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New Seasons on Williams Ave pays undisclosed sum for 47 more auto parking spaces

Posted by on April 27th, 2016 at 2:33 pm

Parking at New Seasons on Williams

A sign at New Seasons Market on Williams Avenue.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The costs of “free” parking have been hidden inside the price of almost everything we buy, but it’s rare to see an example as straightforward as this one.

The New Seasons Market on Williams Avenue, which like virtually every grocery store in the city doesn’t charge you to park a car on their property, recently started renting 47 parking spaces from an apartment building across Ivy Street that charges $175 a month for resident parking.

New Seasons won’t disclose what it’s paying to rent the new spaces — “we keep our real estate transactions confidential,” spokeswoman Mea Irving said Wednesday — but if they were paying the same $175 per month as residents, those 47 spaces would cost $98,700 a year.

They’ll bring the total to 102 auto parking spaces and 112 bike parking spaces for the 30,000-square-foot store, all of them nominally free to use.

“The amount of parking spaces we’ll have at this store with these additional spots is in line with the amount of parking that we offer at our other locations,” Irving said.

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Parking at New Seasons on Williams

New Seasons occupies a one-story building on NE Fremont between Williams and Vancouver.
parking at new seasons

Across from the entrace of New Seasons are the new Cook Street Apartments — and a banner announcing the new parking spaces.

That’s an impressive amount of bike parking for a grocery store anywhere, and Portland-based New Seasons is better than most U.S. grocers in avoiding excess amounts of auto parking. Also, it’s likely that if New Seasons hadn’t shelled out for the overflow parking space, it would have faced a political pressure from its neighbors. People would simply park cars on nearby streets, as many do for Zupan’s Market on Southeast Belmont (about 30 on-site auto parking spaces, shared with the apartments upstairs) or Trader Joe’s on Northwest Glisan (about 40 on-site auto parking spaces).

The only way New Seasons could avoid building its parking costs into the price of its groceries would be to charge people for parking — that’d discourage more people from driving there unless they really needed to. But paid parking isn’t really an option for New Seasons, because the City of Portland offers free parking on all the surrounding streets; even more people would spill into the surrounding area.

Zupan’s and Trader Joe’s are proof that the grocery business doesn’t collapse if customers have to walk a little ways to a car trunk. But when it comes to charging for car parking, grocery stores’ hands have been tied by a city that refuses to charge for use of public space along its curbs. Every other outcome — including a few unnecessary cents on every grocery bill — flows from there.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

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213 Comments
  • bdlandoe April 27, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    I’m waiting for a grocery store to give a true-cost discount to those who don’t drive to their store. Right now, every customer is paying for the cost of those parking spots. At least Green Zebra gives something like 5-cents off.

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    • Eric Leifsdad April 27, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      How would they validate that? Maybe someone helps you load your bike. Dealing with cart+bike+kids is a hassle.

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      • Eric Leifsdad April 27, 2016 at 3:28 pm

        Bagger helps you load your bike and hands you a quarter? Keep it simple, like the nickel refund per bag.

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  • Bjorn April 27, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Of course the real message here is that again because the city refuses to charge for on street parking in the area that the apartment building was unable to recoup the costs of building parking spaces that the city requires them to have since they were all sitting empty while residents either went without a car or parked it on the street. The obvious solution is to allow neighborhoods the local control to decide between allowing apartments to be built without parking, or adding meters to their streets and requiring onsite parking for new buildings.

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    • todd boulanger April 27, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      Yes the City by offering “free” on-street parking becomes the loss-leader item that other [parking] providers have to compete against.

      Perhaps New Seasons should provide a 1/2 gallon of milk/ or latte free for each cyclist or walker buying $x dollars of groceries…or validate a return transit ticket…much as the old Meyer & Frank used to do for transit riders.

      When Whole Foods moved into the Pearl – I made a similar request for transit validation and they said no-thanks.

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      • todd boulanger April 27, 2016 at 3:32 pm

        A similar comment about anti-free market practices was made at a recent City of Vancouver (WA) meeting of their Downtown Redevelopment Committee when two developers on the committee mentioned that the City’s below market rates for paid parking were making it very hard for the private sector to finance structured parking without seeking subsidies AND to also charge a market rate the would recoup these upfront costs and maintenance costs.

        [Historically the CoV has paid for the construction and operation of the structured parking in the downtown over the last 25 years…though it is in the process of ‘unwinding’ these “[un]profit-centres’.

        This public discussion came up as the Killian group opened The Hudson Project and was requesting ‘control’ of the majority of the public structured parking near by.]

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      • Gary Indiana April 27, 2016 at 11:47 pm

        tb,
        Start a store and give away milk and stuff to cyclists. See how long you stay in business.

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        • Todd Boulanger April 28, 2016 at 3:10 pm

          I will let them decide the details… if a loss leader item or a nominal parking fee (aka “bag fee”) is how they they choose to act that better reflects the impact of the high proportion of car parking and car trips generated by each of their stores. The point is they have not let pulled the trigger on such…

          Remember not too long ago most supermarkets thought the world would end if they charged for shopping bags or did not give free bags away.

          NS policy: “New Seasons Market’s goal … be sustainable to the core by keeping their footprint small and gentle on the earth.”
          https://www.bcorporation.net/community/new-seasons-market

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          • David April 28, 2016 at 3:11 pm

            If they charged a parking fee, watch their business evaporate. People are that cheap.

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    • wsbob April 27, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      New Seasons renting parking space from the apartment building, sounds like a good deal for everyone. The apartment building renting out parking spaces its tenants don’t have need of at present, allows the apartment building’s owners to reduce some of their overhead.

      If at some point in future, there is an increase in tenants needing on site parking, the building can revise its rental arrangement with New Seasons, or whoever else it may eventually find itself renting parking spaces to. Also, with this arrangement, New Seasons reduces the barren asphalt wasteland look that exists during stores’ off hours. Looks like the apartment building may have at least some underground parking…costs more to build, but doesn’t use valuable surface land.

      It’s expensive to shop at New Seasons. People with the budget to shop there, should have no problem with a little more figured into their bill in order for the store to provide adequate parking for people that have to drive. People, including myself, that don’t have the budget to shop at this store, can save a bunch of money by shopping instead, at for example, Fred Meyer, Winco, or Costco…and get complimentary on site parking with the deal.

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      • Alex Reedin April 28, 2016 at 9:31 am

        And when we walk, bike, or take transit to low-cost stores like WinCo, we still get to pay for the parking spaces of those who drive there. How is that fair?

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        • wsbob April 28, 2016 at 10:55 am

          How fair it is for people to be sharing the cost in their purchases, from complimentary car parking spaces offered at businesses they patronize, is something to think about.

          I think that in many areas today, complimentary parking is a business reality that’s key to the viability of the business. For example, Winco…far more than simply a ‘low cost’ grocer seems to be very successful. It’s success, while offering groceries at very competitive prices, is likely due in some part to the business offering lots of parking at cost separate from the price of the groceries they buy, for people traveling to the store by motor vehicle.

          Seems to me a fair guess that most people shopping at the store, and the others I mentioned, but that don’t use its complimentary parking, mind very little, if at all that the store’s cost of providing complimentary parking, ultimately figures to some extent, into what they pay for groceries at the store. Why? Again, price of groceries at the store is very fair, very competitive, and the service is very good.

          Myself as an example…I sometimes walk or bike to Winco and New Seasons (both grocers in the same big mall on Cedar Hills Blvd in Beaverton.). I don’t mind an unspecified amount figured into the cost of groceries I buy there, for parking I’m not using at a particular shopping visit, because on another visit, I may be in need of using the parking…and I don’t want the imposition of an additional, specific amount for parking tacked onto the grocery bill.

          When it’s ‘business’ involved, it’s stretching idealism a bit to say that store’s complimentary parking is ‘community parking’, but I consider to some extent, the parking offered, to be something on that order, and I don’t mind paying for it as someone that doesn’t necessarily use the parking every time I shop at the store. Plenty of my family and friends can’t as I do, walk or bike to the store. If the stores can offer complimentary parking, and still have great prices and service…I’m glad to be paying a little more so the store can offer that parking.

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          • wsbob April 29, 2016 at 1:12 am

            Looks like a correction is in order. Should be:

            “…Its success, while offering groceries at very competitive prices, is likely due in some part to the business offering lots of parking, at a cost that’s not separate from the price of the groceries they buy, for people traveling to the store by motor vehicle. …”

            Complimentary parking is part of the whole carefree shopping experience. As such, complimentary parking is a definite part of what can help businesses be successful. That New Seasons, for the size of that store, has 120 parking spots for bikes, is kind of amazing. I want to hope that the bike parking spots see a percentage of use that at least equals the percentage of use of the on site car parking spots. Any figures available that indicate what the comparative use is?

            As a mode of travel and transport, from a practical standpoint, I think it’s a tall order, to somehow have people choose a bike to do their grocery shopping, if they have ready access to a motor vehicle. Bike travel and its limited transport capability, in extremes of weather, and adversity of motor vehicle traffic…has the sybaritic comforts, and capacious cargo capacity of personal cars to compete with. Making routes for bike travel from within neighborhoods, to the stores, very inviting…could be key to countering some of the inherent advantage motor vehicle travel has over bike travel.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 28, 2016 at 11:32 am

          What is fair is that a business internalize as many of their external costs as possible. If a store can get by with less parking (because they incent their customers to come by bike, for example), they can lower their costs and, if they choose, pass those savings on to their customers to get a bit of a competitive edge.

          In this case, New Seasons obviously concluded that they needed to provide the extra parking. It is unclear if they will eat the costs, pass it on to customers at that store, or perhaps raise prices at all their stores to pay for it. I’d be shocked if renting the parking was the only solution they considered, but it appears to be the one they thought would work best for them.

