From the comments on the Examiner story.
Yesterday morning, I awoke to a Google Alert for “Lettie Gooch” that references this article. I was completely shocked as I was out of the shop yesterday and wasn’t aware nor informed about any press trying to contact me.
I read the article, where my manager was quoted, aloud to my fiancé , an avid cycler around DC, who bikes to/from the shop regularly from our home on Q Street (which, ironically, also houses a bike lane which he regularly uses). He then begins to get enraged and ask me what does this mean. Does “Lettie Gooch” not want him to be safe and to dodge in and out of traffic with the cars? Why would Kenya say that when she bikes to work in the spring and summer herself?
This article in no way reflects our position on bike lanes or cyclists in the city. I am very disturbed by this article, and have requested a formal retraction.
Hayley Peterson was sent out to find merchants who were opposed bike lanes and apparently didn't find them and used a informal inquiry to speak with me (the owner who was not available) into an opportunity to take her comment that metered parking was more of a deterrent to our customers than bike lanes to a grossly published misquote stating that bike lanes was even more of a deterrent for shoppers.
Why was Lettie Gooch contacted regarding the impact of bike lanes? Our shop is not housed in front of a street that has a bike lane and has not lost any parking spaces in regards to the bike lanes (even along 15th street ) which is what I presume the article perceives as a problem for business owners.
Small businesses are faced with many prominent issues that seriously impact our survival during this economy. The last thing we need is irresponsible reporting to portray an inaccurate and a negative view of us to deter customers from our shop.
As a native Washingtonian, Lettie Gooch prides itself on serving our neighborhood and the community. Many customers cycle to our shop. I guarantee you that Lettie Gooch, its owners and affiliates are not protesting or angered by bike lanes in the city. We welcome and value all business.
As of date, the Examiner has not agreed to a formal retraction but has advised us to write a letter to the editor.
To show our support, clarify our position and to celebrate cyclists in this city we would like to offer everyone that cycles to Lettie Gooch a 10% Discount off the total purchase. So @DCNinja we hope to see you back again soon.
I apologize for any misunderstanding that this article has caused. Please feel free to contact me directly if you would like to further discuss this matter.
Owner of Lettie Gooch
So there you have it, no one is actually opposed to the bike lane - except maybe the Examiner.
And Dave Jamieson interviews DDOT who is also surprised about the "protest."
DDOT’s Karyn LeBlanc says neither she nor agency director Gabe Klein had heard a peep from downtown merchants before she read the paper yesterday. And the lanes had been in the works for months, with DDOT soliciting feedback from the public. “We did do a lot of outreach with the Downtown D.C. BID and with the residents and businesses along that corridor,” she says. “Change is always difficult. Sometimes it makes people a little anxious.”
What’s more, LeBlanc says with the number of new spaces added to nearby residential streets, the parking situation in the area is pretty much “a wash.” LeBlanc basically says the worries aired in the Examiner piece are imaginary, though she puts it more diplomatically than that. “Biking has increased tremendously, and cyclists don’t just commute. They shop and they go to restaurants and coffeeshops. It’s not taking away from business.”