Thoughts on Trader Joe’s: Traffic and Parking

Pre Application Meeting Takeaways continued

You can read part 1 of our thoughts here.

Traffic and parking concerns were at the forefront of the topics covered at the meeting. For a neighborhood plagued with traffic congestion, reckless driving issues and SFMTA continuing to minimize parking options it’s understandable that there are serious concerns of the impacts this chainstore will bring to this area. When pressed TJ’s could not clearly answer about exact parking configuration or proposed solutions to the expected traffic mitigation issues. The 72 parking spaces which were cited spells trouble overall when considering the scope of the store.

The following questions and comments were posed and not answered: (these are excerpts from comments left in the chat)

  • Besides providing groceries what is the community benefit we will get. How will you handle traffic, be creative in promoting people to walk & bike to store? Convenience is great but what will you add to character of neighborhood?
  • You have to consider the line on Fell to get into the parking spaces. Fell is one of the few ways of getting on the 101. Nothing is being said about the traffic. Have there been any studies conducted?
  • Pedestrian safety is already hairy on Octavia and Fulton with the stop sign. I hope the city will investigate putting a stop light there instead if/when TJ’s opens.
  • Very concerned about the traffic and parking for residents around the neighborhood. This area is already impacted by traffic going and coming from the freeway. I have seen the impact at the Masonic location regarding parking problems. Residents are already giving up parking to Hayes street stores and bike rental. It would be preferred if your store can open without taking parking from the people in the neighborhood. There is a better location at Franklin and Sutter which was once a store at one time.
  • Where are the traffic studies? Has one been conducted and if not are there plans to conduct one?
  • Are you a “grocery store”…? You don’t have fresh food.
  • How will this impact residents of the building. The parking entrance is on the same side (Fulton) as the resident entrance/lobby. Will that part of the street always be blocked and an inconvenience to us? Also, how will entering the parking garage work? Will it be a right turn only from Fulton?
  • A TJ’s in the location is not a forgone conclusion. No one has approved it yet and there are question concerning our local businesses.
  • Am I the only one who feels that Nicks Grocery provides amazing fresh veggies?
  • We will loose Nicks.
  • This has not been approved.
  • What are the hours that nearby residents should anticipate noise and truck activity for food deliveries? 2pm? 4am?
  • Deliveries and trash pickup times are a big concern for us on Fulton.
  • The idea that people will come to TJ.’s and then shop at the other local stores doesn’t make sense when you’re talking about other small grocery stores.
  • A lot more people from other neighborhoods will drive to this store; and then saying that the foot traffic will increase is BS too.
  • Hayes Street, Hayes Valley, Western Addition, Fillmore, Japantown have all changed/gentrified. I miss Powell’s Chicken which was moved to Eddy, then went out of business.
  • Don’t care about people who want their discount parking. Why do they always get a platform in these meetings. It’s unacceptable that they only have to pay $140 a year for their street parking permits.
  • The parking has not been addressed properly.
  • Should car parking be removed from the TJ project? I’m ok with that to encourage walking, bicycling and public transit.
  • Traffic and parking analysis should come as a prerequisite to the approval process.
  • Is the parking not already signed off by planning and zoning as part of the mixed use development permit?
  • We should see a traffic and parking study before the conditional use permit is approved.
  • Please be aware there is aggressive, reckless driving on Laguna. Other shops on Laguna are concerned about this. We are glad to hear you are working with SFMTA about Laguna, but please know we have had high speed car chases, car accidents where cars land upside down in someone’s yard, etc. it’s a much more dangerous street than you would expect.
  • The garage entrance needs to be “daylighted” similar to Whole Foods on Dolores.
  • The mixing of residential delivery, Uber drop off/pick up, double parking, and cars getting into TJs on Fulton, will be a mess if not preemptively addressed.

As mentioned in our last post — we landed with more questions than answers. We’ll keep you updated as this process unfolds.

Side note: in preparing this post we discovered that there was a lot of interest on the ‘local hiring process’ and are considering dedicating efforts to a part 3 post to cover that.