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Feedback Fridays

By Brig. Gen. Laura L. Lenderman | 502d Air Base Wing Commander | July 19, 2019

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas —

Feedback Fridays is a weekly forum that aims to connect the 502d Air Base Wing with members of the Joint Base San Antonio community. Questions are collected during commander’s calls, town hall meetings and throughout the week.

If you have a question or concern, please send an email to RandolphPublicAffairs@us.af.mil using the subject line “Feedback Fridays.” Questions will be further researched and published as information becomes available.

Personnel Issues

Q. What can be done to ensure the safety of pedestrians in a cross walk?

On numerous occasions, I’ve attempted to cross the street in a cross walk and vehicles do not stop. It’s not that they don’t see me because they have smiled, waved and kept going and on occasion have even gone so far as to serve around me to not have to stop and continue .

I’ve spoken to several co-workers and those from other squadrons that have expressed the same concern. People need to be accountable for their actions and consequences need to be address. It is a privilege and a right to be able to drive on or off an installation.

It’s URGENT that leadership address this safety issue before anyone is seriously injured or there’s an unfortunate fatality.

A. Safety is a top priority ... thank you for this question. Our 502nd Air Base Wing Safety team works closely with our Civil Engineers to ensure crosswalks are well marked and visible.

Our Safety experts also instruct new personnel at base Newcomer briefings about crosswalk safety. They also work closely with our Security Forces, to enforce proper behavior for both drivers and pedestrians.

Unfortunately, sometimes people make poor decisions. To that end, I’ve asked our Security Forces teams at each base to step up visibility and enforcement near common pedestrian areas. I’ve also asked our Public Affairs team to put together a refresher campaign reminding everyone about safe behavior regarding crosswalks.

Everyone plays a part in safety. Drivers are expected to stop for pedestrians crossing the street, and pedestrians need to make smart decisions ... don’t step into a crosswalk until the approaching vehicle stops. Thanks again for bringing this up. We all need to work together to keep JBSA safe!

Q. My concern is for the Child Development Center personnel working during the Give Parents a Break, or GPAB, program.

This is supposed to be work done based on volunteers, but employees are mandated to work GPAB instead. The supervisor working for the GPAB usually must come in 15 to 30 minutes early to get the building in order to get paperwork, snacks, bleach/soapy water, etc., ready and stays late to close the building.

However, they are only (always) given four hours of unofficial comp time.

Is this even legal? GPAB was previously done on Fridays in the past, but this year there are only six Fridays, and the rest are Saturdays. CDC staff have families too and would like to spend their weekends with their own families.

A. Thank you very much for sharing your question and concerns.

I want to first express my gratitude for all of our child and youth caregivers. I am in awe of everything you do to take care of our families. The care provided by CDC staff is critical to building and maintaining resilient service men and women. Thank you for providing quality of care to our JBSA community!

For those teammates who may not be aware, Give Parents a Break is a monthly resiliency program to support active duty Air Force enduring hardship situations such as deployments, single parent homes, parents who have children with special needs, and those in need of respite care.

It is a required program and due to CDCs operating at full capacity for enrollment, it must be offered outside the normal duty day.

GPAB is official scheduled work for CDC personnel. Employees assigned to work GPAB should coordinate with their supervisor to properly request and submit a schedule adjustment, overtime or compensatory time that aligns with the AFI.

Employees are required to be compensated for the full length of the scheduled duty hours. CDC management have been briefed on the types of compensation.

If you don’t find resolution regarding compensation, please contact our civilian personnel office for support. The variance between having GPAB on Fridays and Saturdays is to offer a variety of options for service members to be able to participate in the program. Thank you again for sharing your concerns.

Installation & Facilities

Q. It seems to me that handicapped accessibility parking at the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Base Exchange and pharmacy parking is nonexistent no matter what time of day.

A possible solution might be making more handicapped spaces in the existing parking lot or make a NEW parking lot on the lawn facing the pharmacy for handicapped only.

A. We appreciate your concern and suggestions. The number of required handicap parking spaces around a facility are dictated by the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, and is monitored and managed on JBSA by the Joint Base Civil Engineer.

Our team did some research and found that the BX and pharmacy parking lot has a total of 928 parking spaces, which per ADA, requires 19 handicap parking spots. There are presently 40 handicap parking spaces in this lot.

We have similar parking challenges across JBSA regarding handicap parking, and through years of experimentation and analysis CE has determined that the issue lies not in the number of handicap spaces but rather how the reserved spots are being used.

Texas law allows for disabled veterans with DV marked license plates to park in handicapped spots regardless of mobility limitations. Ideally, we encourage DVs who do not have mobility limitations to consider using non-reserved parking, particularly when there are a limited number of open handicap spaces remaining; however, they are not required by law to leave the spaces open.

