Sunday, June 05, 2011

Groceries and Garages

When Wegmans opens in Columbia next summer it will be the first HoCo grocery store with a parking garage instead of a surface parking lot. It’s not likely to be the last either. If we are going to embrace walkable communities we’re going to need to get more comfortable with parking garages too.

This is no small adjustment for some life long suburbanites accustomed to asphalt pastures. As Katherine Shavers writes in this article in The Washington Post last week “It’s been a rough ride for some.”

“One surefire way to get under suburbanites’ skin is to mess with their parking, and there are few places more sacred, some say, than their wide-open grocery store lots.”

Of course we have already have grown accustomed to garage parking at the Mall but that is somehow seen as being acceptable because you don't need to go to the Mall nearly as frequently as you need to get groceries. Having to use a parking garage for grocery shopping just feels very different.

“For me, parking in a garage for grocery shopping is really weird,” said Bolormaa Baljinnyam, 40, of Rockville as she waited May 24 for an elevator with a baguette in her cart. “It’s kind of not natural.”

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