Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wegmans Hates Those Dirty Bus People, Too!

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski should really start hitting up Wegmans' execs for campaign contributions. He already soaks everyone else, but there's a more compelling reason. He and Wegmans are already kindred spirits - they both got that elitism thing going and both hate bus people.

Pawlowski will deny this, but he's done pretty much everything in his power to screw LANTA bus passengers as well as the mostly minority merchants who serve them along Hamilton Street. After all, it interferes with his "Renaissance Square" concept to see so many poor people.

Well, guess what? Wegmans hates those dirty bus people, too. According to Kevin Easterling's LVBN,

All Wegmans' stores have a corporate policy against allowing public transportation onto their property and none of the three Wegmans stores in the Lehigh Valley enjoy public transportation into their store parking lots. In addition, it is difficult for employees and shoppers to get from the bus to the Wegmans stores because of unsafe pedestrian access to and from the closest bus stop. In contrast, Giant has ten stores in the two county region and all enjoy excellent access by public transportation, so we know it can be done with a little consideration and thought.

Who you gonna' believe, some black blog or Wegmans and Mayor Ed? Besides, I'm sure they cleared this with Jesus.
Update: According to today's Morning Call, the state LCB has awarded "restaurant" licenses to two Wegman locations (Hanover and Lower Nazareth) within the Lehigh Valley.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's private property, right?

This means they can do what they want on their property like the rest of us.

Hamilton Street and Wegmans are apples to oranges....

A.J. Cordi said...

This doesn't seem as big of deal as removing the stops from Hamilton St.

My assumption to this is that Wegmans, unlike Giant, probably owns their own land (instead of being in an actual shopping center.)

If an accident happens involving a bus or other form of public transportation in Giant's parking lot, the problem is likely forced onto those who own the center. I assume this because I've never seen Wegman's share a shopping center with anyone.

And for the record, I do like Wegman's but shop at both stores on a need-by-need basis.



Let the attacks begin...

Bernie O'Hare said...

It's private property, right?

True, And perhaps the state shouls deny this private entity its application to sell alcoholic beverages because it chooses to mkae its facilities unavailable to those who employ alternative trransportation.

How do you like them apples?

Anonymous said...

"True, And perhaps the state shouls deny this private entity its application to sell alcoholic beverages because it chooses to mkae its facilities unavailable to those who employ alternative trransportation.

How do you like them apples?"

You make a darn good fascist; very quick with the heavy hand of government to force a private business on private property to heel for your version of the better good. What other of your great ideas should we be forced to incorporate lest you punish us?

Bernie O'Hare said...

You make a darn good fascist;

Why thank you. I try. Is that all you can come up with?

Dude, it's a question of being reasonable. There is nothing patently unreasonable about permitting buses to stop at these stores. It encourages alternative transportation. Wegmans' already does that with little bike racks for the yuppies. Given the rising cost of fuel, it's only a matter of time before mass transit becomes more popular.

People who use mass transit to get to Wegmans are dropped off nearby and have to walk through heavy traffic to get there. Someone is going to get killed, especially if ridership increases.

It's a reasonable request. Why should the government accomodate Wegman's request to sell booze when Wegmans refuses to be reasonable itself?

A.J. Cordi said...

If anything, this is a LANTA issue - not a Wegman's issue.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If anything, this is a LANTA issue - not a Wegman's issue.

Wrong. This is very much a Wegmans' issue. They will not allow buses near them.

A.J. Cordi said...

They won't allow busses on their property. LANTA could push to have stops on the roads that Wegman's is located, if it's that big of an issue.

What is the actual demand for bus stop at Wegman's in the Valley anyway? Are that many people marching for it? Wouldn't bus routes to hospitals and such be more useful?

Anonymous said...

I don't like Wegman's. Limited selection, small sizes, higher prices. I also don't like that they are above bus stops and the like in an attempt to be upscale. But I really don't like private entities being compared to a municipality and threatened with government coercion for not complying with one a local blogger's favorite issue. You're very quick to break out the jackboots and bring them to their senses. I want to believe we're better than that - even though Wegman's should also be better.

Bernie O'Hare said...

