Drivers Using Grapewood Drive Illegally

Permission is necessary to turn around in driveways

We all know that sitting in traffic isn’t fun, especially when you have somewhere important to be. But the traffic at Kettle Run is a completely new level of heavy traffic.

Drivers should be able to use Grapewood Drive to avoid the long lines of traffic in the mornings because it’s legal to drive on the public road, as long as they follow the law.

Numerous students have been stopped and or punished after trying to avoid the heavy traffic. Seeing as there is only one road leading into the bus loop, student drop-off site, and student parking lot, cars line Rogues Road from both directions every school morning, making it nearly impossible for drivers to get onto Academic Avenue in a timely manner. There is currently no legislation against the use of a public road to turn around and come to an adjacent traffic light. Even if the adjacent traffic light is being used in order for drivers to make their trips faster, law enforcement can’t pull these drivers over.

However, failing to stop at a stop sign and or pulling into a homeowner’s driveway to turn around is illegal. Before winter break, senior Thomas Harding was stopped by law enforcement after using the turnaround. After getting pulled over in the Kettle Run student parking lot, Harding recounts an officer telling him that he failed to stop completely at the four-way crossing even when other drivers did the same.

“Six other cars did it and I was the only one to get pulled over,” Harding said.

Regardless, Harding understands why homeowners on Grapewood Drive are upset that drivers are using their driveways to avoid the heavy traffic. However, he still feels that homeowners should be more willing to let drivers turn around in their driveways.

“It could cause more traffic in their neighborhood I guess,” Harding said. “But there’s really no reason [they should be mad]. If someone wanted to do that on my road, I wouldn’t care, as long as they’re safe.”

Agreeing with Harding, senior Sarah Pierce believes there’s nothing wrong with trying to get to school on time by using Grapewood Drive.

“Drivers should be allowed to use it,” Pierce said. “It would reduce traffic and there would be fewer tardies.”

After getting pulled over, junior Connor Baker is still upset after being issued a ticket, even though he says he didn’t break a law.

“The cop said by doing a U-turn I entered a side street by a couple feet and ran the stop sign,” Baker said. “Due to traffic coming from the north side not having enough time to turn, you wait in traffic for 10 to 15 minutes. It’s stupid. Drivers should be allowed to use Grapewood until a permanent solution is made to the one-way in one-way out problem.”

Sophomore Declan Boyle pointed out that using the public road isn’t illegal.

“Fauquier County maintains it and owns it,” Boyle said. “There is no reason students should not be able to use it.”

Nonetheless, it is illegal to enter someone’s driveway without permission and doing so may cause homeowners to become understandably upset. Students should be allowed to use Grapewood Drive to avoid the long lines of traffic on Rogues Road in the mornings so long as they don’t break any laws. No harm is being done to anyone, and no accidents have resulted because of drivers shortening their trips to get to Academic Avenue. The general consensus around Kettle Run is that using Grapewood Drive, a public road, in an attempt to avoid heavy traffic is an effective way to alleviate stress on school mornings.