Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Kiss and Ride

The first time I heard this term I thought it was a colloquialism. Something people say in Virginia because, after all, Virginia is for lovers and all that.

Turns out it's a real thing. As in prior to the school year I got an email reminding me to register my children for Kiss and Ride if I planned to use it. There are signs at the Metro stations pointing to the Kiss and Ride lanes. People talk about it without a hint of irony. Like this....

"The Kiss and Ride line was so long this morning."

"Yeah, it always is when it rains."

For those of you who are in the dark when it comes to Kiss and Ride, it's what the rest of the country calls 'drop off'. However, when it comes to my children's school Kiss and Ride takes on a hint of military precision.

Children wearing safety guard vests are lined up on big blue dots approximately five feet from each other along the sidewalk next to the school parking lot.

A teacher stands outside directing traffic, both vehicular and human. A line of cars pulls up, stops at the blue dots, the children dressed in fluorescent gear open the back doors and like a well-rehearsed dance the backpack toting passengers hop out and make their way to the classrooms.

The line of cars who take part in the Kiss and Ride ritual each morning stretches for several blocks. My kids and I figured out early on we could park our car, hop out and be at school for kisses good bye long before the idling line of Kiss and Ride vehicles.

As much as I'm trying to embrace the customs of my new home, I'll admit to having a little trouble with the Kiss and Ride debacle. In Portlandia, in lieu of cars inching forward, the streets were filled with lawn signs reminding us of the nasty environmental impact of idling vehicles.

The information in those signs now play on repeat in my head each morning and afternoon as I pass people in their cars and/or watch them try to do the vehicle equivalent of cutting the Kiss and Ride line.

Wouldn't it be so much simpler and green-clean to park and walk? And by the way, I feel compelled to mention that, to date, I haven't witnessed any actual kissing in the Kiss and Ride cars.

Although, I'm sure it happens. Virginia IS for lovers, right?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You know, when I went to school, very few kids were even dropped off by their parents. You either rode the bus or you walked. When did all of that change?

Carol Kilgore said...

We've lived in many different places. I learned early on to accept each place for its uniqueness and not to compare it for better or worse with other places. Doesn't mean I didn't miss Tex-Mex like crazy when I lived in New York, but I sure learned to love Italian.

Likely there's a reason behind Kiss and Ride somewhere that actually makes good sense to some committee.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It must be a Virginia thing - we don't have that here in NC.

Joanne Noragon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joanne Noragon said...

The couple of times I've had to pick up a child at school I've been dumbfounded by the lines of idling cars, taking up an entire lane. These people should know better. And the way they continue to creep up as a car pasengers-up and pulls away.
There are so few in the parking lot my pick up's find me easily.

Ella said...

How annoying! You know now that you mention it...I have witnessed this at some of my daughter's schools. There isn't a Kiss n' Ride sign, but it is like that vehicles inching up slowly to the school. It makes me want to scream!

Thanks for sharing now I am going to look for this sign, when I go to VA. I have not seen it~

Hang in there! :D

ilima said...

I've never heard that phrase before. My kids walk to school (right across the street) but I freak out every day about them getting hit because of all the cars hovering around the school.

A Beer for the Shower said...

I've never heard of this phrase before. Then again, I've never been a lingerer either. If I'm dropping someone off, I'm doing exactly that. Not sitting around idling for no reason.

alexia said...

Never heard it called that, but yes there is a drop-off line at my kids' school. I drop them off at the back though where there is no line :) Luckily, it has two entrances, and there are crossing guards at the back entrance to escort the kids across the street.

My son wouldn't let me give him hugs and kisses in public after 3rd grade :(

Johanna Garth said...

Alex, we're just a little too far to walk, but not far enough for the bus :(

Such great advice Carol!

Diane, totally a VA thing.

Joanne, exactly. It's easier to just park and run get them.

Ella, it's so weird that it's completely institutionalized here.

Ilima, Yes, those hoverers always freak me out too.

Beer, the lingering is caused by the line-up. It's like a traffic jam around the school.

Alexia, does that mean I'm at the cut-off? Third grade boy! Sniff, sniff!!

Anne Gallagher said...

We do drop off, but we have two teachers and 45 minutes to do it so there's never a line. Pick-up however is a different story. That's when it gets dicey. And yes, the idling cars make me gag. I always shut mine off.

Elise Fallson said...

I used to live in Virginia and so miss it for many reasons. And yes, I remember the kiss and ride signs too! Though I do agree, parking and walking is much better, for the environment and the exercise!

Lisa Gail Green said...

Hahahaha! I was just talking about this with someone over here. They (I too) get in those long lines to drop off and pick up. Though we don't have special names like that for them. But CA is supposed to be so green! LOL

jaybird said...

Never heard of this before! We don't have Kiss and Ride here in South Jersey. Right now, I just relish the fact that my girls still kiss me good-bye, at all. Because I know these kissing days are fleeting, as they will be teenagers before I know it. :)