AJ,

Pedestrian access to and from the closest bus stop is unsafe, according to the Coalition for Alternative Transportation. Senior citizens especially have protested against Wegmans' elitist corporate policy when it first came to the LV. Because it is a major food distribution center, you are cutting options available to segments of the community. Many urban areas have no food markets at all. It is both appropriate and reasonable that Wegmans change its attitude.

If they want to be assholes, I say fine, let them be assholes and give licenses to food stores that encourage mass transportation. I don't think there is anything jackbooted about this. It gives the private owner every right to be a snob.

A.J. Cordi said...

The private owner can be as much of a snob as he wants to - it's his right. If the busses are going to Giant, among other food stores, I don't see why Wegman's should be forced to jump on the bandwagon.

As for unsafe distances from Wegman's to the bus stops, any examples?

Anonymous said...

Wait. Did you just figure out that Wegman's is an elitist grocer for yuppies? They do have decent fish however.

Bernie O'Hare said...

AJ, There are three Wegmans in the LV. Pedestrian access to all but the facility in Hanover Tp is a nightmare. The one in Nazareth is the worst. You have to walk along the access road and then attempt to cross Route 248 where it turns into WalMart. The sheer distance makes it impossible for most seniors. In addition, it is very hazardous. I agree Wegmans has every right to be a snob ... without a license to sell booze.

Bernie O'Hare said...

They do have decent fish however.

True. I like the crab legs. I also like the pharmacy, which does a very good job. That's why I'd like to see this facility more available to seniors.

michael molovinsky said...

easterling's omission of the fact that giants are located in shopping centers serviced by lanta, while wegman's are stand alone is deceptive and divisive. wegman's success per store has been an economic boom to each locality it serves. Their readiness to hire the handicapped is apparent and also commendable. easterling apparently doesn't understand that the county commission would be best served by someone with a working understanding of the regional economy.

Anonymous said...

The Wegman's on Tilghman St is terrible to access from the bus stop. From Stop to front door its about 1/2 mile.

I think this issue highlight's Kevin's understanding of the little guy. That's an understanding of economic justice that is lacking in the Lehigh Valley.

A.J. Cordi said...

Bernie -

There is barely any public transportation in that area (of Nazareth) as it is. I know a couple of busses use to stop accross the street at Wal-Mart & Redners, but not that many and not very often.

It would be more productive to beef up public transportation for the entire area first, not just one private entity. Maybe when the new shopping center goes in, LANTA will reroute their busses. Regardless, it's not LANTA's problem and people knew about the bus routes before applying for jobs there. It's not like Hamilton St. where they were stricken from them.

Bernie O'Hare said...

AJ logic,

Regardless, it's not LANTA's problem and people knew about the bus routes before applying for jobs there.

this is a LANTA issue - not a Wegman's issue.

Looks to me like you'd hate like hell to see those dirty bus people at Wegmans. Yes, it is a private business, but one that invites the general public. To be honest, I question whether legally, it has the right to exclude buses. It certain;y permitsbuses containing college kids going to hockey games. It is on thin ice.

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM, If LANTA's goal is to take customers where they want to go, it should be fighting for this, just like it should be fighting for the passengers who want to visit the shops on Hamilton St.

Anonymous said...

easterling's omission of the fact that giants are located in shopping centers serviced by lanta, while wegman's are stand alone is deceptive and divisive.

Um, I think that is the point of the article. Wegmans does not WANT to be serviced by Lanta. Was this comment simply an attack on Easterling?

Anonymous said...

BOH - You seem to equate users of public transportation as "dirty" quite often. Do you think they are all actually dirty? I take it you don't think they are "articulate" either.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Was this comment simply an attack on Easterling?

Yep.

Bernie O'Hare said...

BOH - You seem to equate users of public transportation as "dirty" quite often. Do you think they are all actually dirty? I take it you don't think they are "articulate" either.

As someone who occasionally uses mass transit myself, I think nothing of the sort. It is clear to me, however, that there is a general revulsion against those "dirty" bus people. I've read enough comments in the MC Reader Forum and here to know that people just don't like them. They are the new "untouchables." That's why Wegmans does not want them. It is elitism.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, i suppose my comment could be interpreted as an attack on easterling, just as your posting is a timely promotion of him. from your first article on easterling, hemming and hawning about maybe a black person on commission wouldn't be a bad idea, to posting his black newsletter, you have persisted in viewing the county commissioners as needing heart, saying we have enough brains, etc. no offense to any of the gentleman who serve, but we could always use more brains. i commend easterling for his black activism, but don't think the county commission is the place for that emphasis. also, you cannot compare the historic covenant to provide public transportation to our traditional intercity shopping districts. to making every stand alone store accessible to public transportation.

