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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Beware of Safeway Complex' Parking/Traffic

Safeway's newest Peninsula supermarket has opened for business in downtown Burlingame. The store itself _ pleasant, large, airy and filled to the brim with an array of products and amenities you would expect _ is already a shopper's mecca. Located at the busy corner of Howard Avenue and El Camino Real, the venue, a sort of attractive strip mall situated on a corner, has been lauded by any number of customers, city officials and others. And rightly so. The place is terrific. However, two sets of adjacent stores and eating establishments along Primrose Road, including a popular Five Guys burger outlet, have yet to debut. Free parking in the Safeway complex (not to mention easy access) is going to be a challenge once these new offerings come on line soon, particularly during the lunch hour. Maybe the goal of the town's authorities is to force lots of visitors to park in metered slots nearby. The city could use the revenue, of course. But, after 14 long, frustrating years of planning arguments and contentious meetings which have culminated in the market's official Oct. 14 opening, you might have assumed that traffic/parking congestion would have been resolved. Safeway, in fact, was forced to provide rooftop parking as one way to alleviate the anticipated crush of cars. But it does appear that, with the addition of the nearby businesses on the same property, a big-time mess could be on the immediate horizon. We'll see.

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