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Forthcoming Castro Whole Foods Will Have to Play Traffic Cop

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photo via Prado Group/Chronicle

When the Planning Department finally approved plans for a Whole Foods and condo development at 2001 Market Street last month, it came after a long series of some sixty-odd community meetings, multiple redesigns and work with interest groups like the SF Bicycle Coalition. According to the Chronicle today, as one of the conditions to move forward with the project Whole Foods has agreed to take on the responsibility managing traffic destined for its parking structure. Meaning they'll be ensuring that the line of cars full of shoppers hungry for the store's organic produce doesn't spill out in to the surrounding streets.

Anyone who has tried to make a quick grocery run to Trader Joe's on Masonic or the Noe Valley Whole Foods has probably experienced the frustration of queuing up just for a parking spot, but Whole Foods in confident in this case that it will be able to abate any parking overflow problems using similar methods it has employed in other stores around the city. Although the grocer has objected to paid parking in the past, the agreement leaves that option open as a one of the "suggested abatement methods." It may not seem groundbreaking - that a popular store with limited parking be responsible for making sure they're not a nuisance in the neighborhood, but the Planning Department is calling the agreement, "a kind of a prototype" and fully intends to apply similar measures in the future.
· Market & Dolores Whole Foods, Now With Extra Shiny! [CurbedSF]
· Whole Foods sets model for traffic with store plan [SFGate]