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM,

1) I consider it an honor to link to LVBN, a sign of some diversity in a blogosphere dominated by white males.

2) As a blogger, KE certainly has every right to post about those topics he thinks are relevant. He does not need our pre-approval.

3) Who the hell said anything about the LC Board of Commissioners getting involved in this issue? Certainly not Easterling. He merely reported something as a blogger.

4) I do believe Easterling brings much needed diversity and heart to LC and have said that he would be the first black LV legislator if named to the post. But there is another post today on that point. This really is about Wegmans.

Mr. Dot said...

The old Food 4 Less on lehigh Street in Allentown had NO bus service there and you should have seen the clientale that frequented that store !!! They sure as heck figured out some way to get there.I used to see HUGE carloads of BIG extended "families" getting out and shopping there.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, what is the real issue? providing access to wegman's overpriced foods for the bus riders? is wegman's some destination like disney world which low-income bus riders are being denied access to? you say this about wegmans, but the chip i inserted in your head has reported back that your sub-conscious motivation is to promote easterling one day before the county commissioner selection. i would find this sort of issue a distraction from the commission's role of taxpayer advocate.

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM,

You confuse a position someone takes on a blog with a position someone would advocate in county government.

Also, there actually are many bargains at Wegmans, if you know where to look. In addition, its pharmacies are the best around. It huirts me to see people denied access to that simply bc they don't drive a car.

michael molovinsky said...

on the other hand, if wegman policy encouraged bus service, and if lanta were to provide bus service to such stand alone stores, which stores would get such exclusive service? bernie, if your really concerned about the bus riders not having access to wegman's pharmacy, i suggest taking one of those valiums left over from your back spasms.

Anonymous said...

Bernie - it's simple - once they allow public transportation on their property, they'll have to begin selling gourmet collard greens.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bernie - it's simple - once they allow public transportation on their property, they'll have to begin selling gourmet collard greens.

I'll bet the Klan will love that joke.

Anonymous said...

What's the relevance of LANTA bus stops and state licensing to sell beer? I don't see any.

Making Wegmans out to be a bad guy here feels like creating an issue just to create one.

If you own your property, yes you can be snobby.

Anonymous said...

What's the relevance of LANTA bus stops and state licensing to sell beer? I don't see any.

Making Wegmans out to be a bad guy here feels like creating an issue just to create one.

If you own your property, yes you can be snobby.

Anonymous said...

People who depend on buses for transportation cannot seek employment at Wegman's, no matter how qualified they might be. Isn't the bigger issue here about access to jobs at a company that prides itself on being one of "the top 100 places to work in the country," rather than having access to an upscale shopping?

A.J. Cordi said...

"Looks to me like you'd hate like hell to see those dirty bus people at Wegmans."

I could care less who shops at Wegman's - that has NOTHING to do with this. You should know from our e-mails and discussions that I would never think that. The fact that you would even suggest that is low, even for you.

The argument is that you're trying to force a private company to allow another company the use of their parking lots.

Bernie O'Hare said...

AJ,

The reason I conclude that you must really want to keep those people out of there is bc you are arguing inconsistently. First, you say this is a LANTA issue. Then you claim it is a Wegmanm's issue. Is it low to point out that you are logically inconsistent? This was no low personal attack, but I'm sorry if that is how you feel.

As for this being a private property, you are half right. It is a private property, but one that invites the public to visit. I honestly don't think it could exclude the bus traffic if LANTA wished to make an issue of it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If you own your property, yes you can be snobby.

Not when you open it to the public.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Isn't the bigger issue here about access to jobs at a company that prides itself on being one of "the top 100 places to work in the country," rather than having access to an upscale shopping?

Agreed. That's a more valid observation than the "right to upscale shopping."

A.J. Cordi said...

It's not LANTA's problem that Wegman's won't allow busses on their property. Wegman's has the right to keep them off their property just as they can ban shoplifters from returning to the store.

