Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB) held their quarterly town hall meeting to address current situations and the concerns of people working and living on the installation May 23.
The primary concern of those attending the meeting was parking on the installation. Issues discussed included: parking mitigation efforts, the impact future construction will have on parking and how to ensure patients at the medical center have access to parking when they need it. The town hall also showcased renderings of future projects like the Navy Exchange complete with Navy Federal Credit Union and food court, along with expansion projects for both the Child Development Center and the Navy Lodge.
Capt. Frederick Kass, NSAB commanding officer, said the meeting was just one way the installation tries to keep people informed.
"We really try to get the word out as much as possible about things we have going on. Even if we don't always have good news, we want people to be armed with all the data. This particular venue is more interactive and will give staff the chance to ask questions."
One of the main concerns of those in attendance at the meeting was how to mitigate staff parking constraints and ensure that only legal vehicles were parked on the installation.
"We are pursuing additional temporary on-site parking locations, and if all comes together well we should see some of those as early as August," said Jeff Miller, NSAB transportation program manager.
Miller also stressed the measures being taken to curb illegal parking.
"Security is enforcing parking very aggressively, they're issuing upwards of about 100 citations a day, to make sure that people who have parking permits are the only ones parking in the lots," he said.
In the future, there will be automated parking control arms that require key card to access certain lots, effectively reducing the number of areas for security to patrol and allowing only legal vehicles to park, Miller added.
The question and answer session of the meeting allowed staff members to express concerns, offer solutions and to receive feedback from NSAB.
"If people ask questions and they have good ideas, the command is most likely going to take them and run with them,” said John Epperson, NSAB director of total workforce management. "That's what the open forum part of the whole thing is about. They get ideas or help clarify things. It’s more about us feeding information to the people that attend, but it's also about getting information, like what's frustrating you and then we look at those things and figure out how we can fix them," he added.