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More bike parking than car parking at new New Seasons market

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 12th, 2010 at 5:26 pm

New location on SE 40th and Hawthorne.
(Photo: New Seasons)

Local grocery store chain New Seasons Market will open its tenth store tomorrow on the corner of SE 40th and Hawthorne (former location of Daily Grind), smack-dab in one of the most bike-centric parts of town. According to a press release sent out by the company today, the new store has some pretty serious bike-friendly credentials.

The biggest thing that jumped out at me was that the store will have more space for parking bikes (50) than cars (36). According to New Seasons, the store’s small footprint and central location "inspired us to pilot unique transportation options for customers and employees." In addition to the bike-heavy parking ratio, the new store will offer grocery delivery by bike, a patch kit and air available free to customers, and hand carts and wagons to walk your groceries home (or creatively pull them on your bike).

The new store's march toward bike-sensitivity became very apparent a year ago. Back in October 2009, the BTA reported that they adjusted the design of the store so it did not negatively impact an adjacent bike boulevard. The decision had to do with where they would put the access ramp motor vehicles take to get onto the rooftop parking lot. According to the BTA:

"In the original design, the ramp entrance to the parking lot was located on SE 41st Avenue, and the receiving door for freight and delivery trucks was on the opposite side of the store on SE 40th. The BTA and neighbors, once we heard about the plans, became concerned that car traffic into and out of the parking garage might use the SE 41st bicycle boulevard, even taking it to reach SW Taylor or SE Lincoln streets to get to SE 39th Ave (Taylor and Lincoln are also bicycle boulevards)...

Staff from the Portland Bureau of Transportation and the BTA, as well as many SE 41st neighbors, agreed that flipping the design and placing the parking garage ramp on SE 40th and the truck receiving area on SE 41st would be best to maintain an existing safe bike route and to maintain traffic flow on Hawthorne. The independent traffic report supports that conclusion: "SE 41st Avenue… should be operated to encourage bicycle travel and discourage vehicle travel.""

How's that for a bike-friendly business!?

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Comments
  • Chris October 12, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Exactly the reason I bike from vancouver to new seasons for all my grocery needs. Well that and supporting local growers/farmers and tax free shopping.

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  • Andrew October 12, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Eek! Whatever it will take to keep 41st a good bicycle commute route for North to South in the SE. It is already difficult to find good North to South commute routes in that area.

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  • Grand Master October 12, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Thanks New Seasons for being bike friendly! I think I'll hop on my bike now and pick up some chicken, rice and broccoli at New Seasons Arbor Lodge :) I think New Seasons Arbor Lodge might have more bike parking (including employee bike parking) than car parking spaces in their lot (not including street parking). I'll check while I am there!

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  • BURR October 12, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Contrast this with the Pearl District Whole Foods Market, which has a multi-level underground parking garage but had to be coerced into providing even the minimal amount of city-code required bike parking.

    Buy local, shop New Seasons.

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  • Rick October 12, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Thanks for the heads-up. I'll be sure to avoid this New Seasons!

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  • Duncan October 12, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    I have to say that I am really excited about this as it is closer to my house and not down such a long grade- makes biking the groceries home easier.

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  • George Hayduke October 12, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    So long, Fred Meyer. The last time I was at Freddies two of the teenage door goons were openly making fun of a mentally challenged employee in front of customers, and time before that two other employees were terrorizing a mouse in the parking lot by throwing bottles at it. A business that employs people like that doesn't belong in my community. New Season's is gonna get all my business.

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  • matt picio October 12, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Not having seen the design, I need to ask - was the design for the loading dock for deliveries done in a way that minimizes the impact of trucks on the bike boulevard? Also, what impact will those trucks have on the local streets when entering and exiting? Does it force them to take residential streets to route back out to Hawthorne or 39th? I know that New Seasons tends to have smaller trucks, but they still have an impact on the surrounding area through noise, emissions, and potential pavement damage from the weight of the vehicle.

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  • DT October 12, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Just another reason to love New Seasons.

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  • peejay October 12, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    The only problem is that it's so close, I mostly will be walking there. Except when I need a cargo bike's worth of groceries.

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  • karl d October 12, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Now, Interstate New Seasons needs more undercover bike parking..........

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  • Red Five October 12, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    I'd feel better if the parking was a little more secure for my $5000 bike.

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  • Tonyt October 12, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Thank you NS for keeping the Whole Foods presence to a minimum in this town. Kicked em to the curb!

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  • Stripes October 12, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    I live a block from here and use the 40s bike boulevard every day.

    I'm super-stoked about a New Seasons opening here, but do have concerns about increased motor vehicle traffic on the 41st Ave bike blvd.

    It already has FAR too much car traffic on it. Can we get a diverter on 41st?

    You know. Like the one they installed on SE 38th right next to the Freddies that's five blocks away from this New Seasons here back in the day.

    Pretty please??

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  • Pete October 12, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    So jealous!! I live next to Safeway... :(

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  • Spiffy October 12, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    my best friend lives 2 blocks from here so we've been eagerly awaiting the opening... and neither of us drive a car...

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  • tony October 12, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    I am pretty concerned about the affect this will have on 41st. I take my kid to pre-school via trail-a-bike or trailer twice a week past this store and I have not been impressed with the construction this last few months. Little to no attempt at mitigating the disruption to the bike route was made at all, even during the morning commute.

    I wrote to complain and got simply lip service from the company.

    While I like New Seasons a lot, I would not be surprised if 41st is blocked several times a month, if not week, during peak travel time.

    The last week alone they have had a dumpster parked on the corner of 41st and Hawthorne which makes the intersection quite dangerous when left-turn traffic from Hawthorne is making a blind turn into a basically one-way street.

    I hope they will be conscientious about their delivery times, but I fear this route is toast.

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  • Zaphod October 12, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    I'll be handing out free coffee to celebrate the opening of this store.

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  • D.R. Miller October 13, 2010 at 12:26 am

    Good to see this but agree with #9 that the Interstate/Overlook New Seasons needs more bike parking. I've written to them a couple times in the past about it but didn't get a great response. I think they're a great store and all, but I (and I'm sure a lot of other people) would love to see more bike parking there. It's starting to get pretty tight pretty often, and I'm sure that yet more people would bike there if the store put in a few more staples, even if it meant sacrificing a car space.

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  • naomi October 13, 2010 at 2:05 am

    yay new seasons! their bialys are super tasty

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  • Andrew October 13, 2010 at 5:44 am

    I don't to be too much of a jerk and rain on the parade here, but New Seasons suffers from the age-old desire to maximize profit through continuous growth and increased economy of scale, just like any other capitalist enterprise--they've just perfected the smiley face. Yes, it is nice that they are accommodating bikes, even if their motives are a mixture of cynicism and earnestness, but I find it hard to swallow a puff piece like this, much as I love bikeportland. Also, from an urban design standpoint this store looks to me like a suburban eyesore.

