Thursday, June 19, 2008

IKEA update

Streetsblog gives some updates on the IKEA mess. Commenters report that there are no bike racks - I repeat, NO BIKE RACKS at New York City's first IKEA. Perhaps you should call and ask why? 718-246-IKEA (4532)

After all, it turns out that IKEA promised bicycle parking in this interview on WNYC with Sam Schwartz, IKEA’s "traffic guru".

"SCHWARTZ: There will be free ferry service from Wall Street, Pier 11. Two bus lines have been extended to go into Ikea. In addition, Ikea is providing buses to the subway, it’s a free shuttle. Bike riders will have parking.

REPORTER: It’s a public transit experiment, and Schwartz isn’t particularly optimistc: he figures 85 to 90 percent of visitors will come by car. Eventually, he hopes, four in ten will come by bus, boat or bike."


Spokes... said...

And it is necessary to shop at this store....why? Is there in actual fact some item within that you cannot live without? Or at the very leasr purchase from a more accomadating source?

Michael said...

Great question - and a separate debate - one worth having for sure...

Beginning with the effect that big box stores have on local business, the fact that everything in IKEA is made in China and ending with the horrible inequities inherent in capitalism - I too have many issues with IKEA.

However, if the city is going to allow stores like this - and part of the deal with the retailer involved creating greenways and managing the traffic that the stores create - this provides a good opportunity for the inclusion of alternative transportation in the deal.

IKEA agreed to provide access and parking for bicycles - and they've, so far, completely failed to do so. As a result, they're actually encouraging people to make new car trips.

I would much rather the huge draw of a store like this encouraged people to make new bicycle trips.

The debate might be between 'welfare' and 'abolishionism.' If those are the choices, I would choose an IKEA free world. But if there's a debate about 'welfare' we need to lobby for biycle access, and even promotion.

IKEA has the marketing power to get many of their shoppers on a bicycle. Perhaps if they did, it might begin to make up for some of the other ways they impact the city.