During a Nov. 23 visit to the recently opened Whole Foods store at 413 Centre St., the Gazette observed indications that Whole Foods is trying to influence the type of traffic it gets.
In the rear of the parking lot are an electric car charging and bicycle repair stations. The latter is a set of Allen wrenches and other bike tools attached to a pole with cords.
There is a good chance that not much of the store’s traffic is being generated by shoppers seeking Latin American foods. The store’s entire Latino foods section is a few shelves on an aisle marked “Goya Products.”
Whole Foods replaced Hi-Lo Foods, a Latino Grocery store that closed last year, and activists urged Whole Foods to carry Latino foods.
In general, the parking lot and store were busy but not overwhelming during the Gazette visit the day before Thanksgiving.
“I had trouble parking for the first time. It took me five minutes instead of zero minutes,” said regular Whole Foods shopper Pat Roberts.
Whole Foods submitted a traffic impact study to the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) prior to opening, the Gazette has learned. It found that the new grocery store in Hyde Square would have little impact on traffic.
“In my review of the report, the traffic generated from the site is what we expected…It is not expected to have a significant impact on traffic,” Vineet Gupta, senior planner at the BTD told the Gazette.