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  • Chrsytal October 13, 2010 at 7:32 am

    I am super stoked to have one so close now!

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  • all day October 13, 2010 at 8:35 am

    new seasons on hawthorne!?!? i will have to find a tight pair of black jeans and some slip on shoes to make it through the door at that one! i wonder how big the store is... it should be a busy location with freddys and the 39th corridor right there. good business new seasons!!

    and andrew, come on.. you love capitalism

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  • matt picio October 13, 2010 at 9:01 am

    D.R. Miller (#17) - How much more bike parking do you think is appropriate? I've rarely seen all of them full, there's currently about 18 staple racks outside the Arbor Lodge New Seasons. (Overlook/Interstate) In theory that accommodates 36 bikes, more than 1 bike for every 2 car spaces. (That NS has 60 car spaces, not counting the disabled spaces near the door)

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  • k. October 13, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Andrew,

    What's wrong with wanting to maximize profit through economy of scale? At least they aren't just maximizing profit at the expense of everything. We live in a capitalistic system, with all it's good and bad points. It's nice to see a company like New Seasons doing a lot of things that benefit the greater good. They certainly don't have to and could arguably be even more profitable if they didn't. If anything I'd say they are a pretty decent example of how capitalism can work for the benefit of many.

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  • ervgopwr October 13, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Jonothan,

    Thanks for the write up. Please do a follow up story with some pictures of how they organized all the bike parking. Is it all in one place? Covered? Do you know what their mimimums would have been based on typical zoning requirements.

    Also if you talk to them some more, what was the basis for their sizing of the bike parking, such as capture area? Proximity to the bike boulevard?

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  • todd October 13, 2010 at 9:35 am

    the "walk score" of my neighborhood just went up a few ticks. yay! buh-bye freddys; i'll always favor the place that doesn't make me navigate (and indirectly pay for) a big urban parking lot.

    there are still too many food deserts in portland, places where reasonably healthy and affordable groceries are not within comfortable walking distance of home. when E. portland was mostly developed from 1900-1920 or so, there were corner groceries in a pretty regular grid arrangement over a very large area, in the first ped/streetcar/bike era. cars pretty much ruined all that. here's to old times.

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  • EmGee October 13, 2010 at 9:55 am

    @Andrew, #20

    The analysis that led you to that conclusion was too superficial. It was based on the Eisenhower era assumption that all consumers are alike (that the market strategy that works for suburban American Dreamers will work well enough for Appalachia's mountain folk or, more to the point, the new Young Urban Earthers). Basically, the analysis is using techniques that were bright and shiny 60 years ago, but that were seriously flawed even then and certainly don't fit today's realities.

    New Seasons does not market to the general public. It serves a demographic that values minimizing its carbon footprint. Call them the Young Urban Earthers (the idea that an Earth-friendly urban lifetyle is possible is a young one, and one that leads even septuagenarians to rethink lifestyle decisions like they were back in their twenties again).

    New Seasons must do all that it can to promote bicycling or it will lose the customers that are willing to pay a little more up front because they understand the store's practices are reducing the large hidden carbon costs of traditional supermarkets. New Seasons has no choice in the matter; it is part of the central commitment that makes their stores viable.

    Bicycling is as central to New Seasons as finding local growers, or stocking a Whole Earth Catalog of appropriate technology gadgets. Or the way they design their parking lots to discourage Hummers and crew cab pickup trucks, while favoring hybrids and small vehicles.

    Andrew, your application of market analysis techniques is good, by the standards of the early Cold War days. But we are in a different age now, with different challenges. And we can do so much better with newer ways of thought.

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  • ecohuman October 13, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Buy local, shop New Seasons.

    The majority of New Seasons products are neither local nor regional. And, about one-third of New Seasons products can be found at Fred Meyer and Whole Foods.

    These products make up the bulk of New Seasons' profits, not the modest amount of local (actually, regional) products the sell.

    Also, I'm curious how a "bike friendly business" first designs something bike *un*friendly, compromises after a fair bit of negotation with the City--then gets to be considered "bike friendly". New Seasons isn't "bike friendly" any more than any other grocery store. In fact, New Seasons has more parking spaces per square fot of retail than Safeway stores.

    In other words--a lovely fantasy, and a pretty store to stroll in, but there's nothing particularly special about it.

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  • D.R. Miller October 13, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Matt, true that New Seasons Arbor Lodge has those "extra" staples along the sidewalk, but to me those are the equivalent of street parking spaces. Nice to have but not something "above and beyond" the status quo. I think the sheltered bike parking they have by the door is good, and was at (but not beyond) the acceptable standard at the time the store was built. I'm just one of those whiners who'd like to see things look the way I want them to look. Wink emoticon, etc. But hey, at least we live in a place where we could even have an "argument" about whether a store's several covered staples are enough.

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  • 9watts October 13, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    "...how they organized all the bike parking. Is it all in one place? Covered?"

    I counted three times and came up with 24 staple racks arranged on three sides (E,N,W) of the store's sidewalks. A few on the NW corner are grouped and angled near the curb, the rest are aligned with the flow of pedestrian traffic. They're a bit close to the building for the person parking on the inside, but there's not a lot of spare real estate. Those close to the store along Hawthorne are I think effectively covered, and some on the West side may be too. Incidentally I counted five dogs tied up to the racks this morning for the grand opening at 10am. The employees have additional covered and I think locked bike parking at the back of the store.
    The expense of all that extra rooftop car parking is regrettable but the banks who apparently urged/required that more than the 17 originally planned car parking spots be included aren't particularly visionary. We'll live to see bike racks bolted down up there one day, too.

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  • elaine October 13, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    @ Ecohuman #29

    I couldn't say what percentage of New Seasons items are "local", but I'm fairly sure it's MUCH greater than at Freddie's. And if you're wanting to buy local (or regional), they generally always have option for any type of item --that has been my experience anyway.

    Unlike most other stores, New Seasons displays where all produce is grown, so you can buy local if you choose.

    True, you can buy some of the same non-perishables at Freddie's for a bit cheaper--and sometimes I do--but I tend to have generally unpleasant experiences there. And I don't like the quality of their produce, and their deli is not nearly as tasty as New Seasons'.

    So anyways those are some of the reason I choose to shop there :) And I'm excited about this new store (but primarily cause it should steal some business from the over crowded 7-Corners).