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        • Alex Reedin April 28, 2016 at 12:03 pm

          What would be fair (or really, economically efficient – fair is more of a moral judgment and not so accurate, I now realize) would be for each business AND PERSON to internalize as much of their external costs as possible. In this case, it would mean that people who arrive by car pay for parking* rather than that cost being distributed among the whole customer base.

          *Yes, in theory, it would also mean that people who arrive by bike pay for parking. But based on the small footprint of bikes, the amount would be a pittance, and might not even cover the costs of collecting it, in which case why bother?

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty April 28, 2016 at 12:16 pm

            I think the best way to help internalize the cost of driving is to increase the gas tax (or, better, introduce a carbon tax), and that as people drove less, stores could re-purpose their parking areas for more productive use. We need system-wide change to address this problem.

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            • Alex Reedin April 28, 2016 at 2:36 pm

              The gas tax / carbon tax addresses the cost of driving. Charging for parking addresses the cost parking (businesses acquiring a bunch of extra land, grading it, paving it, and maintaining it so that some of their customers can park there.)

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 28, 2016 at 2:44 pm

                Off-street parking is already paid for; it is up to the business whether and how to pass those costs on to its customers.

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              • Alex Reedin April 28, 2016 at 3:31 pm

                Hm, I think you’re right, this doesn’t seem like an issue that’s likely to go anywhere anytime soon. And, it’s possible to reduce car use without charging for parking at supermarkets: http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2014/09/does-free-car-parking-make-people-drive.html

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        • Mao April 30, 2016 at 4:30 pm

          I’m already not paying for gas. Makes me happy enough

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      • wsbob April 28, 2016 at 2:51 pm

        Correction:

        I missed fully grasping, yesterday, David’s mention that the parking spaces NS was renting from the neighboring apartment building, were commercial parking spaces provided to serve commercial space the apartment building apparently has to offer.

        He goes on to say that NS leased all that commercial space and its parking, and possibly intends to sub-lease it to businesses that would use the parking during the day, thus leaving the commercial parking spaces open and available to NS customers after say, 9-5 business hours…if that makes sense.

        http://bikeportland.org/2016/04/27/williams-avenue-grocer-spends-on-47-more-auto-parking-spaces-181747#comment-6655497

        http://bikeportland.org/2016/04/27/williams-avenue-grocer-spends-on-47-more-auto-parking-spaces-181747#comment-6655852

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      • Matt Meskill April 28, 2016 at 3:51 pm

        I think you miss the point. Why should I pay for others to drive to New Seasons?

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 28, 2016 at 3:52 pm

          Do you pay for others to drive to New Seasons? I think that is very much an open question.

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  • Allan April 27, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    This may end up discouraging retailers from wanting spaces in the newly constructed building – cook street apartments (current occupancy 0 people or stores despite being under construction for 2 years)

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  • David Hampsten, now in Greensboro NC April 27, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    My take-away is that PBOT ought to have a city-wide parking permit program of at least $175/month per space or per registered car. Then we would need the gas tax revenue vote at all.

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    • lop April 27, 2016 at 10:20 pm

      Cut it to $27 a month and you’d be able to cover the $120 million a year I’ve seen floated as the unmet need.

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    • Gary Indiana April 27, 2016 at 11:50 pm

      DH, n I G NC,

      YES! THIS!

      Put in that $175 fee and I can guarantee that not one person who works in city hall today will be working there after the next election. YES!!!!!

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    • wileysiren April 28, 2016 at 10:55 am

      NO WAY – what about all the folks that don’t have that kind of cash that depend on their cars to get to work, get to school… ?

      That pie-in-the-sky thinking is why nothing ever gets done in this City.

      I have a FT job and bike to work / gym / athletics and I still own a car for the trips to warehouse stores where I can stock up on cheap bulk items. I cannot afford $175 / month to park on my street.

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    • daisy April 28, 2016 at 11:49 am

      Right, let’s tell the few remaining poor and working class residents in the Boise and Eliot neighborhoods that they now need to pay $2100/year to park on their streets so rich people can go to New Seasons.

      This neighborhood — and the parking situation — has changed dramatically in a very short time. As a relative newcomer who moved to the neighborhood because of the diversity, the last thing I want is to create policies that will push out long-time residents even more. That’s happening quickly enough; we need to stop that, not accelerate it.

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      • dan April 29, 2016 at 6:59 am

        As a newcomer, did your moving into the neighborhood push out a long-time resident? And now that you’ve got your spot in the neighborhood you don’t want any *more* changes?

        That’s kind of the crux of many of these threads- We came here for the old school Portland vibe, which we love, and we’ll love it even more once we turn it into Vancouver, BC, Seattle or NYC.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 29, 2016 at 8:12 am

          How does one person “push” another out of a neighborhood?

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          • 9watts April 29, 2016 at 8:14 am

            $$
            Or better yet
            $$$$

            Works every time.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty April 29, 2016 at 8:19 am

              One person leaves, and another takes their place. What makes this natural cycle turn into “pushing”? By the time the “pusher” has entered the picture, the “pushee” is long gone.

              I don’t like this language because it implies both intent and causation, neither of which I think are present.

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              • 9watts April 29, 2016 at 8:34 am

                “I don’t like this language because it implies both intent and causation”

                No. There’s no more intent here than there is in a crash where someone in a car kills someone on a bike or on foot. But the probabilities are pretty clear. Someone with money is well positioned to disrupt the real estate situation; someone with little money never will.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 29, 2016 at 8:45 am

                Ok, so we’ve eliminated intent.

                When I studied philosophy, we were told that one of the criteria for causation is that the cause event must precede the effect. In this case, the “pushee” has left the scene well before the “pusher” arrives. At worst case, the landlord raises rents in anticipation that a “pusher” may later arrive, causing the “pushee” to leave, but that is not caused by or the fault of the “pusher,” who may or may not even exist. In many cases, the “pushee” leaves for their own reasons, the landlord paints the apartment and doubles the rent. In this case, causation is even more specious.

                This is very different from your driving example, where the driver has to be real, and has to take actions that lead to the crash. In the rental example, the “pusher” may only exist in a landlord’s imagination.

                Or are you suggesting that is it somehow unethical for a person to pay more than $X for rent in a certain neighborhood?

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              • 9watts April 29, 2016 at 8:52 am

                I thought we were talking (we tend to think in term of) conversions from (older) rentals to (new,) large houses that are sold. Not that it matters a whole lot either way, but the sequence is pretty clear (and collective): People read the NYT, watch Portlandia, follow their kids or grandkids and all end up looking for some place to live/buy here in our metro area. Landlords with their finger to the winds smell opportunity and kick their tenants out/sell/raze/etc. The money of the not-yet-quite-arrived kicks out the non-money of the still-barely-here.

                You see this as an individual pair (kicker, kickee) whereas I see the pairs as representative of their respective, and very real, demographics.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 29, 2016 at 9:01 am

                I don’t deny the broader dynamic you’ve identified, but that supports my criticism of dan’s use of the word “push” to describe daisy moving to her current neighborhood. Unless the circumstances were unusual, she did not push anyone out.

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              • dan April 29, 2016 at 9:40 am

                I guess it depends on why the long-time resident left- inability to afford the ever increasing costs to live in the neighborhood? The increasing rents in the immediate area putting more pressure on the landlord to match market rates? Not being able to buy in the area?

                So, yes, I do think it’s possible. An influx of new Portlanders with the ability to afford higher rents are definitely pushing existing Portlanders further out.

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    • Mike April 29, 2016 at 7:37 am

      Yeah, stick it to those darn motorists. The fact that you got so many thumbs up on a ridiculous proposal speaks volumes. Do you think someone just scraping by could afford such a fee? Perhaps you should worry about what is going on in NC

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      • 9watts April 29, 2016 at 7:52 am

        “Yeah, stick it to those darn motorists.”

        Can we take a moment to consider not just the shortest term impact of this kind of a proposal but the longer term, how we got into this mess in the first place?

        “The fact that you got so many thumbs up on a ridiculous proposal speaks volumes. Do you think someone just scraping by could afford such a fee?”

        Have you thought about how this sort of problem is avoided or handled in other countries, countries whose good ideas and solutions to such problems we could emulate if we bothered to notice their ideas instead of shouting down others. If we were to implement the idea you are excoriating here overnight and did nothing else of course this would create hardships, but I don’t think anyone is actually proposing to do this. It was what we might call a thought experiment. Those can be useful if they are appreciated as that, rather than fully fledged proposals, take-it-or-leave-it ballot measures, or city council resolutions that can’t be debated or tweaked.

        We need less shouting and more listening.

        I’d encourage you to study the chart and description below. The basic idea underlying it, and I think the thought experiment you didn’t appreciate is that any intervention we might come up with is going to have dynamic effects, change the terms of debate, reveal alternatives, new solutions that either didn’t exist before or about which we weren’t aware. I’ve copied these here numerous times, and keep doing so because the lessons I take from it are still pertinent to conversations like this. You can think of the gas price discussion and the parking costs discussion as analogous.

        * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

        from Grist: http://grist.org/climate-energy/why-we-should-raise-the-gas-tax-and-why-we-wont/

        “There is a counterintuitive relationship between gas prices and the burden they place on the average citizen’s finances: The more gas costs, the less gas people buy, and so the less they are weighed down by gas costs. Just look at this chart, courtesy of Bloomberg, which shows that the U.S. has the world’s 50th highest gasoline prices, $3.66 per gallon in September, but the fifth highest proportion of annual income spent on gas purchases. Those rankings are almost exactly reversed in European countries with high gas taxes. The Netherlands has the world’s third highest gas price, $8.89 per gallon, but the 34th highest proportion of income spent on gasoline. Italy ranks fourth highest in gas prices, $8.61 per gallon, and 38th in proportional spending on gas. Gas taxes in Italy and the Netherlands, like most of Europe, are about 10 times higher than those in the U.S. Furthermore, in a country such as Norway, where gas currently costs $10.08 per gallon, that revenue comes back to the public in the form of government programs, such as free college tuition. Lower gas consumption also means better local air quality and reduced greenhouse emissions, and more exercise and less obesity among the populace.”

