A park and ride bus lot in Christiansburg has the attention of local and state leaders.  

The lot is located off of Interstate 81, near Falling Branch Elementary School.

It's been there for years, but parents say a new bus route is bringing some unwelcome visitors to the area.

They are concerned about how close the lot is to school grounds. They feel like moving it is the only option, but that would cost the Virginia Department of Transportation thousands of dollars that it doesn’t have in its budget right now.

"It feels like we almost have to wait on a tragedy to happen before something can be done," said Jennifer Hatcher.

Hatcher feels the park and ride bus lot is a ticking bomb.

"We have recently seen passengers going from the park and ride back around the side of the building the same time the children are arriving and going in and out the back doors," she said.

All three of Hatcher's children go to school at Falling Branch Elementary, but even those who don't have children at the school are joining in on the fight to get the park and ride moved somewhere else.

"Until the park and ride is moved it will continue to be a threat to our children and the safety of the kids there and although we value public transportation, nothing should take priority of the safety of our children,” said resident Sherri Blevins.

The group against the lot has been pleading with local and state leaders to move it for months.

They say the majority of the problems are coming from the Megabus. It drops off and picks up riders at this location and those riding tend to wander onto school grounds.

"We've seen them come off the bus, walk by five signs and try to go to into the school before an officer stops them,” said Christiansburg Mayor Michael Barber.

VDOT owns the lot and says right now there isn't much it can do because it doesn't have the money. For now, they've built a fence and added signage telling riders to keep out, but residents say it's still not enough.

"We still have people that will blatantly disobey the law and walk out of that fenced in area, onto the school property, gaining access and were concerned about the accessibility of our children,” said Blevins.

The town of Christiansburg has also increased patrols on school grounds, but the mayor says they can't afford to do that anymore. Barber says they’ve spent around $30,000 on extra patrols. He says now it’s time for the county or school board to step up to the plate with another solution.

There's still hope for those with concerns.

VDOT’s Commonwealth Transportation Board will hold a public hearing on May 19 at Northside High School at 6 p.m. The CTB is the only group that can allocate funds to move the lot.

According to a VDOT spokesman, the lot has 52 spaces and is used on a daily basis. He says initial estimates show it would cost VDOT $10,000 per space to move the lot.