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  • 9watts October 13, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    While we're debating New Seasons, they mentioned in the opening festivities this morning that their minimum wage is $10 and they offer all their employees health insurance. I somehow doubt that is common among grocery stores around here. They also employ 150 people, just in that new store.

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  • ecohuman October 13, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    I couldn't say what percentage of New Seasons items are "local", but I'm fairly sure it's MUCH greater than at Freddie's.

    You don't know the percentage, but you're sure it's much greater? That doesn't even make sense.

    Unlike most other stores, New Seasons displays where all produce is grown, so you can buy local if you choose.

    Labeling laws require the same thing for every supermarket. At worst, you have to ask the produce manager. And again, produce is only a small fraction of the products New Seasons sells, and only a small part of their bottom line. However, it's a high-visibility marketing opportunity in this area, and easier than the 98% of other New Seasons products to source locally or regionally.

    New Seasons also sell stuff from China--just like every other supermarket. They sell foods loaded with high fructose corn syrup--just like every other supermarket. And so on.

    The problem seems to be people mistaking style for substance--but that's common is most parts of life, isn't it?

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  • tony October 13, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    9watts, many of our local chains (Safeway and Fred Meyer) are unionized, so they do, in fact, pay "living wage" to start and provide medical benefits.

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  • 9watts October 13, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    tony @ 35
    in that case I stand corrected. Good to hear.

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  • EmGee October 13, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    WRT to whether NS is more "local" than Freddy's or Safeway, I note that I've seen very few New Seasons semi trucks on the roads, in comparison to the big trucks of the other stores. Like none that I can remember. New Seasons is burning less fuel to get product from manufacturer to the check-out counter than is the case for the supermarkets that are using a central distribution system (everything gets shipped to the Portland warehouses, and then by their own trucks to the various retail stores).

    Centralized purchasing and distribution is SO out of date in this day of computers and Internet integration.

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  • are October 13, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    to paraphrase d.r. miller, comment 30: "at least we live in a place where we could even have an 'argument' about whether" getting your groceries from new seasons is "buying local." there are two or three co-operative groceries if you want to get serious about local sourcing, sustainability, fair trade, etc. though it started out differently, new seasons has become a sort of local equivalent of whole foods. except the profits do stay here. ask the same set of questions in the midwest, where i come from. where the local grocers, who sort of resemble freddy's, only without the kroger backing, are trying to make a last stand against wal*mart. keep portland weird.

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  • wsbob October 13, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    "...New Seasons isn't "bike friendly" any more than any other grocery store. In fact, New Seasons has more parking spaces per square fot of retail than Safeway stores. ..." ecohuman #29

    What other grocery store has parking for fifty bikes? If it's as you say, that NS has more parking spaces per sq ft or retail than Safeway stores (Is there an average size/parking ratio for those stores? Because not all Safeway stores and parking needs are the same.)...it's probably because of those fifty bike parking spaces.

    I remember a little from the news about the grocery business because of the struggles between New Season's, long gone Nature's and Zupans. It's a tough business.

    I'm glad for what NS is doing, even though I don't shop there...can't really afford to shop there. That store having to sell some merchandise from China is just the reality of the grocery business.

    The store is at least making some effort to cater to a customer base that will shop at its business, thus enabling it to help provide amenities representing a change to the 'get in the car...drive to the store...pick up a bag of groceries...' routine that negatively effects many neighborhoods across the country.

    Out here in Beaverton, there's two big shopping centers with large grocery stores...Fred Meyer and Winco. How large? I don't know the numbers...big...maybe 100,000 sq feet each, maybe bigger. I'd be surprised if either of the stores has bike parking for more than eight bikes.

    There is some very unfortunate planning characterizing both of these shopping center's parking facilities. True pedestrians (not the people that drive to the shopping center, park, and walk next to the stores themselves on sidewalks provided there for them.), are, by this planning, rendered into a sort of third class citizen. Big, broad, pedestrian bike boulevards connecting shopping centers to surrounding neighborhoods would be welcome.

    Cedar Hills Crossing (where Winco is located), also has a New Seasons. I'd be encouraged if the store was asking the city of Beaverton to consider that kind of pedestrian bike boulevard.

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  • Michweek October 13, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Though I primarily shop at People's Food Co-op, I have a New Seasons as back up. I'm not quite ready to dive fully into being a locavore, nor do I control other visitors tastes. But more to the point I grew up in the burbs. You don't have any good options out there, Whole Paycheck is much too expensive and the rest are big box Freddies and Safeways. When I first walked into a New Season's, before I learned about Co-ops, I was amazed. They had my normal diet, but they also had healthy options right next to them, not hidden in some other location. Even better? They got me on track to eating locally, they label all the local foods from non-local foods. It's so easy. I don't care where you chose to shop. But to complain about a company who pays more than minimum wage, offers health care, donates money, hosts tons of benefit bbq's and in general helps normal people, such as my parents learn to be more conscious with their decisions is a big deal. To further their ideals of living better for everyone and the planet they made a big jump into being uber bike friendly. I say go New Seasons, your the best back up ever!!

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  • DP October 13, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Folks, admit that we have it pretty good here in Portland simply because we have CHOICE. If you like New Seasons over QFC or Freddies, that's cool go buy some groceries. However stop and think for a second about places like Detroit where they don't have as many choices:

    http://money.cnn.com/2009/07/22/smallbusiness/detroit_grocery_stores.smb/index.htm

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  • BURR October 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    1. The point is not that everything in the store is local, but that the store owners/management are.

    2. Dogs tied to the racks don't overly concern me. But if they start commandeering the racks for shopping cart storage, like they did at the old Nature's Fresh at SE 30th and Division, I'd have a problem with that. Racks too close to the building that can't be fully utilized to their capacity would be a problem too.

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  • ecohuman October 13, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    wsbob is at it again:
    What other grocery store has parking for fifty bikes?

    Fred Meyer down the street does, wsbob. There's a large, *covered* structure just for parking bicycles. Way more than 50 of them. Jonathan knows of it. In fact, Fred Meyer recycles more than New Seasons, buys more local and regional goods than New Seasons, and employs more local residents for a living wage than New Seasons. Fred Meyer has an employee union; New Seasons has fired employees in the past for discussing or promoting unions on site. And the list goes on. An experienced FM employee is better compensated (and insured) than a New Seasons employee.

    Is Fred Meyer a shining example of anything? No. I'm using it to prove a point--that the shiny New Seasons is just another grocery store. Neither angel nor demon--just a grocery store that has the same impact as other chain stores.

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  • cold worker October 13, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    they still sell certain food products that take waaaay more than their fair share of resources (oil! amongst others) to produce. so maybe this *slightly* offsets that.

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  • BURR October 13, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Is Fred Meyer locally owned? I don't think so.

