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November 6, 2015

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: Which IC won the Take a Hike registration competition? We never got the results.

Response from the Office of Research Facilities:The competition was part of our original Take a Hike Day activities when we started in 2008. ORS awarded trophies and recognition to the small and large ICs with the most Take a Hike Day registrants. As a result of the demand from ICs for the Office of Research Services, Division of Amenities and Transportation Services to focus on expanding Take a Hike Day to off-campus locations, we discontinued what was known as the HealthierFeds competition in 2012.

We are now in our third year of the off-campus expansion; currently, 30 percent of employees who participate in Take a Hike Day do so off-campus. As a result, we are looking at making changes to the Take a Hike event that may include a return to the HealthierFeds competition. We will be announcing updates to Take a Hike Day 2016 as we get closer to the event. If you have any further questions, reach out to Chris Gaines at (301) 451-3631 or

Feedback: When there is an unexpected event, such as the water main break that occurred on Oct. 13, that negatively impacts the evening commute, why doesn’t ORS allow employees to leave their cars parked at NIH overnight and take public transit home? I understand why there is a general prohibition against leaving cars parked on campus overnight, but some flexibility in this rule would help all NIH employees who drive to work.

Response from ORF: Thank you for your inquiry about allowing employees to leave their cars parked at NIH overnight when there is an unexpected event. Yes, we do agree that such exceptions to the overnight parking policy can be made for specific, extreme events, such as the water main break that recently occurred on Rockville Pike at Cedar Lane. Although not initially noted on the first day of the event, this exception was granted and subsequently noted in global emails to the NIH community.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind the NIH community about the policy on overnight parking of personally owned vehicles (POVs) on campus. General Parking at NIH is on a first-come, first-serve basis, thus overnight parking is not permissible except under certain circumstances. Uncontrolled overnight parking would interfere with giving everyone a fair advantage in finding a parking space when needed, as the limited amount of available parking would be occupied by vehicles left in excess of 24 hours. Additionally, overnight parking hampers overnight maintenance, cleaning, snow removal and ongoing construction projects.

Only vehicles owned or leased by the government or employees on official government travel are allowed to park in excess of 24 hours on the campus. For employees on official travel, their POV must display the appropriate overnight permit, issued by the NIH Parking Office. Information on how to obtain an overnight permit can be found at

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