Whole Foods Market blocks Third Avenue: Cyclists

Neighbors: Whole Foods blocking bike and pedestrian traffic

The Brooklyn Paper
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The Whole Foods Market in Gowanus is using the bike lane and sidewalk that run along its side as a loading dock, blocking the path with forklifts, trucks, and pallets, say irked neighbors and cyclists.

A musician who lives around the corner from the high-end grocer claims the store’s unloading obstructs the Third Avenue paths nearly every day and sometimes into the evening. The congestion shows a gaping hole in the store’s planning and proves why the city should have never let Big Kale get the zoning variance to build such a huge facility, the longtime resident contended, saying it has ruined that side of the street for him.

“It’s pretty chaotic over there, with trucks unloading and not taking care where they do it — and sometimes multiple trucks,” said Martin Bisi. “I’ve actually stopped walking on that side because of it.”

Park Slope cyclist and road-safety gadfly Doug Gordon snapped a photograph of a Whole Foods forklift driving over a bike lane on the afternoon of April 28. Gordon said he has seen the same thing happen a few times over the last month, but a spokesman for the craft-beer-and-prosciutto dispensary claimed that Gordon’s snapshot showed a one-time occurrence and compared the forklift to a car backing out of a driveway.

“It was an unfortunate incident, but it was a one-off incident and it happens,” Michael Sinatra said. “There is a lot of activity that goes on in the loading dock, but we work hard to make sure that bike lane is clear.”

But another Park Slope cycling advocate argued that Whole Foods is using a public space for a private function and that the company could have easily put its loading bays on its lot. The organic-centric grocer should work with the Department of Transportation to rejigger Third Avenue so that bike-riders’ right of way is preserved, the activist said.

“It’s disappointing no one raised this as an issue before the building was built,” said Alex Knight. “As of right now, it’s less safe than it was before they opened and that needs to change.”

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Or from Yellow Hook says:
Too bad you can't deliver food on bicycles in Utopia.

Not if you want it fresh.
May 9, 2014, 6:54 am
Dave from BRooklyn Heights says:
Go around. Is it really tht hard?????
May 9, 2014, 7:46 am
bkmanhatnab from nubrucklyn says:
In other news. Wonder if Wholefoods is going to build a children's playground or homeless gym on its premises.
May 9, 2014, 7:48 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
You can buy groceries on a bike. Whole Foods should use its parking lot for its loading instead of dedicating so much space to aberrant car culture.
May 9, 2014, 7:56 am
Adrastos from Bath Beach says:
I agree. While I do like it that Whole Foods is here, it is annoying with all the trucks blocking part of Third Ave. The design should have made a space within the compound to include room for loading and unloading, not the street or bike path.
May 9, 2014, 7:58 am
Robert Perris says:
I walk and ride this section of Third Avenue frequently and Mr. Sinatra is mistaken; the sidewalk and bike lane are often obstructed. Given the size of the development site, it does seem to be bad design to put the loading zone in the street.

The problem isn't just the bike lane; the sidewalk is frequently blocked by pallets of food and garbage for collection, preventing pedestrians to pass.

Yeah, Dave, it is often not to hard to go around the obstruction but you are missing the point. Sidewalks and bike lanes are created for everyone's use and a private retailer has rendered those public amenities not usable at times.
May 9, 2014, 8:07 am
CTP from WT says:
“It was an unfortunate incident, but it was a one-off incident and it happens,”

So, was it a one-off incident OR does it happen?
May 9, 2014, 8:19 am
Jeff from park slpoe says:
what a bunch of whiners.
May 9, 2014, 8:29 am
Phantom from Bay Ridge says:
Wild exaggeration and a cherry picked photo.

Supermarkets have loading and unloading.

They'd have a hard time staying in business if they didn't.

Perhaps the against everything NIMBYs would be happy if the WF closed down so you they could enjoy an empty lot for the next 100 years.
May 9, 2014, 8:53 am
DC from Park Slop says:
Really now the bike enthusiasts are really getting out of hand with the me me me attitude. Suck it up or move back to Wisconsin its getting tiresome
May 9, 2014, 9:10 am
BS from Wholefoods says:
Whole Foods is lying.

This isn't an old facility built to the lot line with grandfathered rights to use the streets as they did back in the day for loading and unloading.

This is a new development and must conform to new guidelines which include providing a means for loading and unloading within their own facility without impacting the public realm. It's in their approved plans otherwise they wouldn't have gotten them approved. DOB would have the plans if Whole Foods won't give them up.

The street is off limits to Whole Foods operations and a fine should be issued the moment they extend themselves into the public realm. Call it a bike lane, street, sidewalk, it's off limits to Whole Foods!
May 9, 2014, 9:29 am
another me says:
Uhm, DC, the bike lane was installed by the New York City Department of Transportation, which makes it us, us, us.
May 9, 2014, 9:42 am
ty from pps says:
Glad to see the ignorant, self-involved "Real Brooklyn" choir out in full force...

