The Trader Joe’s that’s been in development for quite some time finally opened its doors about a week ago in west Berkeley. We at the Clog are of course college students, meaning that we lived off of those Trader Joe’s noodle boxes for the better part of our freshman year.

We got the chance to visit the new location today. Located at University Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, it’s a bit of a walk from campus but not an unreasonable one.

In fact, it is probably closer for many students than Whole Foods, Andronico’s or Safeway, the city’s existing grocery mainstays.

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Actually found in Noe Valley, a neighborhood of San Francisco, but we gotta nod to the shout-out. Below, the full text if you can’t read the schizo scrawl:

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Parking on a SF hill.

Okay, so the title might be a little misleading, but we’ll get to that in a bit. First, allow us to applaud San Francisco’s progress on new “smart parking” systems that will, it is hoped, significantly reduce parking problems and congestion.

“Parking problems in San Francisco? That’s ludicrous!” you might object. Yeah, we’re aware that the City has no traffic troubles, but there are good reasons to improve. Some are even statistical reasons.

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Parking is a bitch in Berkeley. We’re not going to lie. You drive around for about half an hour, think you see a spot, and it turns out that there’s a fire hydrant right there, or a driveway, or it’s a loading zone, or some Mini Cooper is hiding behind that huge-ass SUV.

It’s even worse, we guess, for people who actually live in Berkeley and have to deal with all the university’s pesky college kids taking up all the street-side parking.

That’s where the city comes in.

Inside Bay Area reports that starting as soon as September, a section of the city south of UC Berkeley will be closed off and reserved primarily for residents. This section runs from Telegraph Avenue to College Avenue and from Dwight Way to Derby Street.

The city will make one side of each of the streets restricted to only residents who live there. The other side of these streets will remain the same as it is now—people without permits can park for two hours, but if they stay longer, they get a nice little fine.

Much of the parking strain that occurs on the south side happened after the university decided to close off that parking structure behind Crossroads. That thing held about 300 parking spots, according to Inside Bay Area. But that new parking structure they’re building at the old site, which is slated to open later this year, is supposed to hold 1,000 cars. That should help with the problem.

And, of course, someone has to take to complaining about this new program. Take this shop owner for instance:

bq. “You can’t apply this solution in one area and not expect people in others to want it,” Laird said. “I can understand where the people in those areas think this might be good, but once again it’s a typical Berkeley short-sighted solution. Berkeley has allowed a lot of housing without parking, with the concept that people don’t need cars. And now the neighborhoods are saying we need a place to put all our cars.”


Image Source: Google Maps
Berkeley tests program to provide more parking [Inside Bay Area]