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Truckin’

Submitted by on 1, April 28, 2009 – 5:50 am5 Comments

(Not Towne Centre)

Sounds like some of the businesses at Alameda Towne Centre are having a hard time complying with rules that prohibit late-night and early-morning truck deliveries.

Logs kept by the shopping center’s security guards show that trucks turned up at the center almost daily between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., sometimes up to seven times a day during those hours, despite the fact that they are prohibited from doing so.

Starbucks, for example, took deliveries outside the allowed hours 49 times between December 20 and April 2, with many of the deliveries coming between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. Petco took late-night or early-morning deliveries 23 times; Chipotle, 18 times.

Most businesses at the center are prohibited from taking deliveries between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Safeway and Walgreens have use permits that allow them to take deliveries 24 hours a day.

The information was presented with requests from Trader Joe’s and Big 5 Sporting Goods for permits to allow them to take deliveries outside the allowed hours. Representatives for Trader Joe’s said they want to be able to take deliveries from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Big 5, 24 hours a day.

Trader Joe’s reps said their staff are having a hard time getting the store ready for their 9 a.m. opening time with the morning delivery hours they have. They said the new hours, which would mean an additional truck or two  during the added hours, would increase safety for employees who are racing to stock shelves in the morning.

“I would say of the seven stores I’ve worked at, this is the strictest delivery schedule I’ve worked with,” said Trader Joe’s assistant manager, Brian James, who has worked for the grocery chain for seven years. He said the short setup hours are a strain on store staff, who often can’t get the store fully set up by opening time. (Store management said they had been taking deliveries outside of permitted hours but had stopped in February; the logs showed three deliveries outside permitted hours to the store in March.)

A representative for Big 5 said he was seeking additional hours in order to take an occasional early morning delivery on Tuesdays. The store, which took deliveries between around 4:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. six times over the last few months according to security logs, wants a break on the delivery hours in order for its drivers to avoid traffic, among other things.

Planning Board member Anne Cook asked the Big 5 rep why, after 18 years at the center, they needed their delivery hours to change.

“Because you’ve enforced it,” the Big 5 rep said.

Residents who live along the truck routes and near the shopping center said the late-night truck traffic is disturbing their sleep and wrecking their quality of life. But city planners said there’s not much they can do about the truck traffic, which isn’t all headed to the shopping center anyway.

“Our ability to regulate the truck drivers is close to nil,” senior planner Andrew Thomas said. “If a truck driver is going to Arcata to Alameda to Los Angeles, they just show up when they show up.”

The board held off on making a decision Monday night because the notice for both items was not written correctly, board President Rebecca Kohlstrand said.

Oh, and I think the board okayed an amendment to the Alameda Towne Centre development plan that will allow the center to build up to 657,000 square feet of leasable space and reconfigure the backside of the center to put restaurants and beach-serving uses there. Over the five years the amendment has been kicking around, the center’s management has proposed building a Target store in the old Safeway location (an OSH store is going there instead) and putting a parking deck across what is now Kohl’s (that’s no longer).

Oh. And Panera Bread just signed a lease to come to the shopping center.

5 Comments »

  • Lauren Do says:

    It seems a little unfair that some stores get preferential treatment over the others. Safeway and Trader Joe’s are both grocery stores, shouldn’t they have to make deliveries (or not make deliveries) at the same time?

  • Jayne Smythe says:

    But who, if anyone, is supposed to enforce whatever rule there is?

  • Jayne Smythe says:

    It’ll be nice having a new bakery!

  • David Kirwin says:

    Residents who live along the truck routes and near the shopping center said the late-night truck traffic is disturbing their sleep and wrecking their quality of life. But city planners said there’s not much they can do about the truck traffic, which isn’t all headed to the shopping center anyway.

    “Our ability to regulate the truck drivers is close to nil,” senior planner Andrew Thomas said. “If a truck driver is going to Arcata to Alameda to Los Angeles, they just show up when they show up.”

    This is just another reminder that city developer staff will say anything, but the promises and policies they make can just be empty words – as meaningless as SunCal’s traffic plan for the Point – AC Transit will supply such good service that traffic will be reduced by tripling the number of residences!

    …And if you are stupid enough to believe that, you deserve to spend your life sitting in traffic.

  • Former Island Resident says:

    Does this delivery policy also apply to the US postal service building at the Towne Center?

    Also, is it still necessary to have the state highway 61 and 260 designation running through Alameda?

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