1. Ignorant comment about trucks
2. Ignorant and inspiring "just go around" comment (funny how this comment is surely accompanied by a clear double-standard -- e..g, bike lanes are destroying traffic, a pedestrian island is the end of the world, etc.)
3. Several missing-the-point comments like... "Supermarkets have loading and unloading." No REALLY!? Stores need to receive goods?!!
4. And finally... somehow inappropriate, disruptive use of public space is something to be embraced here in beautiful Brooklyn (i.e., the requisite "Go back to Wisconsin" comment from the local idiot)

I'm going to start doing auto repairs in the Nethermead or on the sidewalk of Prospect Park West... just go around, if you don't like it, go back to Iowa.
May 9, 2014, 10:14 am
Hannah Smart from Park Slope says:
Ha - call them "hole" foods, cause they're gettin' stuffed!
Stick a duck in 'em - they're done!
May 9, 2014, 10:18 am
Jim from Greenpoint says:
That's major news, there is not to many putz's like you!!!! these hard working guys are trying to make a living supporting there family's paying taxes etc bikers are not paying taxes no fees what so ever like registration,insurance etc ...............
May 9, 2014, 10:25 am
Wallyo from Cottswalds says:
ty doing auto repairs! hahahahahahahaha!
May 9, 2014, 10:32 am
ty from pps says:
Jim, Really?? "bikers are not paying taxes" -- Hmm?

Who do you think pays for the roads and sidewalks in the city? That was rhetorical because YOU'RE WRONG! *hint: The city streets are not funded by State registration and fees. And, ummm, insurance premiums don't pay for any public works. Oh, yeah, and your car registration doesn't pay for schools, parks, fire departments, police, etc. etc. Do you know what pays for those? TAXES! Guess who pays taxes? If you think it's just car owners, let me know... I'll sell my car tomorrow!

Who are the "hardworking guys trying to make a living supporting there [sic] families"?? You mean the shipping & receiving guys? Or do you mean the CEO of Wholefoods that couldn't do without, say, 500 sq ft of floorspace so the sidewalk and roadway is clear. And YES, the bike lane is part of the roadway... Do you honestly think any of the real criticism is directed toward the friggin' workers?! No. That's just stupid.
May 9, 2014, 10:45 am
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Pardon the suggestion, but has anyone even had this though: Load in from the roof.
Uhm, hello?
Pardon the sarcasm.
John Wasserman/Patriot/J-Wass Roofing and Storm Door
May 9, 2014, 11:23 am
Charles from Bklyn says:
Why do some people stand behind a corporation and their creation of a public nuisance at the expense of their neighbors? Contrary to the Supreme Court's view, Corporations are NOT people. What about the elderly or handicap that have to go around on the other side of the block to avoid the illegal use of the street by Whole Foods? This isn't a me me me NIMBY situation, this is us us us PEOPLE issue. In Brooklyn, we fight for our rights ... and if you don't like it, then it's time for YOU to leave. Their are places that cater to the tools of the world.
May 9, 2014, 11:25 am
Pete from CarrollGardens says:
Trader Joe's on Atlantic/Court creates traffic nightmare and very dangerous. At least 3rd street very wide and can get around it.
May 9, 2014, 11:37 am
Sajh from Brooklyn Heights says:
Trader Joe's does this same thing on 14th St in Manhattan. They block an entire LANE of traffic. The FDNY also doesnt have enough room for a 2nd engine that they need on 14th St so they block an entire lane of traffic. And 14th St is a major artery that is constantly filled with high volume. Yet, life goes on there and this issue has been occuring for a long time. Does it make it right? No, but please, you must have something better to do that concentrate on this extremely small issue. There are way more bigger quality of life issues than this. This is like small town paper news.
May 9, 2014, 11:42 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
At least now it's not a food desert!
May 9, 2014, 12:24 pm
Brooklyn from bklyn says:
Whole Foods is not telling the truth. The bike lane is constantly blocked. I rode by today and there was a van parked in it.

They need to be better neighbors.
May 9, 2014, 12:40 pm
VLM from Park Slope says:
"“It’s disappointing no one raised this as an issue before the building was built,” said Alex Knight. “As of right now, it’s less safe than it was before they opened and that needs to change.”"

I have no idea who Alex Knight is, but he's flat-out wrong. A lot of neighbors and Park Slope residents brought this up during the design phase, but no one at Whole Foods was too interested in listening.
May 9, 2014, 12:41 pm
Ben from Brooklyn says:
We have a housing crises and instead we're building Whole Foods that take space from everyone. We have vision zero, and whole foods is pushing us in the other direction. WTF WF?
May 9, 2014, 12:47 pm
WES from Park Slope says:
Have any of you seen the semis blocking traffic in front of the 7th ave Key Food? When they are unloading at Union Market traffic is a s**t storm. If a single Fresh Direct truck parks on my block and another truck comes along, honking insanity ensues. Hell, I've seen trucks block half the street at the Food Coop. This is not an issue with Whole Foods, its an issue with trucks in a very congested area. You want to buy "stuff" in a city as densely populated as Brooklyn, this is the trade off.
May 9, 2014, 1:04 pm
trans alt from my bike says:
The local politicos really dropped the ball when they allowed Whole Foods (and Fairway and Ikea in Red Hook) to have massive amounts of car parking. That was an open invitation for every mook in South Brooklyn to overrun these areas with their gas guzzling killing machines. There has to be a moritorium on any new business having any car parking at all, or things will never change
May 9, 2014, 1:06 pm
Walker from Brooklyn says:
"Really now the bike enthusiasts are really getting out of hand with the me me me attitude. Suck it up or move back to Wisconsin its getting tiresome"

YEAH! And those selfish pedestrians! Really getting out of hand with the me me me attitude. Always wanting to walk on sidewalks instead of in the street! GO BACK TO WISCONSIN, YOU PEOPLE WHO WALK IN NEW YORK!
May 9, 2014, 1:07 pm
Carolina from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn says:
I love it,and I'm glad they opened in Brooklyn. It's easy to get to in Brooklyn by car and plenty of parking.

