A sustainable-transit initiative has gained an ally in what has historically been Richmond's least mass-transit friendly neighbor.
The Chesterfield Board of Supervisors on April 27 unanimously adopted a resolution supporting the Sustainable Transit Initiative of Richmond, a group advocating for greener transportation alternatives, such as mass transit and electric cars.
Supervisors also appointed Matoaca District Supervisor Marleen Durfee to the organization's board, whose roster includes representatives from big employers and business groups: the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce, Dominion Resources, Virginia Commonwealth University and GRTC Transit System, to name a few.
While the resolution brings with it no financial commitment from the county, organizers say they're excited about Chesterfield's support. The initiative, known as Stir, already has received city support — Mayor Dwight Jones has written letters on its behalf — but its backers are just beginning to gauge support from the region's counties.
"We're sort of nudging things in what we think is the right direction over time," says Mark Creery, a Hanover County businessman and secretary of the initiative's executive committee.
Durfee, a long-time advocate of better mass-transit options who often finds herself at odds with the board majority, lobbied for the resolution. Will this mark a philosophical shift in Chesterfield? Durfee isn't sure.
"It always comes down to political will," she says. — K.S.