Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on January 9th, 2014 at 3:25 pm
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)
Last weekend I was a bit miffed when I rolled into my local New Seasons Market and noticed the bike parking at the main front entrance had been completely removed. After years of parking my bike there, it was a case of "Dude, where's my bike parking?!"
About seven or so city-issued blue staple racks had been removed. This is a very busy store and these racks were nearly always at capacity, so I wondered what was up. Now it turns out that — in a not surprising development given their bike-friendliness — New Seasons had a plan all along.
According to New Seasons operations manager Elizabeth Nardi, the company is simply tweaking its bike parking arrangement based on customer feedback and lessons they've learned from their new store on North Williams Avenue. Nardi said customers at the Arbor Lodge Store have requested covered bike parking so New Seasons now has new some covered racks on the west side of the store (on Interstate Avenue).
Nardi didn't say that the racks were removed to make more room for the ever-expanding floral department; but it's clear that the space is needed for store operations and the removal of the racks will alleviate crowding at the front of the store.
But the biggest news for Arbor Lodge New Seasons customers is the new on-street bike corral on Holman and the new entrance and checkout register at the south side of the store. The new bike corral and rear entry is excellent for bicycling customers on many levels: the parking allows people to roll right into a secure staple rack without having to mix with people walking on sidewalks; the use of the rear entry means bike riders don't have to contend with a busy parking lot on the Rosa Parks Way side of the store; and since bike riding customers tend to buy fewer items per trip, they can now grab and go quickly by using the rear entrance and new cash register.
Nardi says New Seasons has more plans to "enliven" the corner of Interstate and Holman, and new chairs and tables are on the way.
While I'd prefer to still have the racks right up front near the main entrance (I'd sometimes leave my 8-year-old next to my bike while I ran in to pick something up, which I'd never do at the new rear entrance), overall it feels like New Seasons has once again demonstrated respect and sensitivity to their bicycling customers.
What do you think of the changes?
Disclaimer: New Seasons Market is a BikePortland advertiser.