Between this and Trader Joes I don't have to leave Brooklyn to shop anymore. They have taken over useless space and created something that everyone in the borough can benefit from.

They just need to work out the kinks,give them a chance.
May 9, 2014, 1:07 pm
Walker from Brooklyn says:
WES, um no.

Whole Foods has a ton of property. This isn't an old grocery store on an old street like 7th Ave in an old neighborhood. They built this thing from scratch and could have built a loading dock on their property, inside the lot. They are the ones who should have made the trade-off, not NYC residents.

Instead it's in the pedestrian area and is constantly blocked. I hate walking over there now.
May 9, 2014, 1:09 pm
Joe from Manhattan says:
How is what this Whole Foods is doing different than any other large grocery store in the city?
May 9, 2014, 1:10 pm
another me from again says:
Joe from Manhattan, see the messages at 2:06 and 2:09.
May 9, 2014, 1:18 pm
Walker from Brooklyn says:
Because they have a giant parking lot in which they could conduct this business, instead of blocking the sidewalk and bike lane. WF is, in fact, different from many other large grocery stores in the city. The Key Food on 5th Ave in Park Slope has their loading zone at the back of their parking lot, away from pedestrians, cyclists, and car traffic on the avenue.

This also causes problems for drivers on 3rd Ave, who have to watch out for cyclists coming out of the bike lane. Sometimes the trucks even stick out into the car lane, which creates another hazard.
May 9, 2014, 1:18 pm
trans alt from my bike says:
And Carolina from Bensonhurst proves my point. Keep your pollution spewing, pedestrian killing in Bensonhurst, until we gentrify it.
May 9, 2014, 1:19 pm
WES from Park Slope says:
Walker, I am not saying its ideal, but wherever you have a loading dock, the tucks still need to get in and out. You are going to have traffic issues regardless. Also, that point at 3rd Street is fairly wide, I doubt it ever completely blocks traffic. Please go to Union Market on Union and 6th Ave at 8 AM and take a look at how insane traffic is there. Union Market is a new establishment as well.

That said, I think its important to bring these things up to our elected officials and the companies and try and work on solutions that serve everybody, but it's never as easy as people think.
May 9, 2014, 1:24 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
What is so funny is that 3rd street is extra wide - so Litchfield and his carriages could speed up the street to his mansion, from his business.

No cars, no trucks, but horses!
May 9, 2014, 1:29 pm
Walker from Brooklyn says:
Union Market is a new business in an old and small location on an old street. Whole Foods is a new business that built its own building on a massive lot. Apples to oranges. The IKEA in Red Hook is a new building. Their loading dock is located away from pedestrian areas.

Whole Foods could have placed the loading dock on its actual property inside the parking lot, but instead offloaded it to pedestrian space owned by the city and used by more than just Whole Foods customers.

People predicted this would happen before the building was constructed and asked for changes. Whole Foods didn't listen. The solution was, in fact, very easy, but the store wanted to do what it wanted to do.

They should fix this.
May 9, 2014, 1:29 pm
ty from pps says:
Joe -- That is a good question.

Why does "Steve's C Town" on 9th Street not have this problem? Are their goods catapulted in from space?

Why do other stores receive deliveries... while Whole Foods seems to instead use the street and sidewalk as its sorting facility?
May 9, 2014, 1:32 pm
ty from pps says:
Joe -- That is a good question.

Why does "Steve's C Town" on 9th Street not have this problem? Are their goods catapulted in from space?

Why do other stores receive deliveries... while Whole Foods seems to instead use the street and sidewalk as its sorting facility?
May 9, 2014, 1:32 pm
WES from Park Slope says:
Actually, Union Market should have been held to stricter standards, as they are in a Residentially Zoned district, while WF is in a Manufacturing and Mixed use district. That said, I like shopping at Union Market, but I won't drive down 6th at 8AM.
May 9, 2014, 1:41 pm
Crybaby from Windsor Terrace says:
Poor bikers. Waaaah... I have to go around the trucks. Waaaaaah.... I have to drive my bike and disregard all traffic laws on other blocks. Waaaaah, the big bad former Bloomberg allowed the big bad Whole Foods into my neighborhood. What is next? Walmart! Oh no, perish the thought. Waaaaah
May 9, 2014, 1:48 pm
Walker from Brooklyn says:
Poor pedestrians. Waaah...I have to go around the pallets and forklifts and into the roadway. Waaaah...I have to walk and get around without being hit by cars and trucks.
May 9, 2014, 1:52 pm
Jim from Windsor Terrace says:
Wow, Crybaby. You have clearly missed the point, but don't let your prejudices and ignorance prevent you from sharing your thoughts.

Folks do understand that this is a city with lots of people on foot and, shocker! on bicycle. We're not talking about a strip mall on Long Island or central Pennsylvania where everyone gets around by car for everything. The sidewalks are not loading facilities. They are amenities for all of us. The roadway (including the bike lane) is not a loading facility. They are amenities for all of us. They should be respected and protected.

