Walk to the Grocery Store Challenge

Strong Towns proposed a Walk to the Grocery Store Challenge. I highly encourage everybody to walk to the grocery store! It’s not a challenge for us – we intentionally chose a walkable neighborhood – but I wanted to document our trip to the store anyway.

Here we have the obstacle, and it’s a big one – the crossing of NE 70th St, a minor arterial. This is the proposed Rose Hill Greenway that crosses here, and while it currently does not have a crosswalk, there is hope that when the greenway is built, the crossing will be improved. In the meantime, crossing it with four children and groceries is terrifying. We went at about 11am this time, which is less stressful than the late afternoon. I do not go to the store in the dark at all – I would need to walk blocks out of the way for a safe crossing.

Scary crossing

Scary crossing

Approaching the intersection, based on where the curb cut is, this is the view I have when I push my stroller out into the street.

nicely obstructed view from the curb cut

nicely obstructed view from the curb cut

looking the other way from the curb cut

looking the other way from the curb cut

Some cars recognize the implicit crosswalk, but many do not. In the late afternoon most do not. I am not shy about asking drivers to stop by raising my hand, but many blow through that as well. We wade out into the street, and when we get to the center turn lane, stop to ask the next lane of cars to stop… sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. My four- and six-year-olds know this routine well – they stay close behind me until we get to the other side. This particular trip to the store, the traffic was light, so we were able to get across without too much danger.

Once across we walk past Pagliacci pizza

after crossing the street, we are still exposed

after crossing the street, we are still exposed

and through the bowling alley parking lot. I confess that I haven’t been here for x-bowl in some time, but right now it sure looks like some of the parking lot could be used for something nicer. But in the meantime, we look at the trees, listen to the birds, and stomp in the puddles (the ones that are not oil slicks, anyway). When it’s clear, my kids like to look for contrails. This time it was raining, so no contrails, and no birds, but lots of puddles.

through the parking lot

through the parking lot

and there's the store, right in front of us

and there’s the store, right in front of us

We walk past the Green Beanery. I scoffed at the Green Beanery when it first went in – organic drive-through! How sustainable could that possibly be? But there’s a walk-up/bike-up window on the left side.

coffee opportunity - one of several on our corner

coffee opportunity – one of several on our corner

And here we are – Red Apple Market, our local grocer.

we have arrived at the store!

we have arrived at the store!

After shopping, I loaded up the second seat of the double stroller (there’s a baby on my back, too). This was a bigger load than normal, but no problem with the stroller.

loaded up to go home

loaded up to go home

We headed home through the puddles in the parking lot.

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And here we are, back at our scary intersection. We cross, and head home.

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One thought on “Walk to the Grocery Store Challenge

  1. Pingback: groceries by bike | The View from the Crosswalk

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