    Neither is Safeway, which is also union-represented.

    Whole Foods is from Texas and is probably right-to-work.

    All things considered, I'd still rather shop for most things at New Seasons.

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  • anon October 13, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    @ecohuman #43
    While I can't speak for every department of every Fred Meyer, I know that they do not actually offer a 'living wage'. In fact, the benefits that they do offer are not worth obtaining. I chose to pay out of pocket for independent insurance with more coverage, lower so-pay and significantly less expensive. The wage offered at New Seasons in higher to start and the benefits are worth partaking in and it is a much more pleasant place to work in all aspects. I would, from experience, not consider Fred Meyer a individual or community minded company nor are they a great place to work.

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  • wsbob October 13, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    "...wsbob is at it again:
    What other grocery store has parking for fifty bikes?

    Fred Meyer down the street does, wsbob. There's a large, *covered* structure just for parking bicycles. ..." ecohuman #43

    wsbob is at what again? I trust that most of us reading here appreciate, simple, respectful, factual answers delivered without a lot of juvenile static.

    You said 'large'...how many bikes? The question was, "... What other grocery store has parking for fifty bikes? ...". Does the Fred Meyer on Hawthorne actually have parking for fifty bikes or more in the covered parking area you refer to? The size of the parking structure may be of interest, but is of secondary importance.

    Important also, for comparison purposes, is how large the grocery section of Fred Meyer is compared to the New Seasons store; they may be similar in size.

    Fred Meyer though, is a different type of store than New Seasons is, in that it's a kind of 'one stop' shopping center, incorporating a much greater range of merchandise than New Seasons has, on what I'm guessing is a far larger overall amount of floor space than that of New Seasons.

    If so, Fred Meyer should have parking for at least fifty bikes, and perhaps far more.

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  • jim October 13, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    I've shoped at New Seasons. With their prices I have no trouble crrying a very small bag on my bike. Freddies I do need my car.

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  • Doug Klotz October 13, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Andrew has a point about New Seasons. They do some admirable things, and market to a specific demographic, which along Hawthorne includes a lot of bike riders. It should be noted, that for all these customer bike racks, not one square foot of their property was used. (Their covered employee bike racks are in a space that should have been landscaping, but they got an "adjustment" for that) The public racks are all taking up sidewalk space. PBOT was going to require the racks to be in the Furnishings Zone, near the curb, so as to allow pedestrians to walk near the building. However, many seem to be next to the building instead. The racks along the building face are so close that no-one was parking behind them tonight. Several bikes were at 90 degrees to the building face, on either end of the staple. This left the bikes blocking a lot of sidewalk.

    Their presentation drawings showed shopping carts stored on the sidewalk on Hawthorne. While PBOT staff said they wouldn't be allowed to do that, the carts were on the sidewalk tonight, along with a lot of merchandise display (flowers, etc.), which isn't allowed by PBOT either (not that they enforce it).

    New Seasons, it seems, has a philosophy of locating as much of their functions in the public space as they can get away with. Fred Meyer's racks (and cart storage) are on their property, although admittedly FM has a two-square-block parking lot to work with, and New Seasons is a far more urban and pedestrian-friendly design.

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  • Joe Rowe October 14, 2010 at 1:48 am

    I've asked New Seasons to give a 50 Cent discount to anyone who does not drive to the store. No word back. Silence!

    Come on NS staff, you have to be reading this. Chime in.

    The Arbor lodge store is often low on bike parking on Interstate. People need to leave more comment cards. Sooner or later they will take away one car spot at the entrance. Me and D. Miller have left many comment cards. Please join us.

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  • wsbob October 14, 2010 at 2:09 am

    "...Way more than 50 of them. ..." ecohuman #43

    If so, on that count...fair enough. That it does, may have something to do with Kroger's successful effort to have its Hawthorne Fred Meyer become LEED certified grocery.

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  • Penalty Kill October 14, 2010 at 7:18 am

    Nice PR piece, hats off to the New Seasons Marketing Department. I'll definitely be using this as a case study of perfect publicity placement.

    I, too, am curious about the impact of truck deliveries on traffic on the SE 41st bike boulevard. Construction made it a dangerous mess, here's to hoping deliveries won't.

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  • spare_wheel October 14, 2010 at 9:04 am

    new seasons is definitely anti-union. workers have been punished or terminated for attempting to organize. new seasons also has unsavoury links to a local polluter. new was co-founded by an owner of pacific natural foods corporation (pnf) and store brand products are made by pnf. pnf was the target of Oregonian article detailing serious allegations of environmental and animal husbandry abuses.

    imo, price and wage sustainability trumps bike access and "trustafarian" sustainability.

    interestingly, the safeway on hawthorne is about to be torn down and rebuilt as a new "eco" flagship with lots of bike parking.

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  • Jessica Roberts October 14, 2010 at 10:08 am

    The Arbor Lodge store had to scramble and add a lot more bike racks after the store opened. I have to say, I have never been unable to find a rack there, though they are always heavily used. Some are covered too, which is nice. I do wish they'd make some provision for cargo bikes, though. I am often one of 3 - 6 cargo bikes locked up outside the store, and I feel bad about how much of the sidewalk space my bike consumes.

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  • wsbob October 14, 2010 at 10:16 am

    "...New Seasons, it seems, has a philosophy of locating as much of their functions in the public space as they can get away with. ..." Doug Klotz #49

    Doug...was the excerpt below, from Andrew's comment, what you were referring to? If the company is really doing that, it's a valid point. If people really are are going to be doing more of their neighborhood chores by biking as well as walking....instead of driving, the need for uncluttered access to sidewalks will be under increasing demand. New Seasons should probably be using their own property to park their customers bikes.

    "... I don't to be too much of a jerk and rain on the parade here, but New Seasons suffers from the age-old desire to maximize profit through continuous growth and increased economy of scale, just like any other capitalist enterprise--they've just perfected the smiley face. ..." Andrew #21

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  • NSM employee October 14, 2010 at 10:28 am

    I call bullshit on New Seasons firing anyone for talk of organizing. Give me an actual example of that and maybe I'll listen. As a very, very pro-union NS employee (I used to do community organizing for an offshoot of the the AFL-CIO pre-split and am a son of three genertions of union men), I can tell you that no union in their right mind would waste their time. Who's gonna do it? SEIU? They've got bigger fish to fry and a choice of places that don't offer fantastic benefits and an average starting wage that's three bucks higher than the Oregon minimum. (The $10 minimum is actually given to relatively few employees, most of whom start higher, at least from what I've seen).

    I've had a dozen conversations with my fellow NSM employees about unions and how evil the company is, and guess what? They've all still got their jobs!

