I want to eat at Foster’s more often. Please help me.

I like Foster’s. I like it a whole lot. But I don’t go there very often.

Why? Well, when I take my daughter with me, I normally use this:

But this is between me and Foster’s:

Screenshot from 2015-06-04 10-16-31

There’s a plan in place to add bike lanes to this road, but it’s being held up because several businesses are opposed to it. They want to keep it like it is.

Now, I’ll ride on crummy roads like this when I’m all by myself, but if I’m towing 60+ pounds behind me (40 of which are in the form of a child who I kind of like) the equation changes. I go more slowly. And I have even more interest in not getting hit, so I try to avoid roads that look like the above.

This road is insanely overbuilt. It’s never close to needing five lanes. And people drive way over the speed limit here, because that’s what people do on overbuilt roads.

I don’t mean to be picking on Foster’s, by the way. I don’t know that they’ve expressed a stance on this issue either way. I only mention them by name because I really, seriously, honestly love Foster’s. And I really, seriously, honestly would go there with my family more often if this road had bike lanes.

I understand that business owners need to be conservative when their livlihoods are on the line, and it makes sense that some of them might oppose a change. But I believe this will be a good change for everybody, and I’ve placed one data point out there for you: I promise I will spend more money in this corridor if there are bike lanes here. And if I go to Foster’s more often, there’s a good chance I’ll visit some of the neighboring establishments more often too, and everybody wins.

So, what do you say, business owners? Do you want my business? It’s waiting for you.

If any of my readers would like to be able to bike to these businesses more easily, you should make your voices heard now, because the council must make a decision in the next few weeks or no bike lanes will be added. Talk to the business owners, if you know them. Explain to them how difficult it is to patronize their establishments presently. And if you don’t know any business owners here, you can still speak up; Bike Durham has created a petition at change.org to gather support for these bike lanes.

3 thoughts on “I want to eat at Foster’s more often. Please help me.”

  1. I cc’d a few of the businesses on my letter to council and Mayor Bell. Patrick at Foster’s replied: Street parking is pointless with no sidewalk. You will have to get out of your car and walk in the street. I wrote back saying that as neighbor and (potential) customer, I disagree and that I’m used to no sidewalks, having lived here since 1973. I hope that if the businesses hear from enough current and potential customers who support the change, they’ll be reassured.

    1. If the project moves forward there’s the option of walking in the bike lane rather than one of the five vehicle lanes currently in place. I know which one I’d take. Also I’m absolutely certain the parking will be used on the south side of the road, because Nanataco / Q Shack don’t have anywhere near enough parking right now. Granted the street parking doesn’t help Foster’s since they have a massive dedicated surface lot.

      When I go to Foster’s now I actually cheat a bit. There’s a little pedestrian accessible cut through behind Guglhupf that connects to an adjacent neighborhood street and I walk my bike through there. Even getting from the Guglhupf parking lot to Foster’s is pretty harrowing though; I can’t walk the bike through the brush between the two, and we have to go out to the road and walk alongside it in the ditch in front of Foster’s.

      And all of this is not to mention that sidewalks might still happen some day. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Bike lanes are “free” and are a hell of a lot better than what exists now, with no (actual) downside.

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