Fertile Underground, the West End’s community grocery cooperative, decided at its General Assembly recently to support two great transportation reform endeavors: Park(ing) Day and Bike-to-FUG-Sundays.
In cooperation with the Recycle-a-Bike bike valet, Fertile Underground will use two of its front parking spots for temporary bike parking on Sunday mornings in order to encourage families to cycle in. The store will feature a different discount or special offer for cyclists each week. Recycle-a-Bike will offer the service for free, but suggests a donation of $1 for the valet attendant to watch each bike.
As we’ve previously pointed out on this blog, bikes take up so much less space than cars, that removing the parking spots in favor of bike parking actually greatly increases the number of people who can shop at the store.
FUG has also become the first business in Providence to make a hard commitment to be part of Park(ing) Day on September 20th. Park(ing) Day is when businesses temporarily use their parking spaces for something other than parking. It highlights the huge amount of space used to store cars–an East Providence-sized area in Rhode Island alone, and an area the size of Puerto Rico (or about three Rhode Islands) nationally–and how that space can be used for more creative purposes like public gardens, outdoor seating, sales areas, or bike amenities. As a temporary model, Park(ing) Day is low-risk, but sometimes the changes are so popular that they get adopted permanently, as in my old neighborhood of West Philly, where the Green Line Cafe instituted outdoor parklets with seating.
I’m really excited that Transport Providence has been able to partner with FUG on both these projects.