    NSM does wage surveys of the competitors (who are unionized) and pays the same rate-- which is one of the great things about union jobs, their ability to drive up wages for the entire market. NSM pays eighty percent of my premium for health insurance, covers naturopaths, chiropracters, mental health, dental and vision. They cover same-sex partners. And it's cheap-- my partner's coverage through work is more expensive and has crappy coverage, and that's from a Big Kid job.

    As to the products on the shelves: NSM is pretty straightforward about the "Eat and let Eat" philosophy. We carry Coca-cola next to Blue Sky and about six other types of more locally produced products. We don't claim that everything is local-- but we do try hard to source locally so that people have a choice. Produce isn't a "small part" of the bottom line, as someone above claims. We sell produce, but we use the same things in the deli, and the push for a more seasonal approach to the menu lets us buy things that are grown closer. We still get tomatoes from places that grow tomatoes in the winter, because there's still a demand for them. Look on the shelves at the amount of space given to local versus national or international. It's not perfect, but it's not just lip service, either.

    Jeez, do I sound like a company man or what? I'm laughing at myself as I write this because I'm a friggin' agitator, or at least I have been. I'm not blindly loyal-- I've worked for plenty of places that I've been really critical of. And NSM isn't perfect-- I agree that there's a lot of stuff on our shelves made in China or produced with high fructose corn syrup. Almost everything gets to us by truck and that's a tough problem to solve (but we've got a special place in our heart for vendors like CCP who deliver by bike). The company leadership answers the same concerns I see on this board twice yearly in all-store meetings. The president of NSM understands that she's got a smart, active staff and there's pushback when something happens that we don't like.

    All that being said, keep on being critical and discerning! I'm pretty sure that the decision-makers for the company read things like this and respond to groundswell. Actually, we rely on people who think about food and transport and how we can actually keep this city working once the oil's gone.

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  • Justin October 14, 2010 at 11:14 am

    New Seasons is pushing the whole parking debate: They intentionally design their car parking lots to accommodate far fewer cars than the store will attract, relying on the surrounding streets as an overflow lot. One take on this is that it's great and will encourage more walking and biking because it's a hassle to drive.
    On the other hand, that doesn't happen until all the neighborhood streets are clogged up. So you get a fairly big mess like on Division or in Sellwood. The big question is whether the purposefully inadequate parking really does get more people out of their cars, or it just gets more cars parking a few block from New Seasons. And whether neighbors like that tradeoff.

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  • EmGee October 14, 2010 at 11:33 am

    @Justin,

    Yes, I think you are correct that this is an intentional policy of NS. It seems that they feel that supporting the emerging urban earther values is more critical to their long term success than the hassles they get from parking that is inadequate by today's standards (both in number of spaces and the difficulty full size SUVs and pickups would have in navigating their parking lots.

    Whether NS is estimating its long term success in dollars or by some more karmic measure is unimportant. What matters is that in this area they are definitely investing in reshaping their neighborhoods toward the urban earther vision. That is, promoting greener and more community oriented life styles.

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  • 9watts October 14, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Justin @57
    "They intentionally design their car parking lots to accommodate far fewer cars than the store will attract"

    That is an interesting statement, in light of the fact that NS started with a design of their store that included something like 17 surface parking spots for cars (vs. the 36 that are now on the roof). As has been discussed here and on other forums, some grocery stores in relatively dense neighborhoods do without off-street car parking, or fail to fill the parking they provided because the money bags demanded it or the architects hadn't updated their design guidelines in a while. This is surely a dynamic issue, both in terms of shopper travel habits and the availability of cheap gasoline. We can argue about whether 36 spots on the roof is a lot or a little, but I strongly suspect that in five or ten years fewer people will be driving to the neighborhood grocery store in their cars--more will be walking and biking--and many of us will wish that NS had not listened to the banks or whoever it was that talked them into all those structured parking spots.

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  • spare_wheel October 14, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    "I've had a dozen conversations with my fellow NSM employees about unions and how evil the company is, and guess what? They've all still got their jobs!"

    have you had conversations with management about unions or how evil the company is?

    http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/10/326520.shtml

    just about any union would jump at the opportunity to represent a rapidly growing 10 store regional grocery chain. i boycotted freddies when they were private because they punished workers for attempting to organize part-time cashiers. good luck finding negative pro-union coverage in our media.

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  • Mindful Cyclist October 14, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I think the bottom line is that whenever a company touts itself as "independent" "alternative" or any other non-mainstream label, there are going to be people out there watching its every move. I see this with local bike shops here and I remember back in the mid-90's when MTV decided to start playing punk videos and a few punk labels started swimming in bucks. Suddenly, all these independent labels were being watched like hawks and people were trying to find just the slightest thing to call them out as unethical. Heck, someone is going to watch a NS employee accidentally throw a receipt in the trash instead of the recycle bin and make an issues of it.

    Personally, I am just glad I have options. The Montana city I moved from over 6 years ago is slowly being taken over by Wal-mart. It has seen several other grocery stores close their doors due to competition. A small town 50 miles North had to shut down its only local grocery store because too many folks were taking the trip down to Wal-mart to buy things cheaper.

    Sure, NS is not perfect. Sure, it sells stuff that is made in China. Sure, it is not union and management "allegedly" has fired people for trying to organize. (Hint: Organize off the clock--there is a lot less an employer can do about it then). Is it even possible that people make a little less at NS, but chose to work there because they get treated better than a place like FM and feel no need to organize?

    But, I do like having the option of going to FM, Safeway, TJ's, Albertson's or a co-op to get my provisions.

    As far the bicycle parking is concerned, NS is basically just conforming to the neighborhood. A lot of people are going to bike there and if there is not enough, people will ask for more. And, having a lot of bike parking is not that hard to do.

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  • NSM employee October 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    spare-wheel:

    If any union would jump at the chance... why aren't they jumping? The conversations I've overheard are in-house and speculative; I've never seen anyone from a union try to start that conversation with an employee. The company pays well, provides benefits, and seems to genuinely care about the well-being of employees. I've seen the company make mistakes and respond with humility. They are active in seeking the opinions of the "rank and file," in everything from health care needs to how the stores run. What more could a union offer? Another fifty cents an hour? The job fair in August had several thousand people waiting in line for two hours to interview. Part of that is the economy, but most of it is the word-of-mouth reputation that NS has as an employer.

    Again, I'm very pro-union, I just think there are riper plums to be picked elsewhere.

    Also, in response to the link from spare_tire:

    An anonymous post from five years ago from someone who left the company (wasn't fired for organizing as they admit in the post) does make me think... but that doesn't sound like anything close to the claim that was made above.