        And here’s the chart from Bloomberg:
        http://www.bloomberg.com/visual-data/gas-prices/

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    • q April 30, 2016 at 5:51 pm

      $175/month per space or per vehicle is $2100/yr. If applied to spaces, would it apply to all spaces on private property, including dwellings? If cars, does that mean someone like me, who drives a couple times per week (and then often because it’s required for business) pays the same as the guy who drives 10x more? The most likely result of anything like that would be mutiny by taxpayers, and more people deciding to move out of Portland and drive in when they needed to.

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  • Paul Manson April 27, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    This is a lose-lose on the on-street issue. No way on-street parking meters fit into the history of the neighborhood. Would ignite a political backlash (and rightfully so). Other neighborhoods it would be a different story.

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    • todd boulanger April 27, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      Meters may have been on these streets before or after the war…as many cities in this region added parking meters to manage the explosion of parking demand and traffic circling for parking. (I have not researched this district in question.)

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    • Chris I April 27, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      History should not be considered. This is a problem that requires a scientific approach. Too much demand for street parking means that it is under-priced. Giving free parking away in high-demand areas hurts everyone, regardless of their background or history.

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      • 9watts April 27, 2016 at 9:42 pm

        “History should not be considered.”

        Now that is a winning formula.

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        • A.H. April 27, 2016 at 10:22 pm

          “Don’t bring change because change hasn’t been brought” seems a little hyper-conservative, no?

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          • 9watts April 28, 2016 at 9:44 am

            Did anyone suggest that? No.
            I didn’t say History always and forever should trump Science or Public Process or People. I was just criticizing the prior commenter who dismissed history categorically.

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  • David April 27, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    There are some misinformation here.
    – New Season rented all of the commercial space in the apartment building, that’s how they got the parking spots. Depending on what they do with that commercial space, they make or may not make out well on this deal
    – They admit to have originally underbuilt parking for this store. It turned out to be much more popular than they anticipated. I might be wrong here but I have heard that this is the highest grossing store in the chain
    – Trader Joes on Glisan serves a much more dense neighborhood that leaves even fewer options for residents to park. Williams may become just as dense or more so in the future but comparing the two stores is a little bit misleading.
    – I hear the Zupans on Belmont has never done that well. A little rich for the ‘hood.

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
      Michael Andersen (News Editor) April 27, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      Assuming that’s true, that’s a noteworthy addition (and it’s not something New Seasons mentioned when we asked them). For the moment, in any case, the parking spaces are being used by grocery customers. And I guarantee that the Cook Street Apartments developer is building the cost of that parking into whatever they’re charging New Seasons for space in the building.

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    • KidcrashSnack April 27, 2016 at 5:44 pm

      The real urban star among grocery chains in Portland is the New Seasons on Hawthorne: a great bike parking facility for employees, only 27 parking spaces efficiently placed on the roof (significantly cheaper than building underground) and great people working there. Wouldn’t be surprised if they had the highest percentage of commuters in the chain, too.

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      • KidcrashSnack April 28, 2016 at 9:18 am

        *bike commuters

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      • David April 28, 2016 at 9:35 am

        I know a little bit of the inside story on that store. It was super expensive to build. They originally didn’t want to have onsite parking but the bankers wouldn’t issue a loan to build it unless it had parking. At the time, they vowed to never do that again.

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  • Maxadders April 27, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Ask the shoppers using those parking spots if they live a “low-car lifestyle”…. and most will likely agree, emphatically.

    Then ask the apartment building residents who are parking on the street to save themselves $175/mo, and guess what? Same answer.

    Portland: we’re Virtually Sustainable™!

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  • Bike Guy April 27, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Maybe the take-away message is just that NS needed more parking spots for their customers? What are we tagging it with, exactly?

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
      Michael Andersen (News Editor) April 27, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      The point isn’t to criticize New Seasons — like the post says, they’re trying to make the best of the bad situation that results from the city offering free parking almost everywhere, which forces everyone else to offer it too, which leads to a lot more driving.

      Also, if it were more comfortable to bike to New Seasons or if the transit service were better, there would be less need for new car parking spaces. Avoiding the need to have those extra parking spaces is exactly how transportation investments ripple through the economy.

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      • kiel johnson
        kiel johnson April 27, 2016 at 4:13 pm

        Because of this you would hope that New Seasons would be actively and loudly advocating for better citywide management of auto parking on city streets.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty April 28, 2016 at 11:39 am

        No grocery store charges for parking, regardless of how much the surrounding on-street parking costs. Even in Europe, store parking is free.

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        • David April 28, 2016 at 11:43 am

          Costco in Vancouver BC charges for parking.

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      • lop April 28, 2016 at 4:02 pm

        If the city charged for parking on the nearby streets then New Seasons would have to charge for parking to keep people who live in the area from using their free parking spots. It doesn’t mean they would find it good for business to charge their customers, they’d just be saddled with the cost of keeping non customers from using their lot. Think Legacy in NW, Whole Foods in the Pearl.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 28, 2016 at 4:06 pm

          My understanding is that this cost is typically outsourced to towing companies, who recover it from those who get towed.

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  • biker April 27, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    $175/mo.=about $6/day. Assuming most of the parking is for peak shopping periods and only about 6 cars use it a day. That’s $1 per car. So how about New Seasons gives every biker that shows a helmet at the register $1 off a minimum $10 purchase.

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    • Middle of the Road guy April 28, 2016 at 9:11 am

      Or they could charge cyclists for parking, also…to even things out.

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  • Spiffy April 27, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    I’m unsure why New Seasons is doing so well… I tried using them for a while but I found that Fred Meyer had all the same things at a lower cost…

    also, when I drive to Fred Meyer on Hawthorne/39th I sometimes have to park on the street due to the store being so popular… luckily I don’t drive there very often…

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    • 9watts April 27, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      Fred Meyer = Kroger. Lower cost comes from scale and (I think) lower wages for their employees.
      New Seasons isn’t cheap, but our historic obsession with cheap food in this country has gotten us into a world of trouble.

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      • lop April 27, 2016 at 10:24 pm

        http://www.oregonlive.com/window-shop/index.ssf/2015/09/new_seasons_minimum_wage.html

        Does Fred Meyer really pay their employees less? It’s not like New Seasons pays their employees all that well.

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        • Gary Indiana April 28, 2016 at 12:00 am

          Hillary pays women something like 72 cents for each dollar men make. It’s shocking!

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        • 9watts April 28, 2016 at 7:26 am

          You may be right and they don’t pay their workers more. I did think that New Seasons offered health insurance to all its workers which I don’t think is industry practice.

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        • David April 28, 2016 at 9:33 am

          A group in Seattle is trying to block NS from opening a store due to their non-union and anti labor stance.

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    • eddie April 28, 2016 at 5:46 am

      New Seasons does well for me because I do all my errands by bike, and it’s location on Williams is well placed for people cycling between NE Portland and downtown / SE Portland. Fred Meyer, Safeway, etc. aren’t on any decent bike routes, they’re located on streets like Interstate and MLK which suck for biking.

      Since from what I can tell on your post you’re a car driver it isn’t a big deal for you to go to Fred Meyer as it is an easily car accessible location, but if you chose to use a bicycle you’d quickly see that a few blocks make a big difference.

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  • rick April 27, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Then support The Little Store on SW 90th Ave.

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  • JeffS April 27, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    I often struggle with the idea of selective paid parking. Specifically, why some people should have to pay for the resource while others get it for free.

    Paid parking always seems to have some punitive aspect to it. Downtown residents trying to discourage commuters; east side house residents trying to discourage condo parking, etc.

    I understand the need to manage high demand areas, but it doesn’t change the fact that we’re still giving parking away to some people and making others pay. Do we say that’s an extra price you pay for your location choice? I think this serves to feed the resentment that many long-term residents have towards density, as many of those people are “victims” of density they didn’t buy into.

    I don’t own a car currently, so it’s all theoretical for me. I’m inclined to say that everyone, or no one, should pay for all street parking.

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    • Gary Indiana April 28, 2016 at 12:02 am

      I’ve wasted quite a bit of gas, and my car has belched a few tons of CO2 while I drove around looking for free parking. Usually found it too. 😉

      That’s one price of paid parking – more CO2 belching.

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      • Middle of the Road guy April 28, 2016 at 9:13 am

        Except that that gas has been paid for, also.

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        • Gary Indiana April 28, 2016 at 3:18 pm

          The wasted gas was cheaper than the paid parking.

          😉

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    • Eric April 28, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      Everyone should pay for on-street parking.

      There should be less on-street parking.

      If neighborhoods are concerned about a lack of on-street parking, they can request a PPP be implemented in their area. If parking is still an issue even after that, then they can request metered parking for non-permit holders.

      Parking induces driving. You will never be able to build enough parking in a city for all the driving it will induce–and if you try, you kill the city. You only need to look at Detroit, Columbus, St. Louis, Oklahoma City, etc. etc. etc. to see that this is true.

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  • 9watts April 27, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    I will say that the sign which appears in your photo above is a real throwback. The language, the cute car cartoons, everything about it evokes suburbia to me.
    I’m a long time antagonist when it comes to New Seasons and their car parking policy. I think they are missing real opportunities every time they build more or in this case commission cute signs announcing relief: make a carfree pitch; offer incentives as others have pointed out, appeal to your customers to suggest solutions, make it fun and participatory. Do a survey, publish the results. DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING other than the usual, boring, copout: add more car parking.

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    • Gary Indiana April 28, 2016 at 12:06 am

      9w,
      Start a store with no car parking. It’s almost a free country.
      Let us know when the grand opening will be so we can ride down and pick up a 1/2 bag of groceries on our bikes – but only if it isn’t too rainy, cold, or hot. You better have covered bike parking too and a discount for all cyclists, maybe even a free 1/2 gallon of milk.

