Before deciding for or against a Trader Joe's in the Castro/Upper Market, I think the facts of the proposal need to be fully evaluated. Many questions need to be answered, such as:
1. What impact will it have on traffic - auto, pedestrian and bicycle?
2. Aside, from cheap prices, how will Trader Joe’s improve the neighborhood?
3. How will they help create a more livable neighborhood and city?
4. How has Trader Joe's responded to the needs and desires of the neighborhood?
5. Will they accommodate/promote our transit/pedestrian first goals?
6. Will they minimize auto trips by providing reasonably priced delivery?
7. Will they offer a shuttle service to take customers and their groceries home, for free with minimum purchase, like the new Mollie Stone’s will do?
Our sister organization, Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association (DTNA), has done an exhaustive review of the 300+ page Traffic Study and the overall project proposal. You can find their reports at www.dtna.org/traderjoes.html. I encourage you to read these documents to get a full understanding of the project and potential impact on the neighborhood.
Further, as the Gay Capital of the world, do we not owe to ourselves to demand that businesses that locate in our neighborhood respect equality and diversity? On HRC’s 2011 Buying Guide Trader Joe’s was rated in the “Red” category on, “Businesses/brands that receive our lowest workplace equality scores.” Check it out at: http://www.hrc.org/buyersguide2011/ranking.html?category=1236. Why would we support a business like that in the Castro? So they can take our gay dollars but not treat us with fairness and equality?
Before we can decide whether Trader Joe’s is good for the neighborhood or San Francisco, we need to know the answers to these and many other questions. Castro/EVNA has invited Trader Joe’s, to our March 16th Board Meeting at Chase Bank, and they may possibly attend our March 23rd Membership meeting at the Castro Community Meeting Room, above BofA, to share with us their project and their answers to these questions. Come join us.
Alan R. Beach-Nelson
Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association