Some people may have thought that the issue was dead when Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland and the Virginia Department of Transportation announced the revised route for Fairfax Connector Bus Route 105 last fall.
S. Laing Hinson, however, knew otherwise. As the owner of several residential, health care and medical office facilities located on Tiswell Drive, including the Mount Vernon House and the Mount Vernon Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, he knew that the decision to bypass the bus stop between those two facilities was not acceptable.
Hinson said that 40 of the 120 employees at Mount Vernon Nursing Center take the bus, not to mention people coming to visit the residents.
“Twenty-five percent of those workers have been with us 10 years or longer,” Hinson said. “Now they were going to have to cross a four-lane road to get to their bus stop — and in this [snowy] weather. The only way to resolve the problem was to allow the use of a private road.”
“There was a problem that needed to be solved, and it was solved,” Hinson said. “I bit the bullet and took care of it.”
And so he paid for the paving of the access road between Tiswell Drive and Holland Drive. It was not an insignificant endeavor; the road had to be stripped and re-laid at a much thicker rate to be able to withstand bus traffic. The bus can now turn down Tiswell Drive, pick up passengers at the bus shelter between Mount Vernon House and Mount Vernon Nursing Center and turn onto the access road before heading back out on Holland Road. It does not have to travel through the River Farms neighborhood, a change that Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland advocated.
Once Hinson developed this plan, everyone was supportive, and he said, “Supervisor Hyland was adamant there had to be a change, but he also helped finally to make it happen this way as well. Fairfax County Department of Transportation couldn’t have been easier to work with, they bent over backwards."