      🙂

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      • 9watts April 28, 2016 at 7:32 am

        Stores—even grocery stores—with no off street car parking exist in many places in the US and everywhere in other less-car-dependent countries.

        I understand New Seasons’ conservative approach to car parking, and John Liu’s calculation above makes it abundantly clear, but that doesn’t mean I can’t and won’t lament this antiquated, and myopic mindset that is the chief reason we’re still stuck with people driving everywhere. I suspect you probably don’t care what happens to those people who follow your and New Seasons’ lead in this almost free country when we can abruptly no longer buy cheap gas and drive everywhere with abandon, but I do. I take no pleasure in seeing us heading full steam for a transportational reckoning.

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      • Eric April 28, 2016 at 1:35 pm

        Are you trying to argue that people don’t do grocery shopping without a car?

        I lived in New York for almost 20 years and did my grocery shopping by car maybe twice. Yes, in all kinds of weather–snow, cold, boiling heat. Of course it helped that I had a grocery store a 5-minute walk from my apartment. Now that I live here, I still make the 10-minute walk to my local Safeway to do my shopping.

        I really don’t get this weird obsession with grocery shopping. It’s not hard to do it sans-car. At all. And if you’re not within a 10-minute walk of a store, then get on a bike–I bet you’re within a 10-minute ride of a store.

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        • Gary Indiana April 28, 2016 at 3:16 pm

          Eric,
          Obviously, that’s not what I’m arguing. I’m saying to those who are moaning and whining about adding car parking places to put their money where their mouth is: start your own store with few, or no, car parking places. See how it works out. The whole premise of whining about a few car parking places is childish and naïve – it’s laughable. We drive cars in this country – it isn’t the job of a grocery store to try and steer the transportation habits of an entire society.

          9,
          We’ll figure out how to deal with increasing gasoline prices when they occur – people WILL change their habits when they need to. We can cut our fuel consumption by 1/3 in a few days just by carpooling if we decide we want to do that. At that point, fuel prices will fall again.

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          • 9watts April 28, 2016 at 3:33 pm

            “We can cut our fuel consumption by 1/3 in a few days just by carpooling if we decide we want to do that. At that point, fuel prices will fall again.”

            Oh, is that how it will work?
            Thanks.

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          • 9watts April 29, 2016 at 8:03 am

            “We drive cars in this country – it isn’t the job of a grocery store to try and steer the transportation habits of an entire society. ”

            Thanks for putting it so succinctly. This is exactly where we disagree.

            (a) Why do we drive cars in this country? Any guesses how that situation came to be? I have a few. And it wasn’t and isn’t all about the free market as you seem to think.

            (b) Whose job is it to come to terms with this juggernaut, this dependency we’ve created for ourselves and which we now need to find a way out of? Is it New Seasons’ sole responsibility to change the transportation habits of the entire society, as you facetiously put it? Of course not. But they do have an opportunity here to nudge, experiment, explore this issue. They’re obviously any more interested in exploring this line of thinking than you are. But that is what I am lamenting. Why wouldn’t they?

            Did you know that “New Seasons Market is the first and only grocery store on the planet to achieve B Corp certification”?

            “Since the day they welcomed the first customer through their doors, New Seasons Market’s goal was to build community, champion the regional food economy, and be sustainable to the core by keeping their footprint small and gentle on the earth.
            Their neighborhood stores aren’t just about groceries. They’re about community. New Seasons Market loves their customers, vendors, and farmers. They care deeply about their relationships…”

            https://www.bcorporation.net/community/new-seasons-market

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  • gl. April 27, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    I don’t understand why they’ve built a parking lot next to the store, anyway, instead of adding parking above/below. It’s not good density policy.

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    • David April 28, 2016 at 9:32 am

      $$$. Building parking above or below a store drives up the construction costs substantially. Bet they get scared when they saw the numbers involved.

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      • gl. April 28, 2016 at 5:48 pm

        they have other stores with upper/lower parking, though. how can it be cheaper to buy land next door that doesn’t have anything else on it — or to lease spaces from elsewhere? seems short-sighted.

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        • q April 28, 2016 at 6:02 pm

          Leasing could make a lot of sense. As others have said, building parking above or below is expensive. And as the density in the area increases, and more customers are able to walk or bike, then the store can quit leasing them, as they’ll have plenty of customers who don’t need parking. Or, maybe at that point the parking lot gets redeveloped, and includes structured parking if the store still feels it needs it.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu April 27, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Michael, why do you think that because New Seasons has some expense to rent these spaces, their prices are higher than if they did not have that expense?

    Given the way businesses work, that is not a claim I would make.

    The most important thing for a grocery store is to have many customers (high “traffic”) each buying a substantial amount (high “ticket”). That is far, far more important than small items of operating expense.

    Here is the back of envelope calculation. Suppose New Seasons actually did pay $100,000/yr to rent those 47 spaces, as you said (that seems unlikely). That is an additional $100K/year of operating expense. How much additional sales and customers is necessary, to break even (to pay for) that additional opex? Typical gross margin for a high end grocer is 35% (using Whole Foods as an example). So New Seasons needs to get increased sales of at least $100,000 / 0.35 = $286,000/yr. $286,000/yr from 47 more parking spaces means each space has to generate $6,100/yr of sales, or $17/day, or about $1.40/hour. That is, to put it mildly, a no-brainer; New Seasons is certainly doing far, far better than breakeven on the expense for these parking spaces.

    Notice that the above does not require New Seasons to raise prices at all. There’s no price increase in the calculations.

    Therefore, that’s is no reason to conclude that New Seasons has to increase its prices to pay for these 47 additional spaces.

    Unless – are you claiming (or assuming) that having 47 additional parking spaces doesn’t bring New Seasons any additional customers or additional sales? That customers are just as happy to hunt for street parking and carry grocery bags for blocks, as to simply park in the store’s lot; or that a customer will buy as many bags of groceries if they will have to carry them three blocks to their car, as if they can simply roll their loaded shopping cart to their car in the store lot? I’m sure you don’t think that!

    Nope. Adding 47 more parking spaces to New Seasons on Williams may have various effects, either good or bad – but it won’t cause New Seasons to raise its prices.

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    • Gary Indiana April 27, 2016 at 11:43 pm

      I like that calculation.
      I used to work for a company with billions in sales annually. Their income was a few million. Income worked out to something like 2 or 3% of sales. I was amazed how small the income was compared to sales. Lots of competition so they had to keep it lean.

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    • 9watts April 28, 2016 at 7:26 am

      That is some great math there, John. Thanks!

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    • eawrist April 28, 2016 at 7:48 am

      It’s an interesting point you raised. I understand your economist reasoning to be essentially: since 100k is a essentially a negligible amount for getting so many more customers, the revenue from these customers would cause NS to not need to raise prices.

      Based on prior evidence (admittedly only one study as far as I know),

      http://bikeportland.org/2012/07/06/study-shows-biking-customers-spend-more-74357

      we can assume that given equal access to the store by bike and by car, people on bike will buy less per trip, but more overall based on frequency of visit. It stands to reason that had NS invested the money they already put into bike staples instead into more car parking, they would actually have lost money.

      By making this decision NS is essentially making sure they can retain the n number of people that would choose somewhere else to shop because of ANY parking deficits. In doing so they are tailoring (cementing) their store as x% car shopper. In like manner, they did the same for people who bike, making sure there is ample bike parking (I assume). So they are essentially reflecting the market right?

      But here’s the big problem. Almost any n number of people who would have driven elsewhere, will now go to NS. Almost anyone who would have biked or bussed because of a lack of auto parking, will drive. This ensures that whoever CAN drive there, WILL. Based on evidence of who drives

      http://bikeportland.org/2016/01/25/low-income-households-drive-much-less-than-high-income-households-173261

      we know that the more a store aims its products at people who drive, the higher income these people will be. Is it logical to assume that, based on the target customer base, this will lead to higher prices? Since more people are driving there will this increase the demand/cost of car parking? Might this also lead to higher prices?

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      • John Liu
        John Liu April 28, 2016 at 9:26 am

        Not sure if we have enough evidence to support that hypothesis.

        The difference in annual driving between high and low income households is really only significant if you compare the extremes: >$100K income to <$20K and <$40K income. What percentage of New Seasons' customers make <$20K/household (and how can they afford to shop there?)

        The data doesn't show what sort of driving the lowest income group does less of. Driving to the grocery store, or driving to the ski cabin?

        Even if your customer base can afford higher prices, does it make business sense to raise prices? Maybe it is better to lower prices and get more unit sales, depends on elasticity of demand and local competition.

        My concern, or interest, in New Seasons' additional parking spaces isn't that it will cause their prices to increase, but that it will cause increased car traffic to/from the store and increased potential of accidents with cyclists. However, New Seasons has, I think, been pretty good about putting up additional signage reminding drivers to watch for bikes.

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        • eawrist April 28, 2016 at 10:39 am

          I suppose there is a lack of evidence. While I agree that NS has done some fairly helpful things in terms of bike parking and ped access IMO, this decision supports my doubt of their sincerity in doing what is best for the community and not simply what increases profits.

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    • David April 28, 2016 at 9:25 am

      You are missing a big point. That is NS has the right to lease out the commercial spaces. In this hot market, they could end up making a nice profit on this. So let’s not assume at this time that the parking is an expense.

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
      Michael Andersen (News Editor) April 28, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      John, I have to agree – these are excellent points. I will think about them.

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      • Chris April 28, 2016 at 1:02 pm

        It’s true that the operating cost of the increased parking will be more than covered by additional revenue from those using the spaces (therefore resulting in no overall increase in price), but that’s not the point. The point is that those who elect not to drive are paying a disproportionate share of that operating expense and therefore effectively subsidizing those who use auto parking.

