Traffic is getting worse outside Fairfax County schools, at morning drop-offs and afternoon pick-ups. At Bull Run Elementary School, the line can reach up to 200 cars. At Hayfield Elementary School, sometimes they simply stop allowing cars in and force parents to park elsewhere and walk their kids in.
And there’s no easy answer in sight, according to an excellent story by Elizabeth Vandenburg in today’s Oakton Patch. Fairfax County Executive Anthony Griffin has offered the county’s help in funding alternatives for walkers and bus riders, but school officials say simply changing the attitudes of the parents is the biggest challenge.
Fairfax Schools Superintendent Jack Dale recently sent a letter to Griffin saying that “Parental and student behaviors remain an obstacle to this goal,” and he included results from a 2008 online parent survey on Kiss and Ride, Vandenburg reports. Of the designated walkers, almost 30 percent said they would continue to use Kiss and Ride even if safety improvements were made. And when asked what might convince Kiss and Riders to consider putting their kids back on the bus, 61 percent chose nothing, leaving the schools to conclude that there’s nothing they can do to convince parents not to use Kiss and Ride, Vandenburg wrote.
“We can't even get the current [designated] walkers out of cars,” Chief Operating Officer Dean Tistadt said. “We don't want to build trails to nowhere.”
Read the rest of Vandenburg’s story at Oakton Patch.