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Vol. LXVII, No. 16
July 31, 2015

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

Feedback: The Bldg. 21 parking lot loop was made one-way several years ago. However, I frequently observe people driving the wrong way, especially in the afternoons. I have had a couple close calls with hitting such vehicles. It might make it more obvious to folks that the loop is one-way if there were arrows painted on the pavement around the loop and/or the parking spaces were made angled. There is little signage and not really that many places to add any. Can anything be done?

Response from the Office of Research Facilities and Office of Research Services: ORF, in collaboration with the ORS Division of Amenities and Transportation Services, has agreed to paint additional one-way directional arrows in the parking lot behind Bldg. 21 to create a clearer, safer parking experience for employees.

Feedback: I was reading an article in The Atlantic about Surgeon General Koop & HIV. The story mentions that in the mid-1980s: “Koop and his wife lived in the surgeon general’s official residence on the campus of the National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, Maryland. Two hundred feet away was the office of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the government’s most visible HIV/AIDS scientist.” The article then goes on to mention how Fauci was Koop’s personal physician and then eventually his friend. Where is the building that served as Koop’s “official residence?” Does the surgeon general still live on the NIH campus today? And if not, when did this practice end, and why? And when did it begin? It sounds like a cool bit of history!

Response from ORF: From 1982 to 1989, the building that served as the official residence of Surgeon General C. Everett Koop was 15D-1, part of what is commonly referred to as the “Quarters,” a set of six double quarters and two single detached houses on the north side of campus reserved as living quarters for senior NIH and HHS staff. Today’s policy states, Bldgs. 15H and 15I are “reserved for the NIH Director and the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH)…[but] if for any reason they choose not to occupy either residence, the Surgeon General may be assigned to these Quarters.”

Recently, senior officials including the surgeon general were not interested in residing in 15H 15I, shown here looking east along the main campus’s North Drive, which is parallel to Cedar Lane.

Recently, senior officials including the surgeon general were not interested in residing in 15H (left) and 15I, shown here looking east along the main campus’s North Drive, which is parallel to Cedar Lane.

Photos: Eric Bock

Recently, senior officials including the surgeon general were not interested in residing in 15H and 15I and the units were made available to graduate student fellows working in NIH laboratories. Some other buildings house NIH administrative space. All occupants of the Quarters are required to pay market rental rates. The first surgeon general to live on the NIH campus was RADM Thomas Parran, Jr. He lived in the 15K residence, also known as “Treetops,” until 1948.

Feedback: This may have been addressed in the past. I’m not sure. But as I was taking the shuttle bus from main campus to my building, I was wondering why don’t we double the shuttle bus use during rush hours? Morning’s when people are coming to work and evening’s when employees are trying to get home. And why can’t we have the shuttle bus going in both directions? It would save employees so much time and effort.

Response from ORS: Thank you for your suggestion to double shuttles during rush hours and send shuttles in both directions. The Division of Amenities and Transportation Services, Office of Research Services manages the NIH Shuttle Program. Your suggestion is valid and one that we have examined in the past, and based on your feedback, we will study this option again. While we review this, please note that we are under budgetary limitations and the shuttle system is an expensive one to operate. Budget reductions have forced the Shuttle Program to reduce services to a level that meets the basic needs of NIH and regulatory requirements. Adding additional shuttles, if only for peak periods, would require shifting resources or eliminating other vital ORS services.

In regards to your suggestion to have shuttles going in both directions, currently we have two Campus shuttles traverse the campus counterclockwise while the Campus Limited shuttle operates clockwise around the campus. We also have two shuttles that do run at the same time on the Executive Plaza and Rockledge routes. During rush-hour or peak times, three shuttles operate on the Montrose route. The Perimeter shuttle operates during the peak morning and evening hours, but operates as the Campus Limited the rest of the day. Shuttle routes have undergone extensive evaluations to accomplish peak efficiency and maximize timeliness.

We believe our customers are top priority and suggestions from our customers are always welcome and needed. If you have additional suggestions, complaints or compliments, contact Shuttle Program Manager Louise Davis at (301) 496-9621 or

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