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Vol. LXIII, No. 9
April 29, 2011
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Feedback

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Have you posted a question, but not seen a response yet? Check out the frequently asked questions at http://nihrecord.od.nih.gov/faq.htm. We try to answer as many original queries as space allows, without repeating.

Feedback: With all the additional traffic on Rockville Pike due to BRAC construction and BRAC impending use, Wilson Dr. gets terribly backed up when employees are trying to leave. I fail to understand why our NIH traffic gurus think it makes sense to jam everyone into the same exit? Why not let people exit onto Cedar? Also, there used to be an option to exit (right turn only) onto Rockville Pike near the intersection but that is blocked with a ramp and gate—why?

Response from the Office of Research Services: NIH is considering a number of transportation- related options including the increased use of exits onto Old Georgetown Rd. to alleviate the expected congestion. Also, the South Dr. entrance/exit on Old Georgetown, currently closed to complete the construction of the Porter Neuroscience Research Center, may be available sooner than originally anticipated.

In addition, NIH is looking at a number of options to increase exiting campus during rush hour. The possible reconfiguration of West Dr. at West Cedar Ln. to allow exiting of high-occupancy traffic is one option we are analyzing. This entrance is currently used exclusively for patients. Any proposed modification must have minimal impact to patients entering campus and not negatively impact traffic on Cedar Ln.

As to the intersection blocked by a ramp, we believe you are referencing North Dr., not Wilson Dr. If so, during construction of the MLP-10 parking garage, the state required that exiting be right turn only. Several years ago, the exit was closed due to budget constraints. Given the even more difficult budgetary situation, we do not anticipate receiving funding to allow for that exit to reopen at this time. It currently is open until 10 a.m. as an entrance only and requires guard/police staffing at all times it is open. Budgetary constraints may also affect other entrances/exits in the upcoming fiscal years.

NIH has no control over the traffic lights on Rockville Pike. Although the timing of the signal light at Wilson Dr. is under the jurisdiction of the Maryland State Highway Administration, they allow Montgomery County to control the lights. Repeated requests by NIH to increase the exit timing of lights at this intersection have been unsuccessful.


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