The lazy "Well, this is Brooklyn, go back to Wisconsin" attitude is so wrong-headed on so many levels. But I guess the rational, intelligent folks already know this. Preaching to the choir.
May 9, 2014, 1:58 pm
Barry from Flatbush says:
I just like that Whole Foods owner donates millions to far right wing causes. It's good to know that all that liberal kale organic kale chip money is used to fight against environmentalism. Big chuckles in the Board room.
May 9, 2014, 1:58 pm
Jerry from Bay Ridge says:
This is ridiculous Mickey Mouse ——. I cannot believe this is a news story.

And yeah, that is god damn right -- bike around the damn truck. I mean, just get your groceries and go home, don't whine over a Whole Foods set-up not being ideal. This is not Utopia -- 3rd avenue will never not have cars.

Wes from Park Slope had the best answer.
May 9, 2014, 2 pm
Alex from Park Slope says:
She didn't include the part of my quote that said this is a problem for everyone, not just cyclists. They are blocking the sidewalk, bike lane, AND street with this. I walk, bike, and drive and it's all annoying around that location now. So those of you scolding cyclists for complaining can step off your very rickety soap boxes. I have no problem with Whole Foods being there, but they ought to work to integrate more seamlessly with the neighborhood. They built the store from the ground up. They could have done a better job than they did with traffic and delivery management.
May 9, 2014, 2:02 pm
Walker from Brooklyn says:
Note the part, Jerry, where the sidewalk is also blocked.
May 9, 2014, 2:03 pm
The Duke from Flatbush says:
Barry from the block hits a home run. I try my hardest to give as little of my money as possible to nasty right wing nutjobs. I'll stick with Fairway or something in walking distance. Whole Foods ain't getting a dime from me. I'd mention Dominos an Papa Johns also, but they are so awful that I'd never be tempted to eat their garbage.
May 9, 2014, 2:10 pm
Jerry from Bay Ridge says:
Sidewalks get blocked everywhere, every day for deliveries, etc. It's reality, it's NY/Brooklyn where there is less room. This is not news.
May 9, 2014, 2:12 pm
Alex from Park Slope says:
I'm sure none of you suggesting that cyclists just "go around" will honk or act aggressively in your car when we have to go out into the car lane to do so.
May 9, 2014, 2:16 pm
Jerry from Bay Ridge says:
Just do it gradually, not suddenly.
May 9, 2014, 2:18 pm
ty from pps says:
"Just do it gradually, not suddenly."

HAA!! Yeah, I bet you'd never honk or act aggressively to a cyclist that is "gradually" getting in front of your car and then "gradually" getting out of your way.... right?

And Jerry, what the hell is this comment: "This is not Utopia -- 3rd avenue will never not have cars." What is your point?? I am sooooo friggin' tired of all of this hyperbolic, black-and-white thinking.

* Bicycles are horrible because I saw a few cyclists acting badly... of course no one was injured or even inconvenienced, but it was really annoying to me. Ya know, the principle of it.
* Obviously when someone complains about dangerous traffic and sidewalk issues, what they are really saying is get rid of all motor vehicles! Bring on a magical utopia!
* Whole foods exists, take all the horrible crap that comes with it VS. The land would still be a vacant wasteland if Whole Foods was... umm... required to have an appropriate loading facility.
May 9, 2014, 2:32 pm
ty from pps says:
And where are sidewalks "blocked all the time"?! Not like the sidewalk adjacent to Whole Foods. I've never seen any other grocery store block a sidewalk so thoroughly, for so long (or even continuously) every day.

The only other business that I've seen act as consistently un-neighborly is the Hollywood Car Wash on Coney Island Avenue... they block the sidewalk, the parking lane AND one lane of traffic causing a dangerous bottleneck and extreme hazard for pedestrians (also, the sidewalk is coated with extremely slippery grease/soap). I guess if the NYPD and SDNY has no problem with that business, why should residents care? It's Brooklyn after all! Why should be want a better quality of life!?
May 9, 2014, 2:39 pm
DanG from Red Hook says:
I don't see a plate on that forklift. It is not allowed to operate in the street.
May 9, 2014, 2:42 pm
NYPD from NY says:
It's illegal to block the bike lane, END of story.
May 9, 2014, 3:03 pm
Hector from Cobble Hill says:
.... and yet somehow the world continues spinning... 1st world problems indeed....
May 9, 2014, 5:16 pm
SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
I drove up & down 3rd avenue on Wednesday and Thursday. You know what I didn't see? BICYCLES!! You know why? BECAUSE IT WAS RAINING! You know what I did see? Trucks delivering food to Brooklyn. And I saw cars, and I saw pedestrians, and I saw shoppers, and I saw school busses and I saw business owners contributing to Brooklyns economy. I just didn't cyclists. you know why? because they are meaningless . Life goes on for Brooklyn when it rains. everything runs, everything works....except bike lanes.
May 9, 2014, 5:26 pm
C from Windsor Terrace says:
As someone who only drives through occasionally, doesn't bike in that area and often thinks these "problems" are overblown, I'm glad that WF is being taken to task for this. THIS is what makes Brooklyn the place I want to live and raise a family, this kind of community involvement and gumption. Happy that fellow Brooklynites aren't letting this slip thru the cracks. Every little but of improvement and neighborhood advocacy helps. Sometimes it goes a bit overboard; this is not one of those times.
May 9, 2014, 5:49 pm
ty from pps says:
Two questions, Swampy....
#1) When you were driving up and down 3rd Avenue over and over... how often did the horrible dysfunctional bike lane get in your way? You were unable to drive because of that 6-ft strip of roadway? Or did it not affect you, but perhaps made it safer for cyclists... ya know, on a sunny day (because you are absolutely right, no bicycles when it rains! we all know that's based on facts!)
#2) Where did you see the pedestrians? Were they walking in the middle of the road or were they using something called a sidewalk? (Were sidewalks mentioned in this article?)
May 9, 2014, 5:53 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Bike zealots will complain about anything for them. Unfortunately, space is small and Whole Foods needs the space for loading. I sort of find it an irony that there are those who wanted it to get built, but now call it inconvenience for them after it occurs. Perhaps, if there was a loading dock on the actual site, there wouldn't be a need for them to take up the street and sidewalk, but there was probably opposition to that, so it didn't happen.
May 9, 2014, 5:54 pm
ty from pps says:
By the way Swampy... I just looked out my window. There are no cars on my street. It must be because it's raining.
May 9, 2014, 5:56 pm
SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
Ty, I see everything. I do the speed limit. I look around. I have situation awareness. I see pedestrians, you never know when one might cross in the middle of the road. I see school buses, I see children getting off those busses. I see traffic signals. I see red lights. RED LIGHTS!!!! THOSE ARE THE THINGS CYCLIST S BLOW THROUGH ON NICE DAYS!!! IT MEANS STOP!!!!! CARS STOP, CYCLISTS DON'T!!!. I see everything, because I am a considerate motorist, pedestrian and a good human. 99% of the time cyclist blow red lights. this is know this is true
May 9, 2014, 6:23 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
The solution is simple.

