Make public transportation part of Chesterfield’s blueprint

If you’re a Chesterfieldian, here’s your easy-to-do civic action for the week.

If you live, work, worship, or chill in Chesterfield, you’ve got a great opportunity to inform the direction the county is headed over the next couple of years.

The county’s Board of Supervisors and School Board recently released Blueprint Chesterfield, an open survey that county leaders will use “to shape the five-year plan during the upcoming budget process.” Unfortunately, public transportation is completely missing from the survey! This bums me out and should bum you out as well. To get a feel for the true bummerness of it all, read this Q&A with Todd Wilson of Cornerstone Revitalization Center:

As impoverished areas persist, goods and services leave the area, forcing residents to travel farther for the necessities they need to purchase. This dramatically increases the cost and further stretches the limited income they have. As tax income decreases, those goods and services tend to decline as well. Schools in these areas are hard-pressed to offer the same educational experience as those in more affluent areas.

Even our road system in Chesterfield County enables most of its middle class to navigate throughout its geography without even having to see the impoverished communities it hosts. These areas become economic wastelands where little or no opportunities exist. Pair that with a largely driverless population without any means of transportation, or even sidewalks, and you’ve created a desert island of poverty that is “out of sight and out of mind.”

The lack of public transportation in Chesterfield County is a Real Thing that needs to be discussed, so it’s Real Unfortunate that it’s not included as an option on the Blueprint Chesterfield survey. Luckily, free-entry text fields to the rescue!

OK, here’s my transit advocate-y call-to-action: If you’re a Chesterfieldian, fill out the survey and do these things:

  1. List “public transportation” as one of the three most important priorities for the county to focus on over the next five years (that’s question #1).
  2. Write in “public transportation” as a county service that is important to you (that’s question #3).