    The link also claims claims that Brian Rohter (no longer CEO, by the way) is homophobic and the company actively discriminates against Latinos--I again call bullshit! Looking around, the store staffs are way more diverse than the mostly homogenous and white city of Portland. Could we do even better? Probably, but when I look around an all-store meeting and at leadership, the disparities in gender/sexual orientation/ethnicity and race are much less apparant than in the surrounding culture.

    The person who wrote that post was thoughtful and made their case-- but they made it five years ago and it seems to be irellevant now.

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  • Joe Rowe October 14, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Hey Thanks NS staff for jumping in. The CEO Brian Rohter lost in court for doing that in Portland years ago. Guess he learned u can catch more honey bees with sweets.

    I'm no big fan of NS owners. But I like their food and front end staff. They could be sold at any moment to Pepsi.

    I don't trust the Oregonian. They missed the point about the polluting farms that supply new seasons. Sometimes you have to make a few mistakes to cause food reform. I'd rather we make the mistakes to go local, and pay fines and cleanup. It's just poop. It's not like Hanford or our terrorizing, murdering robot drones. The O cares nothing of those atrocities.

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  • Liz October 14, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    All this hoo-ha over sidewalk bike racks.

    Email them, and just ask politely if they'll consider an on-street bike corral or two. Problem solved.

    Sheeesh, people.

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  • Doug Klotz October 14, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    @wsbob #55.

    I was referring to Andrew only in that NS has an overall strategy for profit that includes maximizing their use of their land, and externalizing things where possible. It's not just bike parking and shopping cart storage in the public ROW at NS Hawthorne. In public meetings a year ago, Rohter complained about the city regs requiring landscaping at the perimeter of parking lots, between the sidewalk and the parked cars, intended to make the sidewalk more pleasant, as well as provide shade. Rohter said he could have an easier to use parking lot at Division 7 Corners if only the city'd let him get rid of that required lot landscaping, and put it in the public Right of Way out by the curb instead. He could then pave his entire lot, which would come right up to the sidewalk. So far the city hasn't let him/NS do that.

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  • Lisa October 14, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    New Seasons is a corporate partner of Forest Park Conservancy. How do activist cyclists/mountain bikers square their patronage of New Seasons with their disapproval/philosophical differences/dislike of Forest Park Conservancy?

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  • wsbob October 14, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    "... Rohter said he could have an easier to use parking lot at Division 7 Corners if only the city'd let him get rid of that required lot landscaping, and put it in the public Right of Way out by the curb instead.He could then pave his entire lot, which would come right up to the sidewalk. So far the city hasn't let him/NS do that." Doug Klotz #65

    Glad the city didn't grant him that request. There are already enough asphalt deserts.

    I wonder if New Seasons got LEED points for its parking lot landscaping. The reconfiguration of the parking lot for the Catholic school downtown, using perimeter landscaping appeals to me a lot, as an improvement, especially if it actually keeps some of the parking lot water out of the sewer system.

    NSM employee #62, notes about Rohter: "... Brian Rohter (no longer CEO, by the way)...".

    Liz #64...bike corrals on the street could be done. The store most likely has a right to expect that its customers are entitled to some use of the public right of way to park their vehicles.

    The point of this article though, seems to be about New Seasons receiving positive attention for the apparently unique distinction of having a greater number of bike parking spaces than car parking spaces.

    If it's NS making that claim, it sort of seems the store should be extending the claim only to parking spaces on its property, and not the public right of way.

    "...I don't trust the Oregonian. They missed the point about the polluting farms that supply new seasons. Sometimes you have to make a few mistakes to cause food reform. I'd rather we make the mistakes to go local, and pay fines and cleanup. It's just poop. It's not like Hanford or our terrorizing, murdering robot drones. ..." joe rowe #63

    joe...not sure I'm following you. I don't remember reading about polluting farms that supply NS, so I'm not aware of how severe those suppliers level of production pollution was. I have though, read of farm pollution...(in the midwest, I think)...that is extreme, and far from being 'just poop'. If NS was being supplied by such a farm, that would definitely be a serious concern.

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  • EmGee October 15, 2010 at 1:33 am

    I believe that Joe was referring to this:
    Manure smells like trouble at 2 Oregon CAFO dairies owned by New Seasons' founder

    The way I read it, there have been some significant errors in developing the high tech manure management system that is being put in place. The regulators have said that they are satisfied that the problems are being addressed appropriately, but that these two dairies need much closer monitoring for a while than is normally the case.

    It sounds like the dairy operation is probably not turning a profit yet. Here's hoping the investment will pay off; Portland would benefit from lower cost organic dairy products.

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  • wsbob October 15, 2010 at 2:08 am

    EmGee....hey, thanks for thinking of that story and posting the link. Once I started reading it, I realized I had read it back when it was first published. It's about time for the paper, or somebody, to do an update, to see if those guys have got things squared away.

    With these kinds of ag operations that involve intensive production on relatively small areas of land, management of waste is critical.

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  • spare_wheel October 15, 2010 at 10:45 am

    "but they made it five years ago and it seems to be irellevant now."

    and ironically the claim of irrelevancy is supported by your anonymous internet opinion. given rohter's history of anti-unionism at nature's (eventually sold to irrefutably union-busting whole foods) i believe there is an argument for taking that post on face value. and asking for *proof* on an anonymous forum is just rhetoric. i mean, really, for all i know you could be CEO eileen brady (rohter's wife).

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  • Duncan October 15, 2010 at 11:50 am

    OK... I am going to switch my book,ark title to bikeportland to "whinebikeportland". Seems like every improvement is not good enough, no store is eco friendly enough, no street designed well enough to make everyone happy. You know what- it is true! Nothing really is ever good enough- you can complain about what you don't have, or be happy with what you do. I know plenty of NS employees who love their jobs, make decent wages and have good health insurance. I like that I can get a variety of goods, and if they are short a few bike racks, well I lock my bike to a sign and walk back- just like I would do if their lot was full and I had a car. It is a city for heaven's sake- that means that their are... a lot of people here! If you go shopping friday afternoon there may be other people at the store-imagine that... just be thankful that you don't live some town with only a "Select" Market fulled with rusty cans and rotting lettuce.

    Jesus Mary and Joeseph people...

    And Red Five- taking a 5000$ bike to the store is like driving your maserati to the corner deli. If you are so concerned about it get a 100$ grocery getter. (disclaimer- I often ride my CAAD8 to the store, but I admit it isnt the best bike for the job and I ulock it at the staple like everyone else.)

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  • EmGee October 15, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    WRT to farm waste management, the next 30 years look like a very difficult transition.

    What we really need is a regional waste collection and processing infrastructure that would produce sanitized compost and methane. You could heat a small city on the cow farts of the Willamette Valley.