Close WF - people will lose their jobs, there will be no baggets at 7 AM, and there will be no trucks. The lot will return to a garbage pile, but you will be able to bike there!

Yes We Can!
May 9, 2014, 6:39 pm
ty from pps says:
Swampy --
Why didn't you answer my question? But instead took the opportunity to just go off on a tangential rant that has nothing to do with Whole Foods blocking the sidewalk and roadway. Hmm?
May 9, 2014, 6:54 pm
ty from pps says:
Yep, Rufus. You are brilliant. There is obviously no simple solution between unfettered behavior and closing the store. I know you'd be sad if you couldn't get your "baggets"!
May 9, 2014, 7 pm
TOM from Sunset Park says:
The solution is at hand: Cross Harbor Tunnel should be operating in 20 years. Then they will extend rails to 3rd Street so fresh produce from CA will arrive direct by the good old Iron Horse to WF.

Until then though everything arrives on trucks(Well, not everything, just 95% of everything). As the population grows, more trucks and more trucks. No other way.
May 9, 2014, 8:27 pm
Jerry from Bay Ridge says:
Ty how long have you lived here? If you have never seen delivery trucks or their workers block anything on sidewalks and streets in any of the 5 boros, I've got a bridge to sell you.

My point about 3rd ave never not having cars is -- it is a major thoroughfare and an alternate commuter route for drivers when the Gowanus is backed up. Still lots of industry. There once was a bus route that went from my neighborhood up by WF, now that's gone (guess the bike lines that have 2-3 people ride in it per day is the priority there now). But it's not going to change overnight so you can ride your bike like nothing is there.

If you're sick & tired of people disagreeing with you and not having the same point of view, and if you want to improve the quality of life, do us a favor, and end your antagonizing and condescending posts. People were clamoring for Whole Foods, now it's here and there is all this complaining over what already was a busy intersection. Give us your realistic genius of a plan to make it better.

I don't side with these large land-grabbing companies, but I'd tackle the bigger problems that they present besides this if you want to make a statement. Again, this is not a news story, this is city life, you gotta take bad with good sometimes. And is THIS really all bad? Living here in the 70s was pretty bad. This whole issue is childish.
May 9, 2014, 11:25 pm
Brooklyn real . from downtown says:
Is it any wonder that a grown man does not even have a car .. and can complain about something like this , just go around it ...........oh brother we are lost .................................
May 9, 2014, 11:55 pm
joe from park slope says:
I live about a block away from this Whole Foods... its really not half as bad as this article is making it out to be. You guys should really interview other people besides hipsters and self-important bicyclists. If there's anything I hate about this supermarket, its the crazy expensive prices, and the fact some of their prepared food tastes like dirt... lol
May 10, 2014, 12:25 am
jason from gowanus says:
you should hate brooklyn by now. i did and still do. even from 3,000 miles away. it's not just articles like this. recently I read a letter to the editor in the VV.

'dear nyc, grow up and stop whining about everything. you don't just sound pathetic anymore.'

sum it up better. i dare you.
May 10, 2014, 2:30 am
jason from gowanus says:
and it's only 12:30 here...
May 10, 2014, 2:32 am
ty from pps says:
Jerry -- "If you have never seen delivery trucks or their workers block anything on sidewalks and streets in any of the 5 boros"

Is that what I said? Did I use hyperbolic, black-and-white statements?

You do know the difference between "people clamoring for Whole Foods" and "people clamoring for a Whole Foods that built a building with a proper receiving and sorting facility."

This was a BRAND NEW construction project on a LARGE parcel of land... but somehow, they couldn't figure out how to do business without blocking the sidewalk and roadway -- FAR more often and for longer durations than any other supermarket I've seen?

This is the issue, Jerry. Clamor all you want. But when something happens it should be for the betterment of the community -- kinda sad that you are satisfied with "Well, it's better than the 70s" yard stick.

