Happy New Year!
I suspect I am not any better at keeping my New Year's Resolutions than most people, and most of us are not all that good. The one thing I have learned over time is to make fewer of them and thus I am less likely to disappoint myself.
Speaking of resolutions, the one I made this year was to stop asking you to do something via my Commander's Column in the Journal.
OK, I really did not make a resolution like that, and it's a good thing because here I go again.
I know one of the top concerns, perhaps THE top concern, on our installation is the traffic and parking situation. While separate issues they are related, so I tend to put them together.
First, let me address parking by stating we don't have enough. This is not news to any of you, but I want you to know that I am aware of the shortfall.
The planning guidance in place allows us to have 8,900 total parking spots on NSAB divided into various categories like Handicapped or visitor. We currently have about 7,500 and we are about to lose 700 or so more by the end of the summer due to construction projects on existing surface lots.
Some of these projects are to build parking structures that will mean more spots in the long run, but at a short term loss. Sorry if this is the first time you are hearing this bad news.
Next, traffic . . . The traffic surrounding the installation, especially at peak travel times, can be challenging. As an installation, we continue to work with state, county and other federal stakeholders in mitigating as much of the traffic congestion as possible. You may have noticed efforts, such as the new traffic signals on Wisconsin Avenue and Jones Bridge Road, which have recently been completed.
Overall, and thanks in large part to the parking plan instituted in the late summer, traffic on the installation currently is manageable yet, there are still a lot of cars moving around our small space, a lot of people on foot, and a few on bicycles as well, which makes for a complicated driving environment.
So here comes this column's question (and the early breaking of my fictitious resolution). PLEASE continue to remain patient, focused and calm when driving to, from and around Naval Support Activity Bethesda. We have had two accidents in the last month that involved motorists and pedestrians.
Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt, but that might not be the case the next time. Also, all pedestrians can help reduce our risk of a bad event by crossing in the marked crosswalks and paying attention when walking across the street.
I hope 2012 brings happiness and health to you and your family.
All Ahead Full.
Capt. Frederick (Fritz) Kass
Naval Support Activity Bethesda,