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    • soren April 28, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      each space has to generate $6,100/yr of sales, or $17/day, or about $1.40/hour. That is, to put it mildly, a no-brainer

      A huge assumption. It is possible that most of these spaces will sit empty most of the time.

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      • John Liu
        John Liu April 28, 2016 at 8:03 pm

        In that case, New Seasons doesn’t know how to run their business, to the extent that they don’t know how much parking their customers are using and will use. I suspect they know what they are doing.

        Anyway, they can probably cease leasing, or sublease, some or all of those spaces, eventually, should they need to.

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    • wsbob April 28, 2016 at 2:34 pm

      More parking, more customers, greater volume buying enables lower merchandise costs. That part works for the lower cost grocers too.

      Big parking lots though, aren’t beautiful…to some extent, they’re like asphalt wastelands, and a sense, do detract from community livability. Not developing and applying concepts of superior walking and biking infrastructure within communities between stores and the neighborhood, may be what’s missing.

      It’s a wrong approach, I think, to use adversity to try get people to walk or bike to their neighborhood store; i.e. insufficient or crummy car parking availability and streets for basic motor vehicle travel. The way to increase the regularity with which people make such trips from home to store on foot or bike, is to do a much better job than is done to day, of providing infrastructure which offers a great walking and biking experience.

      Infrastructure for the walk from home to store should be made to be much more than simply safe…it also should be made to be beautiful, relaxing, and smell good, even when the weather is cold, hot, raining or snowing.

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  • Gary Indiana April 27, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    From the article, quote: “Zupan’s and Trader Joe’s are proof that the grocery business doesn’t collapse if customers have to walk a little ways to a car trunk. But when it comes to charging for car parking, grocery stores’ hands have been tied by a city that refuses to charge for use of public space along its curbs. Every other outcome — including a few unnecessary cents on every grocery bill — flows from there.”

    Unless you have seen the accounting of income and expenses for those particular stores, you cannot make the claim in the first sentence of this quote. They may be profitable or they may not be profitable – you have no idea.

    The second sentence is also false. There are many places in Portland that have paid on-street parking meters.

    As for the last sentence, do you propose charging for the bike parking? It isn’t free. That space could be used for something that will MAKE money such as vending machines, a kiosk, etc, etc, etc. A lot of people probably get tired of paying for bike lanes, green paint, and other bike infrastructure – none of that stuff existed not that long ago and people got by just fine.

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    • Gary Indiana April 27, 2016 at 11:36 pm

      Furthermore, concerning that first sentence, I’ll bet a lot of customers appreciate being able to park their car without driving down the block and walking a ways in the rain to their car trunk. Ya think?

      This is the USA, a marginally free country, so far. Feel free to open a grocery store using your own money, and either make car drivers pay to park, or let them walk a ways down the street to find parking. Be sure to request that the city require parking meters for all on-street parking. See how that works out for your grocery store since you are so convinced that the customers will not mind.

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      • ethan April 28, 2016 at 1:10 am

        I don’t believe it’s legal to do that in Portland due to parking minimums.

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      • eawrist April 28, 2016 at 8:06 am

        I think “free country” means the assumption that anyone should be able to drive a car anywhere at any time. That to me sounds like hell.

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        • Gary Indiana April 28, 2016 at 2:59 pm

          Move to the country of your choice. Who is stopping you?

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          • 9watts April 28, 2016 at 3:02 pm

            Oh, that old conversation stopper.
            What is wrong with trying to make the place you already live better? Challenging what doesn’t work. Why do you have to be so dismissive?

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    • eddie April 28, 2016 at 6:03 am

      Cyclists and pedestrians have been getting killed and injured by cars in Portland all along. We have never been “getting along just fine”. With added population comes added infrastructure, which can mitigate death and injury. Some car drivers may be “tired” of bike lanes, etc., but it is saving lives, and perhaps that’s worth the inconvenience?

      And as for bike parking at New Seasons, it is without a doubt profitable, because bicyclists spend money at the store when they park there. And, I might note, the bike parking fits more customers in less space, so it’s arguably more profitable than identically sized car parking.

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      • eawrist April 28, 2016 at 7:51 am

        You forgot the 35k people who die a year many of which are just trying to get around in a car because it has been the only option for so long.

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      • Middle of the Road guy April 28, 2016 at 9:17 am

        so build 2000 bike spaces there and see how many fill up.

        Diminishing rates of return.

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        • 9watts April 28, 2016 at 10:47 am

          Too bad you’re not making this suggestion in good faith.

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    • q April 28, 2016 at 9:06 am

      Some points you’ve made have some validity, but saying everyone got along just fine without bike lanes, etc. is just silly. They (we) are still not getting along just fine, even with all that’s been done in the last few years.

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  • mran1984 April 28, 2016 at 12:16 am

    Change the name of this site to “Park Portland”. You are obsessed with the topic and I am sick of it. Go ahead and be car free, but you are single, love apartment living and would never consider a child who may require car based transportation to participate in a sport. I ride a bike. This site has zero to do with cycling. When you do mention anything cycling related there are little to zero comments. Free parking, uh? What about subsidized apartments and cycling infrastructure that is simply not as important as you would like to believe.I have not needed it in over twenty years of commuting. Are you concerned about free parking in less desirable neighborhoods? Doubt it! While you are at it bike parking should be paid for too. You could all move back where you came from and implement your policies there. Warm beer, melted ice cream and limiting what items you can get home is no way to feed a family. Nice job slamming a local company that does not fit your “ideal”, but employs just a few more folks than “Park Portland”. Did you ever figure out why Hales “decided” not to run…

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    • ethan April 28, 2016 at 1:09 am

      Why would a child need a car to get to somewhere to play sports? Surely, if they’re capable of playing sports, they should be able to walk or ride to their sporting events.

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      • J_R April 28, 2016 at 10:38 am

        Obviously you are a non-parent. Write back if you ever do become a parent.

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        • 9watts April 28, 2016 at 10:45 am

          I guess parents existed or sports were played by their issue a few generations ago?
          I think ethan’s point is well taken. If parents (never mind the children themselves) put their minds to it, organized, pushed back against the institutionalized expectation that children’s sports are 100% reliant on automobiles and long distance bus rides to games, etc. things could change back to how they used to be.

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        • 9watts April 28, 2016 at 10:47 am

          I guess no parents existed or sports were played by their issue a few generations ago?
          I think ethan’s point is well taken. If parents (never mind the children themselves) put their minds to it, organized, pushed back against the institutionalized expectation that children’s sports are 100% reliant on automobiles and long distance bus rides to games, etc. things could change back to how they used to be.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty April 28, 2016 at 11:51 am

            Actually, this is not correct. Given the location of people, playing fields, etc., I think it would be impossible to create, say, a 10 team soccer (or baseball or whatever) league where people did not need to travel relatively long distances for games. Even if you could find practice opportunities close to home (which may be possible in some cases), at the very best, you’re going to have to travel across town/across the region for games.

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            • 9watts April 28, 2016 at 3:32 pm

              “it would be impossible to create, say, a 10 team soccer (or baseball or whatever) league where people did not need to travel relatively long distances for games.”

              Then make it work with seven teams? We don’t have to do *everything* exactly the way we did in the cheap-fossil-fuel era. Geez. Or just play ball in the streets, since those won’t be so dangerous anymore.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 28, 2016 at 3:51 pm

                If you look at the geographic distribution of competitive youth soccer clubs in Portland, you’ll find there are fewer than 7, with only 1 that’s in inner Portland. The others are in Gresham, Hillsboro, Tualatin, etc. At a lower skill level, it is a little better (you can play on a lower-grade field, for example), but you still might find yourself going across town for a game. Teams don’t travel because they want to, but because playing at your local HS field every week just doesn’t work.

                And if you don’t play with teams from Vancouver (to reduce driving in Portland), Vancouver teams will have to drive that much further to find opponents.

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          • J_R April 28, 2016 at 2:10 pm

            Change back to how they used to be? When I was in high school there were NO women’s sports. The “girls'” opportunities were as cheerleaders. My high school made a big production of football and basketball. There were minor concessions to tennis and golf. Contrast that to today: my daughters are three-season athletes in high school. Sorry, but I’ll drive them to wherever they need to go for practices and games.

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      • Kate April 28, 2016 at 1:36 pm

        lolololol

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    • Eric Leifsdad April 28, 2016 at 2:04 am

      Melted ice cream builds character for the young sportster. Except when it melted because your car was stuck in traffic?

      Those foil thermal bags are pretty awesome in a pannier or basket. They might even work if you carry ice cream and beer in your jersey pocket.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 28, 2016 at 8:20 am

      mran1984,

      Thanks for sharing your opinion. Sorry if this story rubs you the wrong way. I will take your feedback into account for future decisions we make about which stories to cover and how to cover them.

      Generally speaking, parking policy will continue to be covered here because of the huge role it plays in street design and transportation culture.

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      • rick April 28, 2016 at 8:50 am

        Parking lots take up so much space that could otherwise be used for parks, housing, wetlands, etc. Just check the massive parking lots near the now-closed Bike N’ Hike in Beaverton.

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        • David April 28, 2016 at 9:22 am

          I truly doubt that the most parking lots would be turned into parks if there were fewer cars. More likely you would see additional buildings.

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      • John April 28, 2016 at 9:06 am

        Agreed. Parking policy drives so much of the urban form that it’s silly to not cover it. As a bicycling blog and forum, it makes sense to cover it here, and I appreciate the coverage. Keep it up BP!

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      • dwk April 28, 2016 at 10:01 am

        You should at least do more research. This is the second or third time you have focused on New Seasons. You do realize that New Seasons does not develop the sites, they are just a tenant. They had nothing to do with the site configuration or the planning in general of N. Williams.
        Your articles are misleading.

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        • Ben Schonberger (@SchonbergerBen) April 28, 2016 at 10:58 am

          Baloney. The developer custom-built the site to New Seasons’ specifications.