    But that is a 50 year old vision (check out the original Whole Earth Catalog on bio methane generators) that is no closer to reality than it was back in the day. I think the problem is that while we've got the technology and know the steps needed to implement it, that first step of initial capitalization is a real doozie.

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  • EmGee October 15, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    "You know what- it is true! Nothing really is ever good enough- you can complain about what you don't have, or be happy with what you do."

    I prefer to do both, thank-you-very-much.

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  • Duncan October 16, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Em- the fact that you can do both puts you in the minority here. There is more naysayers here than in a herd of horses. It just gets me sometime. People should go live in Schenectady, or Nebraska for a year and realize how great we have it here in Portland (warts and all).

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  • NSM employee October 16, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    spare-wheel

    It's a good point you make that I'm posting anonymously. But I'm talking only of my own personal experience, not offering anything up as "proof." But what I was looking for (and what I asked for) was an example, maybe a media account, or even a personal account of someone being fired from New Seasons for talking about unions. You linked to someone who said they quit for reasons unrelated to unions or organizing. They quit out of principle (according to their account), and I respect that. I haven't experienced, or witnessed, anything like what the person wrote. You also declare that Rohter is anti-union because he sold Nature's to Whole Foods. He didn't sell to Whole Foods, he sold to Wild Oats, which was later bought in a hostile takeover by Whole Foods. Whether Wild Oats is anti-union (probably) is another thing altogether, but it's dishonest to say that he sold to Whole Foods.

    Also, Rohter stepped down from the company last years without any sort of heinous trickery. He and the other two initial investors divested last year, which you can be critical of, but they haven't sold the company outright and are leaning toward some limited form of employee ownership.

    Not saying the company's perfect, just saying it's not some evil, union-busting monolith that cares only for the bottom line. Also, keep on writing and being critical, because your scrutiny will help it keep from becoming a monolithic giant.

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  • matt picio October 16, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    D.R. Miller (#30) - Why do you consider them "street spaces"? They are no further from the door than the overflow parking lot on the property, and half of them are covered by the side awning.

    ecohuman (#34) is probably right. Fred Meyer now carries a lot of the brands New Season carries. They also label the country of origin on their produce. And New Seasons carries a number of "mainstream" non-organic, non-environmentally-friendly brands on their shelves in limited quantities to discourage people from just making a trip to FM or Safeway instead. That said, Fred Meyer does not sell grass-fed beef or raw milk. New Seasons does. If you're an omnivore, there are good reasons to shop at New Seasons. If you're vegan, perhaps not so much - better to shop at your local co-op, where much of the money stays local.

    DP (#41) - Detroit hasn't had a "real" supermarket for nearly 15 years, since Farmer Jack closed. And they only have one K-Mart, if that hasn't closed, which is on the far west side. This is a big part of why urban gardening has become so big in Detroit.

    ecohuman (#43) - I think a lot of people don't like Fred Meyer because FM is Kroger, the world's largest supermarket chain.

    Lisa (#66) - Are you sure that mountain bikers dislike the Forest Park Conservancy? Or do they only dislike certain members of the group, or certain decisions made by the group. FPC is not a monolithic group, it represents a lot of diverse interests. It's very difficult now to find a clear-cut example of an organization that is evil or bad in every respect.

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  • spare_wheel October 16, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    nsm employee, as a 3rd party i am not going to be able to *prove* anything. but after 10 years and 10 stores it should not be too hard to accept that a labor conflict has occurred. and there is spin in your depiction of new seasons management. from my perspective rohter is putin to brady's medvedev.

    i am not anti-new seasons i just think they get a bit of an unfair pass due to their effective pr/lobbying.

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  • Lisa October 16, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Matt @ 76: Judging from the many comments on this message board, it would seem that a preponderance of mountain bikers are no longer willing to have anything to do with supporting FPC with memberships, attendance at work parties and the like. So if they are spending dollars at NS, they are still supporting FPC. There were some pretty nasty ad hominem attacks on this message board directed toward some of the FPC folks from mountain bikers. So it's not hard to draw the conclusion.

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  • spare_wheel October 16, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    matt picio, grass fed beef is typically finished for weeks to months at feed lots prior to slaughter. grass fed is also a term that legally means zilch - any beef can be termed grass fed. country natural beef (aka pacific village "grass fed" beef) is finished at the massive boardman feed lot.

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  • EmGee October 16, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    spare-wheel-- I've just googled my way from New Season's choice of certifying agency to the criteria that agency uses. That took less time to do than it probably took for you to write your last entry (which was both wrong and misleading).

    NS beef is Food Alliance Certified. Obtaining this certificate requires the ranch and any subsequent cattle operations to be operated in a sustainable manner with the cattle receiving a diet free of antibiotics, hormones, or other supplements, and handled in humane ways. This is a much higher standard than the USDA certifications.

    The Boardman feed lot you refer to would be Beef Northwest. In addition to the Food Alliance Certified requirements, they also participate in other voluntary quality assurance programs. They are not a grain based feed lot. They blend their own feed from the discards of Ore-Ida, some breweries, and other vegetable byproducts. Basically, the cattle are finished up on brewers' yeast and potato peelings-- a diet that is naturally very high in B complex vitamins and other good stuff.

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  • wsbob October 17, 2010 at 1:40 am

    EmGee ...thanks for doing that research.

    "... I think a lot of people don't like Fred Meyer because FM is Kroger, the world's largest supermarket chain. ..." picio #73

    Many more reasons than that. Fred's used to be a home grown local business. Now it's become a branch of another massive corporate entity.

    A few things to note:

    Before Kroger, Fred Meyer's merchandise offerings were far more extensive than what's offered now.

    Kroger recently remodeled the Beaverton store. The results of that remodeling, though not all bad, seem to me to lean decidedly in the direction of a downgrade from what it was before. To some extent, that depends on how you look at it. Kind of guessing, but the store may now have LED lighting. Floors don't look as nice (polished concrete instead of linoleum), but that's supposed to cut down on the need to use toxic, expensive maintenance.

    Beaverton Town Square FM does not have a big, covered parking area for 50+ bikes. It's got a single staple at each entrance.

    Lisa #78 ...definitely, and not to just FPC folks.

    The demeaning, rude comments that numerous off-road biking enthusiasts posting to this forum have frequently directed to anyone objecting to the terms of their proposals for access to Forest Park's single track trail, aren't something that's likely to have left a favorable impression on anyone that appreciates and values the park's distinction of being the expansive nature park it is.

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  • Lisa October 17, 2010 at 6:06 am

    It would also be instructive to remember that Forest Park Conservancy does NOT set policy. So any mountain bikers ticked off at FPC are misdirecting their anger and frustration. That should be directed elsewhere.

