and environmental concerns in the metropolitan area. Participants are eligible to receive up to $100 per month in a commuting subsidy (Metrocheks). Metrocheks can be redeemed for Metro, bus and numerous public transportation modes.

Carpooling and Vanpooling — These programs remain integral components of reducing the demand on campus parking spaces. Carpoolers may park in preferred areas until 9:30 a.m. Registered vanpools receive a reserved space in the lot of their choice. Vanpool participants may be eligible for the NIH Transhare Program to reduce the monthly cost. The NIH Ridefinders Network assists employees interested in carpooling and vanpooling by providing a list of individuals interested in ridesharing who live and work in the same area.

Express Buses — There are currently 3 express bus routes that serve the NIH campus: 1) Metrobus J-9 from Lakeforest Mall; 2) Ride-On Route 70 from Milestone Park & Ride; and 3) Metrobus Smartmover from Tysons Corner.

Bicycling and Walking — These transportation modes historically have played a large part in reducing vehicular traffic on campus roadways, and even regionally, by removing vehicles from already clogged traffic arteries.

Satellite Parking Areas — NIH maintains satellite parking spaces at the Mid-Pike Plaza commuter parking lot. Parking is free for employees and shuttle service operates throughout the day to the campus and leased facilities.

To obtain information on all forms of alternative transportation, contact the Employee Transportation Services Office at 2-RIDE (7433). Also, the NIH transportation team invites comments or suggestions that may assist in planning efforts to mitigate parking problems. Call 594-6677 (TTY 435-1908) or email

Parking Losses in 2003
Project Losses Approx. Date
Family Lodge 110 paces February
Bldg. 6 30 spaces March
Stormwater facility 350 spaces July
Bldg. 33 560 spaces Aug./Sept.
Bldg. 10 utility vault 200 spaces July/Aug.
CVI/Gate 450 spaces Aug./Sept.
Total Losses 1,700 spaces

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