Oh, and the B103 goes right up 3rd Ave and back down 4th Ave... I rode it the other night. Passed several bicycles -- about as many bicycles as there were cars on 3rd ave.
May 10, 2014, 8:47 am
Slider from Clinton Hill says:
Why is it that when I read any story where there is whining over something stupid Martin Bisi is usually quoted? He's actually had to walk on the other side of the street? Horrors!
May 10, 2014, 11:26 am
biscuit from windsor terrace says:
I bike all over Brooklyn. I like the "go around" comment. My block in Windsor Terrace is constantly blocked by large delivery trucks. I am so used to going around that it doesn't even seem like an issue anymore. Sure, Whole Foods may block the street/sidewalk more than one of those shops on my block. But there are probably 10 bodega/restaurants on my block, and the effect is the same. If your going to bike in NYC, get used to blocked roads and bike lanes. When life gives you lemons, go around.
May 10, 2014, 1:12 pm
Bkmanhatman from NuBrucklyn says:
here's the reality. NYC as a whole doesn't crack the top 10 in terms of the most bikable city, we are nowhere near Portland or San Francisco.
But you know what, when we crack the top 10 I hope it pisses of Tal, Diehipster, Swamp Yankee, and all the old school Bk troglodytes.
May 10, 2014, 4:36 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Perhaps, a little history lesson is in order for those that don't know why trucks are needed to load and unload at supermarkets. In the early 1900's, farms were starting to disappear all over NYC as they were seen as prime real estate. Another reason was for the fact that the price of the land went up and they couldn't afford to be there anymore. Since NYC no longer as that many active farms within their own boundaries, they have to be brought in by truck. Also, space is very small, so it's almost impossible to have big gardens to grow food for the most part. Seriously, I always find it an irony when cyclists don't mind creating traffic with there unnecessary bike lanes, but cry foul when they are being blocked even though they can quickly go around the trucks. Another irony is that hipsters want to get from that Whole Foods, but are complaining about the road being blocked by those that are delivering for them.
May 10, 2014, 6:40 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Seriously? Was that what you consider an intelligent comment?! There are no farms in Brooklyn, so Whole Foods should use the roadway and sidewalk as their private property?

Man o' man, you are a living and breathing stupid non sequitur... how do you maintain this level of performance? I mean, by now you'd think a logical and intelligent comment would happen just by mistake.
May 10, 2014, 7:09 pm
ty from pps says:
(I'm very amused... Do you think trucks only transported food when farms left the city limits? Did everyone walk to the farm every day and pick up their produce? There are so many levels of dumb here... )
May 10, 2014, 7:12 pm
SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
Well all that kale has to get to Whole Foods somehow. You can't bring tons off produce in via bicycle. You need trucks to run the City. Everything comes by truck. If trucks stopped tomorrow the city would starve within a week. If bicycles stopped tomorrow I'd have to make my own coffee. The city runs on trains, busses, trucks and cars. Bicycles are a "nice to have". We really would be just fine without them. Be thankful for what you have but please don't pretend bicycles are in any way necessary for running this city. Next time you fall off your bike would you like to be picked up by an ambulance or by a EMT on a bicycle? What's next? Bicycle Fire trucks?
May 11, 2014, 8:43 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
SwampYankee once again reminds the clueless how uncommon, common sense has become.

Remember when Kennedy said "we choose to go to the moon, not because it is easy. . . "

Remember when the youth of America dreamt of driving a new sports car across the country on Route 66?

Now we choose to pedal to Starbucks because it is easy.

Ask not what your country can do for you - Demand it!

(Where's my Freerange Fairmarket Kale?)
May 11, 2014, 10:10 am
ty from pps says:
Swampy and Or -- are you related to Tal?! Unreal.

The unloading and sorting activities of Whole Foods are taking place in the road and on the sidewalk... blocking BOTH the roadway and the sidewalk and creating unnecessary hazards and inconvenience for drivers, pedestrians and (oh the horror) cyclists.

What does you constant whining about bicycles have to do with the fact that Whole Foods did not build their NEW facility properly and has consequently caused HARM to the neighborhood. They provided an amenity for some (the store) and harm for ALL (inappropriately using public space for private activities).

What is so friggin' difficult to understand here? It's not about your bicycle whining. It's not about goods being transported magically without trucks. It's about how this NEW facility has decided to deal with those deliveries once they arrive.

But go ahead... keep on with your stupid, pointless, tangential comments about bicycle ambulances, bicycle fire trucks and bicycle freight. At least it amuses you (even though it makes you looks stupid).
May 11, 2014, 10:47 am
SwampYankee from runined Brooklny says:
er...Ty.. I know quite a bit about building buildings and I assure you, That building is built to code and has been reviewed by the Department of Building, DEP, and about a dozen other City agencies, Community Boards and NIMBY's.. Enlighten me with your extensive construction knowledge and tell me what is illegal or not up to code. Perfectly correct and entirely legal . you just find it inconvenient that you have to slide around on your maxi-pad when you turn you child's plaything. Again, Trucks necessary....bikes, irrlevent. How could you stock a supermarket from bikes?
May 11, 2014, 11:28 am
trans alt from My bike says:
The biggest problem with Whole Foods is the massive amount of car parking that brings way too many private autos where they are not wanted. WF should not have been allowed to have any car parking at all, then the loading docks could have been where they belong.
May 11, 2014, 12:10 pm
SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
Great idea. A huge Supermarket without parking. Whole Foods didn't have to open up here and never would have under those conditions. Might work on a smaller scale in denser Manhattan but it's just plain sill here. People shop for families. Can't take all that home in bicycle basket. Open you eyes and go to the parking lot and see the people but all the bags in their cars. Think they owe you any favors? They don't. does trans alt stand for Transportation Alternative Realities? You do remember what this area looked like before Whole Foods built this nice store don't you?
May 11, 2014, 1:15 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Private autos not wanted?

