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Vol. LX, No. 6
March 21, 2008

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Feedback: I wondered what the process is for checking the exhaust system of NIH-run vehicles. Some of them emit a great deal of noxious fumes.

Reply from the Office of Research Facilities: The Fleet Management Branch is required by federal regulation to adhere to laws set forth by the state in which the vehicles are housed. The law in Maryland is that we perform emission inspections every 2 years on government vehicles and we do adhere to this regulation. We also are meeting all requirements of Executive Order 13423 with the reduction of gasoline and the use of alternative fuel. [President Bush entered EO 13423 into the Federal Register on Jan. 26, 2007, to strengthen “federal environmental, energy and transportation management.”]

Feedback: What is the value of paying a contract employee to sit in the booth outside of multi-level parking garage 10 (adjacent to Bldgs. 31 and 33)? I have seen a sign indicating that valet parking assistance is available for handicapped individuals, but the booth seems to be occupied at the wrong times (often unoccupied in the morning; occupied at the end of the day when most people are leaving). How often is the valet parking utilized?

Response from Tom Hayden, transportation planner in the Office of Research Facilities: Throughout the day, there are a total of three attendants assigned to assist handicapped motorists. As a general guide, two are assigned specifically to MLP-10 and another at the Lot 31B booth. There is attendant coverage from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. Their primary role is to assist handicapped motorists by providing valet parking between Lot 31B and MLP-10. The peak times for providing these services are 9 to 10:30 a.m. and then again during the evening hours of 4 to 5:30. Often when attendants are not seen in the parking booth, they may be performing one or more of the following customer service functions: parking or retrieving a vehicle for an employee with disabilities, assisting employees with finding a parking space throughout the day or even changing a flat tire for an employee. On average, 15 NIH employees are assisted daily. In terms of value, for my NIH co-workers who use this service, this assistance is extremely important. Vehicles are parked and retrieved safely at the end of the business day.

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