It is worth noting that the local community has experienced similar challenges with this issue, but there has been no good solution developed to resolve. We will continue to assess the situation and consider alternatives; however, at this time the lot is assessed to have adequate reserved parking.

Q. I normally exit the JBSA-Lackland Valley Hi gate and have noticed that due to the construction at the gate, there is a buildup of vehicles exiting on the left lane while the right lane remains “open.”

The use of the left lane only results in traffic congestion at the intersection of Truemper Street and Carswell Avenue.

Can you please clarify if it is legal to use the normally unused right lane up until it merges to the left lane? I’ve witnessed what appears to me as road-rage type incidents on more than one occasion where vehicles already in line on the left lane move to the center, occupying both lanes, to block/prevent other vehicles from using the right lane.

Thank you very much for your question! The short answer is, no … it’s not illegal to merge near the end of the right lane.

That said, we expect the construction related congestion and delays to continue for some time at JBSA-Lackland. There are a series of projects scheduled at and around the gates.

To help limit delays, wherever practical, our Security Forces have adjusted operations, and our Civil Engineers have adjusted traffic flow. But, congestion … and driver frustration … is likely inevitable. This is where drivers can help. Be patient and courteous. Everyone has somewhere to go, and a time they need to be there.

Merges naturally lead to congestion. Last-second merging makes the congestion much worse. Drivers who choose to merge late may save themselves a couple minutes, but they cost those behind them much more.

Also, don’t forget that JBSA-Lackland has numerous gates. If drivers continue past a congested gate, only a minute or two further down the road is often a gate a driver can zip right through.

Q. The JBSA-Fort Sam Houston commissary parking lot was partially restriped several months ago. Are plans made to finish the job?

A. Great question and the answer is yes! The JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Commissary parking lot stripes were in the process of being refreshed by our in-house Civil Engineer team; however, spring and summer rains along with other mission priorities interrupted the scheduling and phasing of the work.

Restriping is done in phases to allow continued use of the lot by commissary patrons. Now that rains have decreased, the engineers will work with JBSA-Fort Sam Houston commissary management to schedule restart of the painting.

Q. I have noticed the JBSA-Lackland resale lot for vehicles is closed and is currently under repair. Is there any timeline when this will be finished?

Also, is there an alternative location other than JBSA-Fort Sam Houston that is being utilized on JBSA-Lackland or JBSA-Kelly Field Annex for this valuable service provided to wing active duty, civilian and retired personnel. Thank you in advance!

The construction in and around the JBSA-Lackland resale lot was scheduled to be completed by the end of June 2019. Unfortunately, the heavy amount of spring and summer rains this year has prolonged this project’s original schedule.

The scope of this effort includes replacement of large sections of asphalt that were in very poor condition, and I’m pleased to report that this work was just completed. The next step is application of sealant on the entire parking lot, followed by a required cure time.

Weather dependent, the estimated completion date, and when this lot should reopen, is the first week of August 2019. CE was unable to locate a secondary, paved properly located area during this construction so Outdoor Recreation is still recommending customers use the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston or JBSA-Randolph resale lots. Advertisement will go out as soon as the JBSA-Lackland resale lot can be reopened.

Miscellaneous

Q. My colleague recently scored a perfect 100 on his PT test. We are very proud of his accomplishment! He worked extra hard to achieve this feat, and has motivated others in his work center to strive for better fitness and higher scores.

Is it possible for the fitness centers to recognize those who achieve a perfect 100 on their PT tests? At some bases, I’ve seen plaques with names engraved; at others I’ve seen a Polaroid (complete with Captain America pose).

Either way, it’s a source of pride for many and a motivation for all. It’s such a small gesture for a monumental feat. Thanks for considering this request.

A. Thanks for your recommendation to recognize JBSA’s fittest Airmen who achieve a perfect score on their Fitness Assessments … that is a remarkable accomplishment and a justifiable source of pride!   

Our Fitness Assessment Teams at JBSA-Lackland and JBSA-Randolph currently recognize males and females who perform the highest number of push-ups/sit-ups and the fastest run time to identify outstanding achievement in each component of the fitness test (abdominal circumference excluded) by acknowledge them on an MVP board visible to all who come to test.  

We are proud to recognize these fit warriors who excel, so yes, we will add to the MVP board the Airman who achieve perfect (100) scores when they test on all four components. As of Aug. 1, a standardized recognition will occur across JBSA within the Fitness Centers that conduct the fitness assessment.

Celebrating Airmen who achieve 100 on their fitness assessments is also strongly encouraged for unit commanders who can use photos, coins, and other suitable forms or recognition.