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          • dwk April 28, 2016 at 11:11 am

            And you know this how?

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            • Ben Schonberger (@SchonbergerBen) April 28, 2016 at 4:50 pm

              No one builds grocery stores speculatively, then hopes for a tenant.

              But if you need proof, take a look at the drawings on the last few pages of the 2012 permit request for the building. Note the giant “NEW SEASONS” logo on elevations of the not-yet-constructed building. https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/article/406918

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              • dwk April 28, 2016 at 4:54 pm

                So what is your point Ben?
                Don’t shop there. Organize a boycott, whatever……

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              • dwk April 28, 2016 at 4:58 pm

                I am not sure what exactly bikeportland and the readers have against a GROCERY store?
                I have no interest in New Seasons, just pointed out that this is not the first time that bikeportland has gone after them for whatever reason.
                Don’t shop there if you don’t want to, it is not that hard….

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              • Ben Schonberger (@SchonbergerBen) April 29, 2016 at 11:29 am

                You criticized this post with a claim that is factually incorrect. That needed clarity.

                I love New Seasons as a grocery store. It is the best one in town, for sure. But they did a terrible job with the design and conception of their Williams store, and that should be acknowledged. It’s also disappointing because it’s a neighborhood anchor.

                Basically, they designed and sited a suburban, single-story, parking-lot-oriented building for a very urban site. Compare it to all the other buildings in that corridor–it’s the shortest, most car-oriented one. It’s no surprise to me that design choice means almost everyone drives, and there isn’t enough parking. They tried to make up for it with generous bike parking, but it’s an afterthought. Why didn’t they build parking on an upper deck for parking, like at the Hawthorne store? The front of the store should have faced Williams, the where the pedestrian and bike activity is, instead of the parking lot.

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              • lop April 29, 2016 at 1:29 pm

                >I am not sure what exactly bikeportland and the readers have against a GROCERY store?

                Their customers don’t always yield when crossing the busy bike lane on Williams to get to/from the store.

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              • q April 28, 2016 at 5:00 pm

                That doesn’t prove anything! Maybe the developer just came up with the idea it would be a great place for a New Seasons, so he went ahead and designed the sign into the project. Then that got New Seasons’ attention, and they signed on!

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        • Gary B April 28, 2016 at 11:15 am

          Ha! That’s absurd and hopefully you know it. An anchor tenant absolutely has a major say in a development. There’s a reason the developer signs a long-term deal with the anchor tenants before they begin the project. They then develop the site to suit the anchor tenant’s needs. You’re not seriously suggesting a developer decides out of the blue what to build and hopes someone is interested?

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          • dwk April 28, 2016 at 11:23 am

            The site was designed for a grocery store and the New Seasons signed on.
            The same with most developments. The Whole Foods building on 15th is actually owned by one of the New Seasons owners. New Seasons had nothing to do with the N. Williams reconfiguration or parking.

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        • q April 28, 2016 at 11:22 am

          Just because a store is a tenant, and not the building owner, doesn’t mean it didn’t have input into the development. Owners often will design a project specifically for one tenant. When you see a new fast food place, car dealership, grocery store or whatever being built, chances are the business isn’t the property owner, even though the building and site are designed 100% for that specific tenant.

          Even if that’s not the case here, tenants influence what developers do quite strongly. Not many developers are building totally flexible, totally spec space without any thought of what might go in it. They’re designing to what they perceive tenants’ needs to be even if they don’t yet have a specific tenant signed.

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      • rachel b May 1, 2016 at 3:45 pm

        That BikePortland’s grown into a respected daily news source and one of few places you can go to get an idea of what’s actually going on around here is something to be praised! I depend upon BikePortland to keep on covering the news, comprehensively. I wouldn’t want you to narrow your scope for anything.

        With the evisceration of The Oregonian and the “All Weed, All the Time” focus now of WW (which has also become a fun bully pulpit for certain waggish provokers-of-‘natives’), I turn way more often to a paper I used to ignore–The Tribune. And gud bless the Tribune writers (and those that have yet to be fired at The O) who engage in real reportage and bring to light real news. Kudos to The Mercury for upping their news reportage, too. But BikePortland deserves highest honors for providing the coverage it does with only two devoted men and a shoestring budget.

        I learned awhile back to turn to BikePortland if I wanted up-to-date info about development news and issues facing New (agh) Portland. Part of my job was to compile A&E industry news stories (local, regional and national) for a casual in-house daily e-newsletter. Along with the DJC, PBJ and ENR, BikePortland was an important local source (always credited and linked!). That it’s grown into what it has–one of Portland’s few, real actual NEWS sources–is something to marvel at. I imagine Jonathan and Michael have little time to themselves, piloting this ship. I’m immensely thankful to them for their thoughtfulness, doggedness, writing/reporting skills and useful reportage.

        I also like the cycling stories. 🙂 But this site has evolved into something so much more–something invaluable to Portland right now. I’d be beyond disappointed if that changed.

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    • R April 28, 2016 at 9:14 am

      mran1984…good comments.

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    • Social Engineer April 28, 2016 at 9:39 am

      The name “Bike Portland” is a misnomer. This blog promotes sustainable, urban transportation policies and practices as it relates to Portland and the greater region.

      Call it Greater Greater Portland.

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    • soren April 28, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      Are you concerned about free parking in less desirable neighborhoods? Doubt it! While you are at it bike parking should be paid for too.

      It amuses me to see people greedily feeding at the government trough complain about others who get far, far less from the government trough.

      I for one would be happy to pay for bike parking via user fees as long as each and every “public” parking space is payed for via user fees.

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    • Eric April 28, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      I can’t speak for the site, but I would assume that they are running parking articles because Portland’s (and the nation’s) approach to parking is a large part of what is stymying efforts to make Portland a better place to get around outside of a car.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty April 28, 2016 at 1:58 pm

        I don’t see how this story in any way detracts from or improves cycling conditions around the store or elsewhere. We don’t even really know what it means — more trips? shorter trips? less circling-the-block looking for parking? higher prices? lower prices? better utilization of already-built infrastructure?

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        • Eric April 28, 2016 at 2:06 pm

          Simply put, because parking induces driving, and more driving = a less pleasant experience for everyone traveling.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty April 28, 2016 at 2:10 pm

            What if, as other commenters have suggested, in encourages more people to shop at their local store rather than drive to a store further away? What if paying for the extra parking leads to price rises that in turn leads to fewer people shopping at New Seasons? It may lead to no new trips at all, but may allow more people to park in the parking lot without circling the block looking for a parking spot. The new spots may sit vacant due to lack of demand.

            It is entirely possible this proposal would improve cycling conditions. The real point is that the effects of this proposal are far from clear.

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            • Eric April 28, 2016 at 2:42 pm

              It’s certainly possible, but on the large-scale increased parking increasing driving, so we should be working towards limiting parking as much as we can.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 28, 2016 at 3:55 pm

                I know this is obviously true, but it may not be actually true. Far more important is, I think, availability and quality of alternatives.

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              • Eric April 28, 2016 at 4:23 pm

                You’re simply mistaken, at least according to the first large-scale that found a statistically significant causative effect between availability of parking and driving rates.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 28, 2016 at 4:47 pm

                Ok… Alex Reedin posted a link elsewhere on this topic suggesting the opposite. The headline was “Does free car parking make people drive cars ? Certainly not when there is a better alternative” Though I admit I only skimmed over it, so I may not be getting something fundamental.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 28, 2016 at 4:53 pm

                Ok, I’ve now read it — it is interesting and relevant: http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2014/09/does-free-car-parking-make-people-drive.html

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        • soren April 28, 2016 at 2:08 pm

          our city’s climate action plan, portland, plan, and draft comprehensive plan all support a transition from motorized transport to active transport (cycling, walking, and transit). i think any policy or decision that subsidizes motorised transport at the potential expense of active transport is fair game for discussion here.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty April 28, 2016 at 2:12 pm

            See my response to Eric, above. This may have the effect of reducing VMT, or it may increase it, or it could have no impact.

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  • Ted Buehler April 28, 2016 at 1:36 am

    Michael wrote:
    “Also, it’s likely that if New Seasons hadn’t shelled out for the overflow parking space, it would have faced a political pressure from its neighbors.”

    Nope. Boise Neighborhood Association hasn’t pressured any of the businesses on Williams to provide customer parking.

    We supported those two wooden buildings just north of New Seasons, which have a couple hundred workers and only six parking spaces.

    Cars park in front of my house, 3 blocks from New Seasons, to do business on Williams.

    Sure, folks come to the meetings and share concerns about parking, but we’re fine with it as a whole. Not all of Portland’s neighborhoods are nuts about parking. Some just deal with it.

    FYI,
    Ted Buehler
    Member, Boise Neighborhood Association board.

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  • kittens April 28, 2016 at 2:39 am

    Gross.
    All of it.
    That sign.

    NS has officially become the leading indicator of gentrification blight. Would gladly trade all the fair-trade cacao and artisanal edison bulbs in the world for the Portland of the recent past. The one which was affordable and livable to those not employed by some stupid tech bauble.

    Get of my lawn… and take your “super chill” touchy-feely signage with you!

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    • rick April 28, 2016 at 8:52 am

      Who wants the Portland littered with closed gas stations?

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      • Eric April 28, 2016 at 1:39 pm

        Me?

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  • Eric in Seattle April 28, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Does this at least mean that the residents of the apartment building are no longer paying for empty parking spaces? Apparently this building has a surplus of parking–likely due to parking minimums in the zoning rules. At least this puts those spaces to use.

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    • John April 28, 2016 at 9:13 am

      This isn’t the first apartment building to be stuck with underutilized parking spaces. I think BP covered the Linden being underutilized at SE 12th/Ankeny, and I personally know of a few other cases, in places like Goose Hollow where the property manager is losing out on parking revenue. These major developers like Mill Creek come in and have to include so many parking spaces to keep their institutional lenders from other states happy. I think that lessons learned from these developments will lead to more right-sized parking supply in new developments. It also helps that the City is moving to allow shared use of parking for nearby uses (perhaps residents of buildings with zero parking). It will all work out in the end if the city continues to liberalize parking policy and particularly if they start charging market rates for street parking.

