DENVER - A group of home and business owners near the Trader Joe's on Colorado Boulevard packed a town hall meeting to discuss, in part, how the chain has affected their neighborhood.
The meeting, hosted by Denver City Councilwoman Mary Beth Susman, was held at the Mizel Museum. The bi-annual town hall meeting was standing room only, and Trader Joe's was a big topic.
More than 140 people signed a petition saying something needs to be done to address parking problems around Trader Joe's. Broken wine bottles and runaway carts are also testing people's patience.
People who attended Thursday's town hall suggested using empty lots in the area as a solution to the parking problems. They also suggested a one hour parking limits on streets around Trader Joe's.
Joanne Bader, a nearby resident, showed photos of cars parked in front of fire hydrants. She says some shoppers are parking in residents driveways, and there are cars being damaged in hit-and-runs.
"Our mail carrier cannot deliver our mail anymore," Bader said. "What about the ambulances if you need 911? Our ambulances can't get down the street with all that going on."
She says she and other neighbors want city leaders to start making changes soon. Susman says the city wants to wait until the hype around the new store dies down before it looks at traffic problems.
"My thinking is it's going to be six months," Susman said. "If [traffic] starts declining, and we start seeing normalizing in one or two months, we'll start doing it in one or two months."
Trader Joe's has been jam packed since it opened. The store has only 70 parking spots. A spokesperson for Trader Joe's says the store wants to be a good neighbor.
She says there are parking attendants at the store from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. to help direct traffic. She traffic is going to die down with time, especially when additional stores open around Colorado.