(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!?
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.
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.
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!
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.
Thanks for the heads-up. I’ll be sure to avoid this New Seasons!
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.
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.
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.
Just another reason to love New Seasons.
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.
Now, Interstate New Seasons needs more undercover bike parking……….
I’d feel better if the parking was a little more secure for my $5000 bike.
Thank you NS for keeping the Whole Foods presence to a minimum in this town. Kicked em to the curb!
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.
So jealous!! I live next to Safeway… 🙁
my best friend lives 2 blocks from here so we’ve been eagerly awaiting the opening… and neither of us drive a car…
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.
I’ll be handing out free coffee to celebrate the opening of this store.
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.
yay new seasons! their bialys are super tasty
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.
I am super stoked to have one so close now!
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
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)
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
“…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.
@ 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).
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.
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?
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.
tony @ 35
in that case I stand corrected. Good to hear.
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.
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.
“…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.
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!!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“…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.
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.
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.
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.