It's LANTA's issue if bus stops that do exist along public roads do not accommodate their passenger's needs. However, that doesn't give anyone the right to force another business onto private property.

To assume that I don't want "dirty bus people" around is an unfair and unwarranted assumption.

Does that sound logical yet or do you want to twist my words around some more?

Anonymous said...

Can't an employer ask if the person has a reliable vehicle and make hiring decisions based on the information?

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, i note the protest against wegmans is this friday between 11:30 and 1:30 starting and ending in bethlehem. Please remember you stated it was understandable that kevin could not attend the Lanta(in support of the hamilton street merchants) meetings at noon because it conflicted with his city job. can he attend this demonstration? i suppose i could go read the article for the third time, but it really seems a non-issue. how hypocritical for this coalition to activate for this, and ignore the merchants of Hamilton St.

A.J. Cordi said...

Anon 7:38 -

From my experience, many employers do ask.

Bernie O'Hare said...

AJ,

I directly quoted you. Apparently you think a grocery can exclude certain demographics of our population by stopping the buses. It's either bc you don't like those bus people yourself or have strong views regarding property rights. My suggestion should have included both possibilities, and I apologize for not being more clear myself.

Now we know that this has nothing to do with any derisive attitude against bus riders. It is strictly property rights. Wegmans is a grocer. its doors are open to the public. We are all invitees. I don't believe they have a legal right to stop a bus containing customers any more than they havce a legal right to stop a car with one customer.

Their reluctance toi make their facilities available to all, including bus passengers, is in my view both elitist and myopic. At the rate of pay for part-time employees, many of them will soon be unable to afford to drive to theior jobs there.

A.J. Cordi said...

Bernie -

You directly quoted me from two separate posts without understanding my points. You attacked me like an idiot anonymous bigot. It was uncalled for.

Anyway...

With the price of gas lately, it's not just part-timers at Wegman's trying to make ends meet. Trust me on this! I would LOVE to be able to take a bus to work instead of having to drive on RT 22 during rush hour.

And yes, this is about property rights.

Wegmans doesn't want another business profiting on their property (i.e. they don't want public transportation on their lots). Every time a customer gets on a bus at Wegmans, LANTA profits. How do you force one company to allow another on their property at all, let alone for profit?

It's Wegman's choice.

Perhaps Wegman's doesn't want public transportation on their lots because they don't WANT their employees to depend on it. Let's face it, LANTA is NOT dependable and bus schedules (around the country) usually change during bad weather. They've screwed me (no pun intended) and some of my peers more than once, and on sunny days nonetheless. (By the way, dealing with their a-hole management is no walk in the park, either.)

You know I usually agree with you, and like I've said (or at least thought), it would be good to have busses stop at Wegmans, but you can't simply force it. Again, it's their choice. And if you're going to attack me for speaking my opinion, I no longer see reason to opinionate here.

Bernie O'Hare said...

AJ,

This will make your third personal shot after one misconstrued remark from me, for which I apologized twice.

idiot anonymous bigot

do you want to twist my words around some more?

The fact that you would even suggest that is low, even for you.

I apologized ... twice. You still persist in attacking me personally and are continuing now. What on earth is troubling you? Was all this necessary?

AJ, you are free to opinionate elsewhere. No one is forcing you to opinionate here.

Joshua said...

ummm i ride the bus and get off at the front entrance of wegmans every day. Every wegmans in syracuse has a park n ride where bus people park in wegmans and ride it, and its not poor people on the bus, i ride it because i don't have a liscense and its the only way to get to wegmans or OCC because my mom works alot,and she makes close to seventy grand

Phinemamma said...

Well here I am googling to find the nearest bus to take to Wegmans. I'm white, live in a middle class neighborhood, a stay at home mom to three homeschooled little ones. My youngest has multiple food allergies. Wegmans sells all of her favorite foods. I wanted to hop on over using my bus pass so I can pick up grass fed beef, gluten free buns and allergen friendly french fries in order to serve up a classic American meal tonight. We have sacrificed a second income, and vehicle, in order to homeschool my free thinking kiddos. There goes all those misconceptions about peeps who ride the bus.

Anonymous said...

Limited selection, small sizes & higher prices? When was the last time u were actually in a wegmans?