Want to know more about some aspect of working at NIH? You can post anonymous queries at
www. nih.gov/nihrecord/index.htm (click on the Feedback icon) and we’ll try to provide answers.
Feedback: Who monitors bike parking? I know the official NIH Bike Commuters guidelines say not to park bikes at railings, but outside Bldg. 49 there are at least a dozen bikes chained to the railing. Half of those riders don’t go into 49, but to other buildings. There are bike racks all around, including MLP-9, but they all park at the railing. What can be done?
Response from the Office of Research Services: Monitoring of bike parking is administered by NIH Police patrol units. Violations fall under Manual Chapter 1411, “Bicycles, Bicycle Racks and Locker Facilities” (http://oma.od.nih.gov/manualchapters/management/1411/). If you see a bicycle secured to a railing, light post or signpost, you may report it to the NIH Police non-emergency line at (301) 496-5685.
“Bicycles parked at any such prohibited location will be tagged [as abandoned after 24 hours] by the NIH Police. The tag will serve as a notification to the owner of the violation. The owner will be given 5 calendar days to remove the bicycle. If the bicycle has not been moved at the conclusion of the 5-day period, it will be considered abandoned and will be removed in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations [41 CFR, Subchapter B, Parts 102-36 and 102-41 (Appendix 1)]. Bicycles removed in this manner…will be stored for 30 calendar days. Any person whose bicycle has been removed may reclaim it by calling (301) 496-3020 within 30 days. They must contact the Division of Police directly. At the conclusion of the 30-day period, the bicycles will be disposed of in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations.”
Feedback: Why does NIH charge for health and wellness services? Sure, they offer the occasional “free” class, but you have to pay to use the fitness center, pay to join classes, pay for special programs, etc. I was hoping to kick-start a healthier me with the Fit+ program they are offering this summer, but the cost of $60 is prohibitive to me. You would think that of all places, the National Institutes of Health would do more to help its workforce live a healthy lifestyle.
Response from ORS: The Division of Amenities and Transportation Services oversees the NIH fitness and wellness programs. These services are provided through the Recreation & Welfare Association. As a non-profit organization, the R&W Fitness Program has specific costs that are underwritten by memberships and fees. The resources include fitness centers, wellness services, fitness classes, health and wellness programs, including the Fit+ Program.
NIH is sensitive to the costs associated with providing these services and will continue to work with R&W to offer a wide variety of fitness and wellness classes and workshops at a minimal cost, if any. However, NIH does not currently have the resources to provide additional fitness and wellness activities, free of charge, for all NIH employees and contractors.
NIH does work with R&W and other partners, including the ICs, to provide free fitness demonstrations as well as free health and wellness related information, seminars and programs. For example, there is a heart walk trail (www.ors.od.nih.gov/pes/dats/wellness/activities/Pages/activities.aspx) and free shower/locker facilities throughout campus (www.ors.od.nih.gov/pes/dats/fitness/Pages/shower_locker.aspx) for those who want to participate in their own fitness activities. If you have further questions related to health and wellness services at NIH, contact DATS at (301) 402-8981.