If you’re ever up at the crack of dawn, you may come across service members engaging in physical training throughout the installation.
Training consists of a variety of running events, exercises, calisthenics and drills.
However, due to traffic flow concerns, a new PT area was established Nov. 20 on Chisholm Avenue.
“Traditionally, you will find on most military installations areas that are closed to vehicle traffic during established hours for physical training,” Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Brian S. Cullen. said.
“Based on feedback from our partners over concerns on the lack of such an area here on Fort Meade and the increase of vehicle traffic in areas where units were conducting physical training, we decided to create this area.”
The new PT area was selected by the Directorate of Emergency Services in conjunction with feedback from the senior enlisted leaders of the different units assigned to Fort Meade.
PT on post takes place weekdays from 6:30-7:30 a.m. All service branches are required to conduct PT.
At this time, the Chisholm Avenue site is the only closed PT area on post.
“Even though the new area is the only closed area, we do have what is considered to be protected roadways during the hours of physical training, which is all roadways south of Mapes to include Rock Avenue,” Cullen said.
Protected roads means that during PT, organizations or individuals have right-of-way over motor vehicles, Cullen said.
“The goal of creating this new PT area is to reduce the number of organizations doing PT on these protected roads, thereby reducing risk to both those conducting PT and [to] drivers,” he said.
“We considered many different areas on post. However, it was determined that this area would have the least impact on the overall traffic flow throughout the installation.”
Before the new area was designated, its impact on residents and employees of Fort Meade was taken into consideration.
“We looked at those organizations residing in the affected area and designed the area so that employees would still have access to their offices by using the parking lots along 1st Street, 2nd Street and 3rd Street and walking across Chisholm to their office,” Cullen said.
So far, said Cullen, Soldiers who are training in this area have no complaints.
“The feedback I’ve received from the Soldiers has been positive,” Cullen said. “The closed area gives leaders options for physical training events that they may not have had when sharing the road with motor vehicles.”
Even though the feedback has been positive, there are some challenges that have taken place, which is not unexpected, said Cullen.
“As with anything new, it takes time for people to adjust,” he said. “What I do ask is that drivers honor the barriers we have emplaced and work with the road guards.
“The Soldiers on the barriers are doing what they were told to do by their leadership. If there are any complaints, they should be directed to my office.”
Editor’s note: To contact the garrison command sergeant major, call 301-677-4503.