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    • David April 28, 2016 at 9:23 am

      the parking spots were for the commercial space and not for the residences.

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      • wsbob April 28, 2016 at 11:39 am

        “the parking spots were for the commercial space and not for the residences.” david

        Okay…got it now. Was mentioned earlier in the discussion, but from how it was brought up, I wasn’t quite sure that the apartment building includes commercial space for shops, offices, I presume…that the parking New Seasons has acquired the use of.

        Curious how it is the apartment building had its commercial parking spaces available for New Seasons, unless the commercial work space in the building hasn’t been leased out, or the lessees are for some reason, not using the commercial parking available to them.

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        • David April 28, 2016 at 1:27 pm

          New Seasons has leased all of the commercial spaces. They haven’t said what they are doing with them but the speculation is that they will turn them into office space so that the parking spaces are available for evening and weekend shoppers.

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    • Ben Schonberger (@SchonbergerBen) April 28, 2016 at 11:29 am

      Cook St. Apts. built more spaces than was required for the residential use. The minimum requirement at the time for both the apartments and the retail was zero, because the site is adjacent to a high-frequency transit line. They built 146 in the underground garage for the apartments, and 52 spaces in the courtyard that they said were for the retail tenants.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty April 28, 2016 at 11:55 am

      Residents will continue to pay the maximum rent their landlord thinks they can charge. The landlord’s underlying cost structure is, for the most part, irrelevant.

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      • soren April 28, 2016 at 5:17 pm

        “Residents will continue to pay the maximum rent their landlord thinks they can charge.”

        so the seller always determines pricing? that is an interesting belief given what happened in 2008.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 28, 2016 at 5:33 pm

          Of course not, that’s not (at all) what I said.

          What I said was that just because the landlord’s costs may increase/decrease, that will not necessarily translate into a change in the rent they charge. The landlord’s incentive is to maximize rents regardless of underlying costs.

          That means, in this context, if previously unrented parking spaces are now being rented by New Seasons, this additional income to the landlord will not be shared tenants in the form of lower rents.

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          • soren April 29, 2016 at 8:16 am

            “What I said was that just because the landlord’s costs may increase/decrease, that will not necessarily translate into a change in the rent they charge.”

            call me crazy but i believe landlords generally pass on costs to tenants.

            and landlords are most definitely cost constrained. if they cannot find someone to rent at a cash flow rate they either burn money or go bankrupt. (corp bankruptcy is another example of government subsidy of real estate speculation.)

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty April 29, 2016 at 8:25 am

              If a landlord has the “headroom” to pass on costs to their tenants, it means they were charging below market rent previously. “Increased costs” may be the reason given for a rent increase, but landlords have a strong incentive to charge the maximum rent they can while still keeping their units occupied.

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        • John Liu
          John Liu April 28, 2016 at 11:06 pm

          If I own an apartment building and can get full occupancy with good tenants paying up to $X/mo for a unit, that’s what I’ll charge. If tomorrow, my costs suddenly go down, no way I am lowering rents. I’ll just make more profit.

          Apartment buildings are not like other retail businesses. The building only has so many units. If I lower prices (rents), I don’t get to make it up by renting more units.

          (Not that I own an apartment building – this is the rhetorical “I”.)

          What will get Portland rents to come down? Either overbuilding of apartments, or a nice big recession.

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          • soren April 29, 2016 at 8:23 am

            or rental demand could dry up again due to another housing bubble. (portland is looking very frothy again.)

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty April 29, 2016 at 8:27 am

              Did rents fall during the last housing collapse? I don’t know the answer, but I’d be surprised if they did, because demand for rentals must have increased as people lost their houses.

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              • soren May 1, 2016 at 2:38 pm

                Did rents fall during the last housing collapse?

                it’s interesting to me that you could miss my point so completely. i’ve found that there is an enormous amount of cognitive dissonance when it comes to the speculative nature of the single family home real estate market.

                housing bubble ≠ housing collapse.

                in real terms average monthly rents dropped during the housing bubble because relaxed/fraudulent lending standards allowed people who previously rented to qualify for a mortgage.

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  • Pat Lowell April 28, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Maybe the City should just give an e-cargo bike to every household. Making parking more expensive/challenging isn’t going to change the fact that it would be near-impossible for an average person to haul home a week’s worth of groceries and possibly a kid or two by bike.

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    • 9watts April 28, 2016 at 9:41 am

      “it would be near-impossible for an average person to haul home a week’s worth of groceries and possibly a kid or two by bike.”
      Whopper of the week?

      Have you tried this? How far away do you think the New Seasons customer travels to the store we’re talking about? Anything is possible. But saying it can’t be done without exploring this issue a little isn’t helpful or interesting.

      And do you really think the average person-who-is-in-charge-of-shopping only does so no more than once a week? In my reading of the literature this is a persistent fiction.

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    • 9watts April 28, 2016 at 9:42 am

      Oh, and the average person lives alone or with one other person. By the time we get to three persons in a household, we’re up near the sixtieth percentile, never mind four.

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    • wileysiren April 28, 2016 at 10:57 am

      A week’s worth of groceries for a four person household (assumes two parents, two kids) is a LOT of food. And if said family can only shop one day a week due to time restrictions, then what? Don’t hamstring those that cannot ride everywhere or get to the store that often because they have family commitments.

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      • 9watts April 28, 2016 at 11:04 am

        You’ve got this backwards, my friend. I never said there weren’t four person families or that some shop once a week, and that this scenario couldn’t be tough for them. No. My point was that *most* households don’t fit any of those descriptions, if you look at census data, shopping frequency, average travel distance to the NS store in question, etc. And so making absolutist claims about this shrinking demographic to suggest that expanded auto parking is salutary or necessary is baloney.

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    • Eric April 28, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      In other words: “If I no longer have access to a car, I can’t continue to live the way I did because I had a car.”

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  • q April 28, 2016 at 9:33 am

    One huge issue lurks in the background of this situation–the poor logic behind Portland’s system development charges. New uses pay substantial amounts (thousands or tens of thousands of dollars) in SDCs based on how much auto traffic they will purportedly generate. The idea is that new uses should pay for the additional load they place on infrastructure such as streets, and that the more traffic they’re likely to generate, the more they should pay.

    But I believe the system is totally backwards in the case of uses such as grocery stores (and just about any other typical non-destination use–dry cleaners, gas stations, coffee shops…). Certainly New Seasons generates traffic at this site. But people aren’t driving from across town to shop there. It’s likely many are driving LESS, since now there’s a store nearer them. Some that used to drive to the grocery store can now walk or bike.

    If you doubled the number of grocery stores in Portland, would vehicle trips associated with grocery stores double? Yes, according to the way the City calculates it. I’d say traffic at each site may increase, but overall traffic would drop, since everyone would now live closer to a grocery store, or at least perhaps have one more directly on their commuting route. And again, it may not just mean a shorter drive, it may mean a trip short enough that people can bike or walk instead of drive.

    Whatever New Seasons does in regard to its parking at this location is important to this neighborhood, but the SDC issue affects every project in the city. The fees are high enough it’s a huge issue, especially when the lack of logic behind the calculations discourages development that would bring services closer to the people using them.

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    • wsbob April 28, 2016 at 11:17 am

      “…Certainly New Seasons generates traffic at this site. But people aren’t driving from across town to shop there. It’s likely many are driving LESS, since now there’s a store nearer them. Some that used to drive to the grocery store can now walk or bike. …” q

      Mentioning that close proximity of key service stores to people’s residence, enhances any likelihood there may be that people will walk or bike rather drive to their neighborhood grocer, etc, raises an excellent point. In line with that thought, I think the principle of the SDC charges is a great, but where it’s application seems to be missing the mark, is in not applying enough of the revenue gathered from the SDC charges, towards specific infrastructure that can enhance the walk-bike experience from neighborhood residence to store.

      From those charges…correct me if I’m wrong, but I think neighborhoods continue to get the same old types of very modest width sidewalks and bike lanes, vastly subordinate to adjoining streets and roadways primarily suitable for use with motor vehicles. From time to time, the analogy of college campus planning design comes to fore as an example of what community design should in some situations, take cues from. Very few if any, developers, city leaders, planners and so on, seem to have the courage to promote the idea of a basic grid of extra wide boulevards exclusively for walking and biking between neighborhoods and town centers, small or large.

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    • Gary B April 28, 2016 at 11:20 am

      That’s a really interesting point, thanks. It would seem to follow that all transportation load is driven by new residential, and thus that’s where all transportation SDCs should be levied. Essentially, we’re shifting the SDC onto the business, rather than charging much higher SDCs on the new residential. It boils down to the commercial developers subsidizing the residential ones then, yes? I wonder if that’s by design or they haven’t really thought about your logic.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty April 28, 2016 at 11:58 am

      The convenience of a closer store could induce people to make more shopping trips than they previously did.

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      • q April 28, 2016 at 12:37 pm

        Personally, I shop often, because I can walk to the store. You could be right that for some people, a closer store could mean driving to it more often, but on the other hand those would be shorter trips.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 28, 2016 at 12:44 pm

          I guess my main point was that these things are always more complicated than they first appear. I do think we need more stores that are more close to where people live.

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          • q April 28, 2016 at 12:58 pm

            That actually sums it up well, which contrasts so much with the assumptions behind the SDC fees. To them, every grocery store will generate X traffic per square foot, whether its a regional megastore located miles from where anyone actually lives, or a neighborhood-focused store moving into a neighborhood whose residents currently have to go miles away to shop. One is drawing people out of their neighborhoods, the other is allowing them to shop within it.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty April 28, 2016 at 2:04 pm

              Another (perhaps clearer) example is laundromats: a new one has to pay high SDCs based on its impact on the sewer system, as if it were somehow inducing higher levels of clothes soiling or otherwise encouraging people to do more laundry (rather than just changing _where_ they did it).