I'd say you are wrong there - everybody there with a car is there because they want to be.

You don't want them there, but you don't seem to spend much time in RealVille.
May 11, 2014, 2:52 pm
SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
Or, hipsters don't live in realville. They think everything should be changed to suit their transplant lifestyle. Build a supermarket in a superfund site for millions to make the neighborhood better? CHANGE IT TO SUIT MEEEEEEEEEEE! I CAN'T RIDE AROUND A FORKLIFT WITH MY BICYCLE SO BAN CARS AND MAKE TRUCKS GO IN SOMEWHERE ELSE BECAUSE IT'S AL ABOUT MEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! BTW since I was born in Brooklyn I know where Yellow Hook is
May 11, 2014, 4:16 pm
ty from pps says:
What is illegal, Swampy?

Operating an unlicensed forklift in the road. Blocking the roadway with goods after the truck has driven away. Blocking the sidewalk and using it as a sorting facility. These are all illegal.

Did I ever say the building was illegal? Did anyone? Did anyone say the building was not up to code? (They did receive several foolish variances... that they shouldn't have asked for, nevermind our dumb gov't officials approving them.)

What MANY people have said is that the Whole Foods decided to build their new building without the appropriate (and obviously necessary) loading area. Instead, they are using the roadway and sidewalk illegally to make up for their mistakes.

Swampy, you do know how stupid and out-of-touch with reality you are when you continue to refer to bicycles as "child's playthings" right? (No, I know you don't. I know you think you're all righteous and you know what Brooklyn *should* be... the way it's always been!! Ever since your ancestors bought the house you inherited!)
May 11, 2014, 4:18 pm
ty from pps says:
By the way, it's pretty awesome that you know the name of Bay Ridge pre-1850s. That it certainly information that is only available to folks that were born in Brooklyn... What other things do you know about Brooklyn from the 19th century? Did you know the Brooklyn Bridge wasn't always there? It was built by your father, I'm sure.
May 11, 2014, 4:27 pm
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
New Utrech........Google will tell you Bay Ridge but New Utrech is the correct answer. you gave the transplant answer....hardly surprising as you are a TRANSPLANT
May 11, 2014, 4:45 pm
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
May 11, 2014, 6:48 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, the first actual supermarket came in the 1930's. By that time, NYC hardly had any active farms left. Either way, this place needs to be stocked on a regular basis, because of demand. Most of those who do shopping at supermarkets, can't walk back with their groceries, but there are too much of them and they will be heavy, so they drive. Don't be surprised if those who are going to supermarkets in Manhattan are going back home in taxis, because they find it as a better way to get back with all of them rather than walking, riding a bicycle, or even take a bus or subway with them. I still don't get why this Whole Foods wasn't built with a loading dock on the site, because if it was, there would be no need for them to take up the street and sidewalk, but you guys didn't want that, so this is what you get from that. Again, the irony on demanding for this to be built, and then complaining about it after it gets built. In reality, it's a bad idea to build a supermarket without on site parking.
May 11, 2014, 6:54 pm
ty from pps says:
Swampy -- How are you missing the friggin' point?!

Food is delivered by truck. Yes. This is not controversial, regardless of what your dumb little brain keeps saying.

What IS the problem is what happens to the food and goods when they arrive at the building. Since you are soooo intent on defending Whole Foods (because they represent "real" Brooklyn, apparently), please tell me why they couldn't have "sacrificed" a few hundred square feet in their enormous new building to provide for off-street goods sorting and receiving? THIS IS THE ISSUE, Swampy. Not your ridiculous and repetitive babbling about bicycles.
May 11, 2014, 7:01 pm
ty from pps says:
Oh man, and Swampy, do you mean New Utrecht that INCLUDES Bay Ridge? Ya know, Bay Ridge that was previously known as Yellow Hook? I'd be interested to know where the Yellow Hook in you little brain is located... since it's has to be a "hoek" after all. There are only a couple of those (geographically speaking), so... I wonder, would this place happen to be, I don't know, Bay Ridge?!
May 11, 2014, 7:12 pm
Jane Scarpitano from Park Slope says:
Whole Foods is scum; find me a WF in Austin where they load in the g.d. street?

Brooklyn gets effed again, and the real estate whore beg for more.
May 11, 2014, 10:39 pm
DS from Boerum Hill says:
Felipe Castro Palacios was killed by a hit-and -run yesterday while fixing a car a few blocks down third from this spot.

I frequently see cars ripping down 3rd at 40-50MPH. People shouldn't be in the roadway there regardless of your resentment for kale and bicycles and the midwest and other peoples complaining. When you are finished grumbling like Andy Rooney, consider looking forward and kicking around some real life suggestions.

