Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Grocery shopping by bike or foot

One thing that occurred to me after I submitted my comments to the Chestnut Hill Square (CHS) Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR): Has New England Development (NED) factored the likely travel plans of the lifestyle grocery customers into its 10% transit reduction calculation? Nobody's going to bike or walk to get groceries (except CHS residents).

Let me back up.

In order to gain approval for their plans, NED has assumed a 10% transit reduction during peak hours. That means that NED expects that their efforts to promote travel to the site by other than private car -- private shuttle, MBTA bus stop, pedestrian and bicycle accommodations -- will reduce traffic by 10%.

A significant chunk of the traffic to CHS will be to and from Whole Foods the not-as-yet-identified lifestyle grocer. With the exception of a very few, very near neighbors, everybody's taking their groceries home in the car. So, if there's going to be a 10% transit reduction in the aggregate, the non-grocery travel has to have a much higher transit reduction.

Color me skeptical.

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