New Portland Grocery Store Has More Parking for Bikes Than Cars
Photo: A.Streeter, flickr and Creative Commons.
Know Your Customers
New Seasons, an upscale Whole Foods-style grocery store that has enjoyed massive success in Portland, Oregon, is opening its
seventh tenth store this week. The newest store, in the dense (watch the web cam to see how dense) inner-city Hawthorne Street neighborhood, has something of a surprise. Rooftop parking for cars, and rows of bright blue staples in front of the store for bicycles. Well, perhaps that's not so incredible. What makes it much better is that according to Bike Portland, the sum total of bike spots (50) outnumbers the slim number of car parking spaces (36).
Photo: A. Streeter, Creative Commons license.
Already during the planning and design of its seventh store, New Seasons knew that it would have to get creative to deal with the extremely dense urban corner that 41st and Hawthorne is, to get along with the city and the neighbors. An earlier store nearby in the Ladd's neighborhood has generated a lot of complaints as the parking lot is narrow and nearly always jam packed, and the traffic patterns to and from the store are egregious.
So in addition to providing only the 36 parking spaces, the store is going above and beyond the norm with its bike parking staples, hoping to encourage people to use alternative transport to the store. The market considered doing its own bike sharing service (now that would have been innovative) at the store to help people have another alternative way to get their groceries home, but rejected it for the time being as too expensive.
Instead, shoppers are invited to freely borrow either a big wagon from a pair parked next to the flower display, or roll home a sort of dolly cart. There's also the option of having groceries delivered (either by a biodiesel-powered van, or by bike from the Hawthorne store only).
Some people are predicting that the generous bike parking and cart amenities will do little to stop a snarl of traffic at this location.
Because parking is such an integral part of sprawl, here's some fun fast facts from Streetsblog on what we give up for the almighty car:
1) 99% of U.S. car trips begin and end with a free parking spot.
2) The average car is parked 95% of its time.
3) Office space typically requires 175 to 250 square feet per person. In comparison, curbside parking requires 200 square feet per vehicle, and garages require 300 to 350 square feet per vehicle.
And lastly, from bicycleuniverse - Seven to twelve bicycles can park in one automobile space.