Its simply a danger looking for a creative, realistic solution. Maybe WF awareness & enforcing existing speed and parking laws would help.
May 12, 2014, 6:44 am
Phantom from Bay Ridge says:
This is a fake / exaggerated story ginned up by professional complainers. If they loaded / unloaded in the parking lot, they'd be taking spots away from customers and causing congestion - it would be exactly the wrong thing to do.

Supermarkets load / unload because they have to get the food in and out. This is Retail 101.

Supermarkets and other businesses load and unload all over Brooklyn and NYC and USA - it is not a new phenonmenon, and its not a bad thing either.

Whole Foods fills a need in a borough that still does not have enough large, quality supermarkets. They should be embraced - I would like to see Whole Foods ( and Fairway ) open more of of their great stores in Brooklyn.

Many NYC residents do food shopping in the sububs because there is still a shortage of good markets.

And one of the reasons for the shortage of good markets is high real estate and tax costs and endless ball busting from unrepresentative NIMBYs when someone tries to bring something great into our neighborhoods.

Shame on you.
May 12, 2014, 9:08 am
DC from Park Slop says:
Me me me attitude of the yuppie/hipster annoying i still say you want to live here better suck it up, quit yer ——in already Go ride your damn bike in the park which you made a point of it being auto free
May 12, 2014, 10:45 am
ty from pps says:
Did you mean for your first paragraph to be as ridiculous as it is?
May 12, 2014, 10:45 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
ty the hall monitor wants to know!
May 12, 2014, 11:16 am
Brooklyn from Bklyn says:
Cars are still allowed in Prospect Park, DC.
May 12, 2014, 11:38 am
Brooklyn from Bklyn says:
"I still don't get why this Whole Foods wasn't built with a loading dock on the site, because if it was, there would be no need for them to take up the street and sidewalk, but you guys didn't want that, so this is what you get from that."

Tal, many people in the community asked Whole Foods to put their loading dock inside their property. They ignored us.

You are not correct.
May 12, 2014, 11:39 am
Phantom from Bay Ridge says:
Putting the loading dock on the property would mean significantly less parking spaces for customers, and more congestion.

Brooklyn is a congested area. We do not live in Kansas. This is much better than what was there before.

Say " thank you " to Whole Foods for Gods sake!

( One solution might have been to demolish the idiotic " historic building for the ages on the corner " and to use that free space as part of an on site loading dock )
May 12, 2014, 2:35 pm
ty from pps says:
Performing unloading in the parking lot (i.e., within their property) would cause more congestion (never mind the safety issues) than blocking the roadway and sidewalk?!

This is an amazing thought process.

Oh, and I'm glad you've added the oh-so-constructive "Well, this is better than a polluted vacant lot, so you should be overjoyed with whatever you've got!" He pays his rent on time that's what matters, why should be worry that he's beating his wife?
May 12, 2014, 3:22 pm
Brooklyn from Bklyn says:
Phantom, there are often empty parking spaces in the parking lot. This would not create congestion. If it did, it would inconvenience people who choose to shop at Whole Foods.

Putting the trucks on the outside edge of the building inconveniences people who are just passing by.

You are right, though. We don't live in Kansas. In Kansas there's lots of room for people to drive everywhere. This is New York. People walk, bike, and, for the most part, don't own cars.
May 12, 2014, 3:37 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Even if that historic building was taken down, I doubt it would have made a difference anyway considering what it took up. Nevertheless, food needs to be loaded there in whatever way is possible. It's unfortunate that they didn't place a loading dock on their own property, but we can't change that. At least supermarkets in Manhattan have loading zones in front of them to make up for not having their own loading docks or even garages for that. Perhaps, a loading zone should be placed there, so many will know not to be there much.
May 12, 2014, 5:45 pm
ty from pps says:
A loading zone, Tal? Umm, you mean like the one in the picture?

(a) Are the pallets in the loading zone?
(b) Is the forklift driving in the loading zone?

Ya know, so many will know not to be there much...
May 12, 2014, 6:39 pm
Jay from nyc says:
They should build six of these things in Pleasantville..
May 12, 2014, 7:47 pm
Local- from Gowanus says:
The local community, who live, work, and maneuver though the area absolutely opposed the project as designed. The city require two entrances/exits into parking lots like this, yet the BSA gave away that safety/design feature because Whole Foods had the full blessing of the mayor and the city council man to build just as they please--without any care to harm they were imposing on the area. A second parking lot entrance would have allowed for off street unloading.
While we all hope for the best, if anyone should get hurt at that location, they should sue the city too.
May 12, 2014, 9:28 pm
Per Ake Homebrewer says:
Again, find me a Whole Foods in Austin-- Texas even-- that unloads in the street like that?

In a BIKE LANE, ** on the sidewalk **.

It's a disgrace but noone should have expected better of Bloomturd or the vile company.
May 13, 2014, 9:56 am
Llaves from Fort Greene to Gowanus says:
This is still a HUGE issue. Everyone needs to call 311 and file complaints each time you see them blocking the bike lane or filling the sidewalk with pallets higher than 5 feet and 3 feet wide.

This morning it was the smug forklift driver literally parked in the middle of the bike lane and yesterday it was a Budweiser truck... it never will end until we get the city involved.
May 15, 2014, 9 am
Jim from Carroll Gardens says:

Ha ha ha ha. Best response to the whiners. And to all of the whiners... grow up.
May 18, 2014, 8:41 am
Steve from Croissant Park says:
Whole Foods in Fort Lauderdale took out the bike racks to put in more tables.
May 19, 2014, 9:42 am

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