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Vol. LIX, No. 22
November 2, 2007
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Feedback

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

Feedback: When exiting the main campus, there’s too much traffic funneled onto Wilson Drive. This results in long back-ups. Why can’t we exit on West Cedar Lane?

Response from Tom Hayden, Office of Research Services: “During the implementation of the Perimeter Security System, all entrances and exits onto West Cedar Lane were closed for traffic as a result of state and county requirements. The exception is the West Drive gate, which operates with limited hours as a patient entrance only.

“We continue to work with the Maryland State Highway Administration (MD SHA) and county agencies regarding the traffic signalization along Rockville Pike to maximize the length of the green traffic cycle. The MD SHA currently has scheduled several interchange and signalization upgrades, which in the longer-term should assist with exiting onto Rockville Pike. Motorists should also consider the vehicle exits located along the Old Georgetown Road side when leaving the campus.”

Feedback: What was the reason behind the shutdown of the Bldg. 31 cafeteria for a week recently? Also, is it true that the cafeteria workers were furloughed without pay during the shutdown?

Response from ORS: The Bldg. 31 cafeteria was shut down due to emergency facility repairs including the repair of an inoperable dishwashing machine and several leaks from a mechanical room above the kitchen causing the cafeteria to be unable to wash and sanitize dishes safely.

The first day the cafeteria closed, the personnel were called at home and told to remain home. After that initial day, all employees who wanted to work were placed in other operations around campus.

The new design of the main pedestrian entrance incorporates
a roof canopy to protect the equipment and employees from the elements.
The new design of the main pedestrian entrance incorporates a roof canopy to protect the equipment and employees from the elements.

Feedback: I am wondering why, when the pedestrian gates at the Metro entrance break, it takes weeks for them to be fixed? The right-hand-most gate has been blocked for several weeks now, reducing the number of entrances to two. When someone exits the campus, we are reduced to single- file. This is painful first thing in the morning when everyone is arriving at the same time!

Response from Lou Klepitch, director, Division of Physical Security Management, ORS: “We are aware of the problem and apologize for the inconvenience. The existing turnstile mentioned was out of service for welding repairs [and] has taken longer than normal to return to service. The existing turnstiles, despite being specified and designed as ‘heavy duty,’ have been unable to stand up to the heavy volume of use by NIH pedestrian traffic. The repaired turnstile was just returned from welding and is currently being installed.

“To address this problem long term, we are currently finalizing the design and implementation planning for a new improved main pedestrian entrance that will utilize a greater number of full-height, high-volume revolving entrance gates. The gates permit bi-directional use and will also incorporate small ‘traffic light’ indicators to assist with pedestrian flow.

“The new design of the main pedestrian entrance incorporates a roof canopy to protect the equipment and employees from the elements. We hope to have this finished by early winter and anticipate favorable acceptance from the NIH population who have been patiently using the existing turnstiles.”

Feedback: Years ago we had vendors come to NIH selling local produce—you know, the kind of food we tell everyone to eat. Can we get them back? I can’t believe NIH considers local farmers a security threat? Are we that paranoid?

Response from ORS: Although security was a consideration when the farmer’s markets were initially asked to move off campus, there is no prohibition on vendors selling their produce on campus today.

However, the markets have relocated to other places in Bethesda on Tuesdays and Saturdays. See www.montgomerycountymd.gov/agstmpl.asp?url=/Content/DED/AgServices/agfarmersmarkets. asp.




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