Trader Joe’s responds – sort of – to ‘green measures’

It looks like the expanded Silver Lake Trader Joe’s will be getting new bike racks and some additional landscaping in response to requests by residents. A representative for the grocery store chain appeared before the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council’s Urban Design & Preservation Committee on Wednesday night to respond to a list of suggestions – ranging from facade improvements to home delivery – presented at a previous meetings. Other residents and neighborhood council members were also pushing for more ambitious measures to reduce the environmental and traffic impact of the Hyperion Avenue store, which recently expanded into an adjacent storefront.  “We were talking about improving the curb appeal, plantings along the facade so it won’t be a blank wall, installing bike racks near entrance,” said committee chair Elizabeth Bougart-Sharkov.  She said the Trader Joe’s land use consultant indicated that the chain probably would  add the bike racks and some landscaping. But some resident recommendations, such as home delivery to help reduce congestion, would have to wait.

Boughart-Sharkov said she expects Trader Joe’s to provide a more definitive reply next month to some of the ideas and recommendations.  The chain is no way required to adopt any of the recommendations but has been open to ideas, she said.  “They have been extremely cooperative.”

Trader Joe’s recent expansion from 8,700 to 12,000 square feet did not require any additional city review. However, the expansion did trigger a public hearing related to its beer & wine license.


  1. I wish they would regulate traffic through TJ’s parking lot adjacent to the store to allow ONLY a one way flow, with cars allowed to enter the lot ONLY near the store’s main entrance and exit ONLY on the other side. A lot of the traffic problems on Hyperion around TJ’s are the result of tie-ups that occur within the lot when cars heading in two directions through the narrow area behind the store get jammed up. The bottleneck they create stops the flow of traffic through the lot, so cars jammed up at the entrance prevent cars from entering which then creates lines of unmoving traffic on Hyperion.

  2. ^
    Great idea Barbara! Please send this idea to Ms. Bougart-Sharkov.

  3. Dear Barbara and Libertad,

    The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council (SLNC) and its Urban Design & Preservation Advisory Committee (UD&PAC) welcome all kind of community input. The idea of creating flow traffic will be presented to the Tr. Joe’s Land Use Consulting Firm. I find it helpful with only one remark. The SLNC lobbied the City to install the traffic light at the Tr. Joe’s store. Many people know that a neighbor of ours was hit by a car and killed at that intersection.
    Now the traffic light provide for a safer street crossing and also for a safe left turn from the parking lot into Hyperion. Under the circumstances, it will be a good idea to keep the exit form the store parking lot at that place. In order to provide for a traffic flow we may suggest that the entrance to their parking be only between the Pizza Hut and the Dry Cleaners. In that case, if you come from Rowena (driving south on Hyperion) and want to make a left turn into the new entrance, it will be very unsafe, unless we have another traffic light. The City will not approve such a short distance between the lights (Griffith Park & Hyperion, the one in front of Tr. Joe’s and the third one at Rowena). I see that as a realistic obstacle for creating the traffic flow, which otherwise could be sort of a good solution.
    However, I’d like to encourage everyone who cares about our quality of life in Silver Lake to become a member of the SLNC-UD&PAC. We are a group of dedicated volunteers and always welcome new blood and help.

  4. Actually, my observations are that the problem is insufficient parking. Cars back up and out into the street while waiting for a parking space to open up.

    The volume of people going to a store like Trader Joe’s is much more than that for the other types of businesses in such a collection of shops. The amount of parking there is not enough for a Trader Joe’s, although it might suffice for a lesser business.

    They need more parking spaces.

  5. yes, I agree. I would certainly shop more often at T.J.’s if there was an improvement with their parking lot and traffic flow within the lot.
    A traffic light would help the situation immensely.

  6. Trader Joe’s has a space for comments by store on their website.

  7. It’s a hassle………plain and simple. One way direction would help a lot. I solved the problem by simply not shopping there. Other TJ stores don’t have this problem, (i.e. the WeHo store on SM Blvd w/o La Brea) because the parking lots are larger.

    As it is now, it’s just not worth the annoyance, both in the parking lot and after you get in the store, to shop there. jmho……… 🙂

  8. Well people keep shopping at the Silver Lake location because they are wannabe’s that tell their friends, ” Oh, it was sooo crowded there today”
    “but you know I can’t function without my preservative free organic lettuce”. “Oh I can’t believe someone scratched my H2 Hummer”.

  9. I repeat that I think that having one way traffic through the parking lot, with cars entering the lot by the front of the store would solve a lot of the problem. Many times, there actually ARE a few parking spaces, but you have to drive through to find them, and if your drive is obstructed because cars going in two directions have cut off the drive-through space, you can’t. I’ve also noticed that when the traffic is piling up on Hyperion, incoming cars DON’T necessarily wait for the light, meaning another accident waiting to happen at the crosswalk. (If the city installed a red/green arrow for right turns they’d make the crosswalk a lot safer.)
    I’d also suggest that TJ’s instruct the guy who directs traffic (& he does it well) not to permit cars to pile up at the entrance. If a spot will soon be empty, but isn’t yet, insist that cars move on PAST it. They will find something farther on, and once the space is free, the next incoming car can drive right it without stopping the flow of traffic.

  10. Well people keep shopping at the Silver Lake location because they are wannabe’s that tell their friends, ” Oh, it was sooo crowded there today” “but you know I can’t function without my preservative free organic lettuce”. “Oh I can’t believe someone scratched my H2 Hummer”.


    Clumsy attempt

  11. charles herman-wurmfeld


    oh ‘the high cost of free parking’…

    the book is very powerful, chronicling the universe of subsidies and mis-understandings that create this parking night-mare, but the article posted above is an interesting teaser …

  12. i never have a problem with parking or congestion when i go to TJ’s; i take my bike. Easy!

  13. The bike rack, if they place it intelligently, will help a lot. I shop at my local TJ’s frequently; many people–the majority, I’d guess–are buying one bag of groceries. You hardly need a car for that–I’ve carried far more on my bike, and I’m an old fart.

    A well-designed bike parking area can put twelve customers where you could fit only one car. So, potentially, giving up one car space can return you eleven!

    Unfortunately my local TJ (3rd & la Brea) placed its bike racks so stupidly close to a curb that you have to park your bike at a slant and take up two spaces, thereby cutting its utility in half. So I often am forced to lock (illegally) to a nearby parking meter instead.

    Good bike rack guidelines from APBA (PDF).

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