Tuesday, October 20, 2009

More on Whole Foods Noe Valley.

This photo I took incited a little rant on the SFBike Mailing list.

No Sunday enforcement equals cars stopped in sidewalk and str... on Twitpic

This picture from the parking lot of the new whole foods on 24th. The cars in the picture were not driving into the lot, they were waiting for spots. Whole Foods employs two people to man the lot, one was just to the right of this photo - moving off, perhaps deciding he didn't want to be photographed not shooing away cars from a full lot.

Before I shot this photo, I was on the 48 bus headed from the left in this photo. The 48 had to go into the opposite travel lane to go around the Honda pictured, to the end of the block, and drop me off. Then I unfolded a stroller, strapped in my son, and walked back 1/2 block to the WF. The Honda had moved from the street to the lot, replaced by another car.

This happens to the 48 a lot, and frequently it can't go to the opposite travel lane because there is opposing traffic. This seems like a "Signifigant unavoidable delay", which was the whole boogeyman argument which held up the bike plan. But the status quo doesn't have to undergo an EIR I guess.

I am thrilled that the whole foods is there - our carbon footprint is down because my wife now walks to WF instead of driving to Molly Stone's. And we're not the only ones - this store has a lot of patrons in very close proximity and I hope that the parking hassles get more people walking to the store.

Now - this photo was taken on Sunday. I see similar problems when I ride home at 7 PM, and am forced to ride around traffic backed out of the whole foods, not to mention random double parkers. But when I get home early and ride home at 5:30 PM? Not a problem. Why not? Meter enforcement stops, effectively removing dozens of spots. Certainly the free parking in the whole foods lot will be a deterrent to some from taking a street spot with the meter on, but it's sort of ridiculous that 50 cents for parking is such an issue when many WF shoppers are paying $5 for a small container of potato salad.

I got this amusing response

Ha! Busted! That is my car in the photo-I'm blocking the sidewalk
because the Lot guy didn't stop me coming in- pretty annoying for
everyone. BTW i usually walk there as do a large percentage of their
customers in noe-the parking lot usually has free spots - surprising i
know - wouldn't happen if it was a TJ. people tend not to do large
weekly shops at WF .


Now I'm off to mail the rant to my Supervisor - Bevan Dufty. Dufty was "helpful" in getting this store in quickly. He should finish the job and help extend the meter hours such that the parking and traffic problems can at least be sliightly ameliorated. As it stands, traffic can't get through, pedestrians are walking around cars stopped on the sidewalk. With the status quo, people will be more likely to abandon 24th St than to abandon their cars, but many will be more likely to pay a buck to park on the street than to circle the streets or to drive halfway across town (though I never underestimate the capability of people to spend 2 dollars in gas to save 1 dollar in parking).

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