              That said, I think new development should pay SDC-like fees, even if they are not exactly aligned with their stated purpose.

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    • lop April 29, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      If new seasons was being considered now, and the city decided to address concerns about safety with respect to the bike lane by putting in a new traffic signal with separate phases for cyclists and turning autos, banned turn on red, and committed to occasional police enforcement of the ban, would it matter if other roads see a drop in traffic because people stopped driving to the grocery stores along them? Does the city get a refund for the added infrastructure no longer needed on those roads? Even if traffic is flat or declines, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a cost associated with moving it around. Or what about if those roads don’t see an increase in traffic from new residents who would have driven there if the new seasons didn’t go in? Should the charge for those new trips go on residential development exclusively? Do you have a separate system of SDCs set up for anything built within a mile or two of city limits, because there you can attract residents to a new grocery store who live in a different municipality that didn’t share SDCs with Portland?

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      • q April 29, 2016 at 6:00 pm

        I agree that it’s complicated, and no system will always be fair. I also agree that a business moving can create a need to spend money on transportation infrastructure, even if the move reduces traffic overall.

        But some of your points seem a bit unlikely. For instance, you ask if the city gets a “refund for the added infrastructure no longer needed” at the business’ old location. If Portland was shrinking, that might be true. But infrastructure being “no longer needed” isn’t likely, since a new business will replace the one that moved. Does Portland have a lot of signals, crosswalks, sidewalks, roads, etc. made extraneous due to businesses moving out of a location? Probably not.

        And what about the business that moves across the street? The first example of a SDC nightmare here was a pizza place that got a $25k+ bill for moving literally across the street. Did that move create a need for changes to the transportation system? Certainly not.

        Main issue to me is whether SDCs are working as well as they can, and how they’re calculated is a part of that. The City recognizes that they are a barrier to development–that’s why they’ve been waived for ADUs. If ADUs are desireable, so are many types of say, non-auto-oriented commercial development. I think SDC calculations should be more nuanced, to recognize true impacts of development on transportation infrastructure.

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    • ED April 30, 2016 at 7:07 pm

      When calculating SDCs, Portland and most cities use a “pass-by” trip reduction to account for exactly this phenomenon, that some people are already out and just stopping in as the “pass by” on their way somewhere else. I don’t know the exact pass-by percentage reduction for grocery stores, or if it accurately captures customer behavior at neighborhood grocery stores like New Seasons. I imagine it was developed as an average to include big box grocery stores like Costcos in the suburbs, but still, it’s a start.

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  • q April 28, 2016 at 11:37 am

    My understanding is that SDCs started back when a developer would say, build an new shopping center or subdivision in the boondocks, creating instant, heavy loads on streets, parks, school systems, etc. So the concept of charging the project makes sense. It still may in the case of Costco building a huge store in the suburbs.

    But then Portland started applying them to all new development. I first objected in NE Portland in the early 90s, when people were replacing derelict buildings and vacant lots with new residential or commercial development. But the infrastructure was already there, so it made no sense to charge SDCs the same as if they were leveling forests in suburbia.

    But the current system really is dumb. If you build a gas station on a busy street that doesn’t have one, is every customer new to buying gas, or are they driving from across town to get to it? No, they’re probably now driving less to get gas, because they’re going to the new, more convenient location instead of to their old, further-away station. Yet the city views it the opposite way.

    Yet on the other hand, many planning policies are (correctly) understanding the importance of spreading services/businesses throughout the city, so each neighborhood has easy access to them locally. That clashes directly with the SDC calcs’ logic.

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  • Todd Boulanger April 28, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    It is interesting to see what comes up on New Seasons’ website when one types in the search word “parking”…some stores tout they have more bike parking than car parking while others proclaim they have multiple floors of free car parking…give it a try…

    http://www.newseasonsmarket.com/?s=parking

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  • Eric April 28, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Hello, Kitty
    Ok, I’ve now read it — it is interesting and relevant: http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2014/09/does-free-car-parking-make-people-drive.html
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    Here’s an article about the study I mentioned: http://www.citylab.com/commute/2016/01/the-strongest-case-yet-that-excessive-parking-causes-more-driving/423663/

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  • esther2 April 29, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Stores have all kinds of stuff I don’t use besides parking. I don’t have a cat but there is a catfood aisle. Am I subsidizing cat owners. Or how about the gluten free aisle at New Seasons. Why should I subsidize the gluten free because New Season’s allots expensive retail space to them.

    This whole argument is just silly. There are plenty of issues we cyclists need to be concerned about. How New Season’s budgets its resources is not one of them.

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    • soren April 29, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      people *PAY* for the gluten-free food while new seasons markets gives the parking away for free. moreover, this free parking will encourage increased traffic across some of busiest and increasingly-conflict prone bike routes.

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  • Andy K April 29, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Why are people bashing New Seasons like they did something illegal?

    They SHOULD be catering to car drivers, since people who arrive in a car account for 99%+ of their sales.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty April 29, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      I generally agree with you, but I do think there is an important role for businesses to play in terms of helping impact the behavior of their customers where they can. A brand like New Seasons has some sway in the community, and to the extent that they can, it’s to their benefit, as well as everyone else’s, to nudge people in the right direction.

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      • dan April 29, 2016 at 6:28 pm

        Perhaps they feel that they are? The “rightness” of a direction is typically pretty subjective.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 29, 2016 at 6:31 pm

          Possible. The most likely scenario I see is that New Seasons rented the office space, got the parking along with it, and is trying to put it to good use. If I were a betting person, my money would be on the parking acquisition as being a benefit but not the driving force behind this deal.

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          • dan April 29, 2016 at 6:48 pm

            You’re probably right.
            I just don’t think we should rely on corporations, no matter how ‘well meaning’ they portend to be, to nudge us. We should nudge them. Kind of idealic I know, but…

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty April 29, 2016 at 6:50 pm

              I think it’s a big swarm of many agents influencing others.

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    • JeffS April 29, 2016 at 6:32 pm

      OK. I was on the fence but your made up stats totally convinced me.

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  • esther2 April 30, 2016 at 8:39 am

    New Season’s taking care of their parking needs will improve traffic flow, creating a safer street for cyclists. Better to provide adequate parking than have people circling the block looking for a space, etc.

    We have no more right to tell drivers they can’t drive than they do to tell us not to ride bikes.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty April 30, 2016 at 9:25 am

      This has always been my argument against those who think constraining on-street parking will make cycling conditions better. More drivers seeking an elusive parking space adds more distracted drivers behaving erratically.

      It is in our collective interest to reduce driving, but parking constraints are probably not a good way to do that.

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    • 9watts April 30, 2016 at 10:22 am

      “We have no more right to tell drivers they can’t drive than they do to tell us not to ride bikes.”

      What is with the fake symmetry?
      A simple thought experiment should dispel any such notions.

      What is everyone got around with X or everyone got around by Y?
      Everyone drives: Not only would this produce chaos, it simply wouldn’t work. Nothing would move. It would cost a fortune to try to make it work and it still wouldn’t work. (cf most of the 20th Century).
      Everyone bikes: Not only could this work (as far as traffic flow, economic health, collective outcomes, land use, climate change, etc.) it would be a net gain on just about any front you can imagine.

      So aside from the fact that no one in this thread is saying ‘you can’t drive,’ refusing to accommodate the marginal driver (as some of us are suggesting New Seasons should have done in this case) is surely, collectively, of benefit, both today and tomorrow.

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    • soren April 30, 2016 at 11:04 am

      i absolutely do have the right to tell drivers to drive less. driving has been an unmitigated disaster for our shared environment. moreover, the societal costs of driving are beggaring this nation. the less you drive, the better for you, your neighbors, and the planet.

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  • Allison April 30, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Regardless of how you feel about the decision, I do not think that the argument that it will increase prices for customer. I work in grocery retail and the margins are based on the cost from distributor. Increasing food costs for grocery shoppers comes from increasing wholesale prices. Operating costs like paying for parking may affect profits but will not directly affect food prices.

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  • Allison April 30, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    *do not think the argument that it will increase prices for the customer is a strong one.

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  • rachel b May 1, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    I know this concept is still foreign and exotic (and decadent-sounding) to those of us from these parts, but…have your groceries delivered. If you share a household with others (as many do nowadays), this is a steal. And it reduces trips. Less of a deal if you’re a single household, but—consider what some of us spend in a week on coffee/beer/eating out/weed/cigarettes/kombucha/gluten-free pizza/donuts/Uber/etc.

    As a rather boring person (lifestylishly speaking), being able to pay a few beers’ worth to have someone do my shopping, negotiate the teeming masses, pack it, load it, heft it about and bring it to me on a silver platter (after navigating the evil that is Portland’s traffic now) is miraculous to me. A few more vices covers the tip.

    It feels like such a wondrous thing should not be possible. I do it (occasionally) out of pure laziness, agoraphobia and misanthropy, but still feel guilty and consider it a “treat” when really, it’s just a good deal all around—esp. if you’re splitting the delivery/tip bill with roommates. Note-when I’ve ordered groceries, I’ve found the shoppers pick better produce etc. than I do.

    This is a great solution for hermits, like me. Not so great, I guess, if you actually like going to grocery stores and/or shopping, for some reason. You weirdo.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty May 1, 2016 at 8:08 pm

      Sorry… Beer money goes for beer. Period.

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  • rachel b May 1, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Hah! And, hmm. Pillage the kombucha budget, then. Nobody should miss kombucha.

    Though—maybe wait ’til next weekend. It is the perfect (slimy/chunky) ‘Mother’s’ Day drink! Hyuk!

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