Road work being considered to clean up Carson’s Kiss & Ride


Rachel Carson students walk from the Kiss and Ride into the school

A total of 14,000 cars are riding on the roads next to our school everyday, and 800 cars ride though our Kiss & Ride every morning. Rachel Carson’s Kiss & Ride is backed up, and it’s an issue. The county is considering some major changes to help the problem.

The popularity of the Kiss and Ride has been on the rise and problems with the Kiss & Ride itself have appeared. The line for the Kiss & Ride often stretches out to the intersection of McLearen and Centerville Rd.

Ealbu Nithilaselvan, a seventh-grader on the Majestics Team says, “It takes me 10 minutes to get from the end of the line to the front. One time I was late, around 7:23 and the line was moving super slow, I had to get out of the car and run to school so I wouldn’t be late.”

The Kiss & Ride is not as backed up in the afternoon but mornings are not the only time the Kiss and Ride has its problems.

Lucas Nave, a seventh-grader on the Mavericks team states, “The Kiss & Ride gets backed up during special events, especially choir concerts. My parents complain about it sometimes.”  

Paul Mosher, a P.E. teacher at Rachel Carson who has been supervising the Kiss & Ride for the last four years, thinks the Kiss and ride is overused.

He says, “Buses are available yet parents decide to drive their kids instead. People talk about saving the environment yet we have 800 cars in the Kiss & Ride every morning.”

But how are buildings or developments managed in Virginia and what could be the cause of this disarray? 

Mathew Tatum, Transportation Manager II at VDOT says, “When a new development comes in to be approved we analyze how many trips will be brought in by that development, if that development brings in too many trips the building will need to find a way to alleviate that traffic.”

Though this may be the case, Rachel Carson’s Kiss and Ride severely affects the roads around us. Because of the large amount of traffic in our area, plans have been made to widen both Centerville Rd and McLearen Rd to six lanes. Talk for a paved trail south of McLearen Rd has been going on as well. The only problem so far has been the lack of funding for this project.

But what are the possibilities of this project getting funded?

Mathew Tatum says, “The county has something called the Transportation Priorities Plan (TPP) which represents the county’s current priorities and denotes some level of funding. A proposed improvement on the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan would go in front of the Board of Supervisors and they will approve the project if they think it should be prioritized and funded. The supported project from the comp plan would be added to the TPP and then it would be designed and built. The improvements proposed in the comp plan for Centreville Road or Mclearen Road near Rachel Carson Middle School are not the TPP as of now.”

Many students use the Kiss & Ride but the reason for use turns out to be very similar for many students. 

Ealbu says, “The bus is really crowded and I am on the last stop.”

Ealbu isn’t the only one who has problems with their bus.

Lucas mentions, “It takes too long to get home on the bus, I get home 30 minutes earlier when I drive home.”

Though our Kiss & Ride may be extremely clogged up and long, a few solutions can be implemented.

“We need more people to direct and tell parents how to efficiently use the Kiss and Ride,” says Ealbu

Lucas says, “It’s not coordinated right, there’s a better way the Kiss and Ride can flow through.”

Mr. Mosher has similar feelings saying, “The Kiss & Ride is small, and the pattern could be different.”

Even though there are multiple solutions to fix the backed up Kiss & Ride the questions still remain, Where will the funding come from? and how soon will this problem be fixed?