Transit and “Food Deserts”

The Sunday O has a feature article on “food deserts”, areas with poor access to grocery stores and particularly choice among grocery stores. It details the story of one family in the Cully neighborhood that makes a 1+ hour (each way) transit ride to a discount warehouse grocery 10 miles away.

I’m contrasting this with my experience in NW Portland where I have good walking, biking or transit access to a number of grocery stores including Food Front, Fred Meyer, Zupans and as of Friday, a 5 minute Streetcar ride to the new Safeway in the Pearl District (a welcome addition as it’s on the bike route I most commonly use to get home).

Should service planning for transit include grocery choice as an explicit goal?

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