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  • spare_wheel October 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    I gotta say the bike parking at the new seasons is atrocious. Most of the staple racks are outside on the edge of very narrow sidewalk. I counted only four sheltered staple racks. IMO, this is a complete fail. The store itself is a bit clasutrophobic.

    **********

    @emgee,
    you claim i was wrong but as far as i can tell you have not contested a single point.

    there is no legal definition of "natural" or "grass fed". its just a marketing term.

    "They are not a grain based feed lot."

    strawman. i never wrote this.

    "They blend their own feed from the discards of Ore-Ida, some breweries, and other vegetable byproducts."

    ore-ida discards and "byproduct" fed beef is now certified grass fed. mmmmm mmmm!

    it *is* possible to purchase real (and bloody expensive) grass fed beef:

    http://www.carmanranch.com/pages/our-beef

    although frankly if you really care about sustainability its probably best to just give it up.

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  • EmGee October 17, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    @spare_wheel: It is you who keep bringing up the phrase "grass fed". I have not used it. "Country Natural Beef", OTOH, has a very specific legal meaning by way of contract language between around 100 ranchers and cattle operations in the USA and a private company that does inspections and audits that are far beyond what the USDA or any government agency could afford to do.

    Whether you intended it or not, your earlier post distorted the facts to such a degree that if not challenged, they would cause a disinterested 3rd party to make erroneous conclusions. Most persons would say that constitutes lying.

    There are now sufficient data in the comments that each reader can determine for themselves which ones are likely to be true and which ones are more than likely not. If they wish to do so, they could go a step further and do some research with Google, and in an hour or less, they would find the same facts that I have reported.

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  • matt picio October 17, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Lisa (#78) - The commentors on this site represent less than 1% of the bike community, and likely less than a few percent of mountain bikers. (albeit the most vocal percent) It's easy to draw the conclusion, but it's arguable whetehr your conclusion is a valid one. Also, there are lots of ad hominem attacks on either side, and I'm curious why you would think that "ad hominem" commentors would feel any compunction to reconcile their behavior, even presuming they are fans or customers of New Seasons, or any of the other corporate sponsors of FPC.
    and (#82) - Instructive, yes, but not relevant to this story.

    I'm sure if we combined all these off-topic posts, we'd find that Earl Blumenaur and Sam Adams built the illegal Forest Park mountain bike trail in order to distract Robert Liberty, Joe Cortwright and Bob Stacey from derailing the CRC and thereby continuing to support the illegal war in Iraq. I'm not saying that the vitriol towards FPC was or was not warranted, but I am curious why you find it so shocking that there are folks out there who shop at New Seasons and don't support the conclusions generated by the recent panel to which FPC was a party. We live in a world where "conflicts of interest" are a daily occurrence.

    spare_wheel (#79) - That's largely true, and a good reason why everyone should take the effort to learn about their food. As Michael Pollan says, "shake the hand that feeds you". I'd much rather see folks get their meat from Full of Life Farm, Afton Fields Farm, or other providers who feed their animals grass up until slaughter. BTW, Pacific Village and Country Natural Beef are not the same thing. Pacific Village beef is grass finished - Country Natural Beef is not.
    and (#83), re: sustainability - very little food is sustainably produced, and arguably it's not possible to sustainabily feed the world at current population levels. An effective step would be to reduce consumption. Americans eat too many animal products, but to sustainably farm, animals are needed in order to return phosphorus, nitrogen, and other nutrients to the soil. No sense in wasting the meat when those animals are at the end of their lives, but our consumption is far above those levels.

    Of course, that's far off-topic for a bike board, and I think I've contributed enough towards pushing it in that direction. Let's get back to riding bikes!

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  • Duncan October 17, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    "I'm sure if we combined all these off-topic posts, we'd find that Earl Blumenaur and Sam Adams built the illegal Forest Park mountain bike trail in order to distract Robert Liberty, Joe Cortwright and Bob Stacey from derailing the CRC and thereby continuing to support the illegal war in Iraq."

    Best comment line ever!

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  • Duncan October 17, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    78- So the store feels claustrophobic- could it be because it is far smaller than a typical 100K sq foot store? Urban means urban, and that NS is willing to build in tighter spaces means that we have more choices for groceries. duh.

    Oh an the staple racks arent covered.. that is soooo sad. Maybe I should complain about not having covered parking for my car too.

    It is the NW, it rains, your ass will be wet. Get over it.

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  • roger noehren October 18, 2010 at 1:56 am

    Thanks to all the previous posters for such informative and entertaining dialog. I love all the grocery stores for competing to have the best covered bike parking and Peoples for having a plaza instead of a parking lot.
    I find it ironic that one of the best & most notable features of the 7 corners NS is the bioswales collecting all the run off from the roof & parking lot. I especially like the stepping stones (pedestrian) short cut.
    Six cargo bikes outside the Arbor Lodge store! I used to dream about this sort of thing (when Portland had only one cargo bike).
    When I moved to the neighborhood, there was a Food Valu at 7 corners with no bike parking or wholesome food (but there was a laundromat next door), The Whole Foods at 28th & Burnside was also a Food Valu and there was a Kienows at 14th & Belmont plus Safeway & Fred Meyers. The only alternatives were Peoples (half its current size) and the Daily Grind.
    and hardly anyone rode bikes. Progress?

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  • NSM employee October 19, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    spare_wheel

    I gotta say that this discussion over the last week has been an interesting one and has made me examine more critically the relations between management and us worker bees. So far, in the years I've worked for the company, they've kept their promises. They have kept their benefits intact, wages comparable to union jobs in the same industry, and have treated us fairly and taken a keen interest in what we have to say. Last year, in response to a firing that they themselves deemed unustified, they reinstated the employee and instituted a voluntary review program for employee firings. They've hired independent (read: no relationship to NSM at all) assessors to determine whether any employee who requests it has been fired with cause. If the panel rules that the employee shouldn't have been fired, they get their job back. This was in response to something that happened internally (I am not sure of the details), not external pressure. If anything, the past week has made me seek the skeletons you half-convinced me must be there, but I've come out really appreciating what a great employer provides. I talked to a fellow employee who was gushing about the company just yesterday. He said this is the only employer other than the army who's actually taken care of him in his whole working life. I can understand (and applaud) your skepticism, but you're barking up the wrong tree. NSM is a great employer, almost too good to believe (but due to this back-and-forth, I now believe it).

    Thanks again for your thoughts!

    Oh, and I've found that putting a plastic bag over my seat keeps it pretty dry when I can't store my bike inside.

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  • are October 19, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    or wiping it off with the heel of your hand.

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