Comment of the Day: The Shopping Center with the Most Parking Spaces Wins!

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE SHOPPING CENTER WITH THE MOST PARKING SPACES WINS! Reducing the number of parking spaces at this store would not encourage people to walk to get their weekly grocery shopping, it would just encourage them to drive to a different store.” [Jimbo, commenting on What the New Montrose H-E-B Is Gonna Look Like]

13 Comment

  • This is 100% correct. I’m not in general a fan of the “walkable” movement, but the absolute worst part about it is walking to get groceries. It was horrible when I had to do it living in Chicago during the winter, and it would be just as bad in Houston in the summer.

  • There also seems to be a counterintuitive phenomenon whereas the people who push the “walkable” movement seem to buy Less deodorant then the average people. It must be really heavy to carry home!

  • I didn’t say anything about walking. I was referring to not wasting valuable land for excessive parking spots and instead putting it to better use as anything other than parking.

  • I have always thought that Central Market on Westheimer has more parking spots than necessary. If their lot was 2/3 full I would drive elsewhere to shop as their store would be packed.

  • I bike to the adjacent Fiesta all the time. Their bike rack is not shaped correctly for locking bikes to, and it’s positioned to get hit by cars (and clearly has been, a lot, despite being painted yellow). But the otherwise nice bike rack at HEB’s new Buffalo/Bissonnet store is usually used as a storage area for pumpkins or flowers or something, which is even worse. There are usually a couple of bikes on it nonetheless—is HEB trying to drive us off or something?

    I’d like to see a store get bike parking right for once. Unfortunately Houston laws (and ultimately, Houston drivers) won’t allow them to replace twelve SUV spots with one bike rack, so instead we chop down all the trees along Alabama and pave from property line to property line. Sigh.

  • Or you can endure having your bike backed into, like I did at Chevron on Montrose.. Tube popped, rim bent, and the oblivious driver completely unaware she just wrecked my bike. They put bike racks in some moronic spots, disco Krogers I’m looking at you and your jack@ss security guards who are rude to your customers..

  • It probably depends on what you consider to be excessive. At 5 parking spaces per 1000 sq.ft of store you are effectively looking at 5 customers per 1000 sq.ft or 200 sq.ft per customer. That hardly seems excessive to me.

  • How about let a company decide how many spots they need? If I want to build a store with 0 spots, then it’s up to me and my decision if that causes no shoppers to come by. If I want to put in 1000000 spots for my tiny corner store, then that’s my call to make too.
    A lot of these parking lot laws end up in too many or too few spots. Let the market decide what works best for a given property in a given location. The 1 spot per x SF might work well in one location but might be under/over kill somewhere else.

  • then taking away at least half of that floor space for merchandise leaves 100 sqft per parking space. Then with some bringing family members, concentrating in the aisles and at the registers and pushing a buggy, it starts to get jammed/claustrophobic pretty quick.

  • Cody,
    unfortunately i got side tracked in the argument about what is and is not an excessive amount of parking, but you got it exactly.
    How could some planner from whenever the ordinance was developed have any idea how much parking a grocery store at any random spot in the city in any given year should have.

  • I currently DO walk it to Fiesta, and have no problem in the heat or rain. I’m with Cody on this one: let the market decide what’s appropriate and let each consumer what’s appropriate for herself.

  • Walking or biking to get groceries is no big deal at all. In fact, I like it better because you are (a) forced to buy only what you need; and (b) since you end up buying a smaller amount of food, less is wasted in your refrigerator at home.

    A lot of times, I go to the store everyday and just buy what I want to eat that night. Fresh, healthy and no waste. Sadly, it seems like Houston residents care little about any of that.