ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Business is booming at one Albuquerque coffee shop. It’s actually encouraging customers to avoid driving there.
Starting next week, Bike In Coffee in Old Town is going to charge $5 for vehicles that park there. The owner tells News 13 what started as a hub for pedestrians and bicyclists has turned into quite a traffic jam. “People came here more and more. The musicians, all the places they played were closed and so music started happening here and one thing led to another. I wish I could say it was a plan but it wasn’t,” says Owner Lanny Tonning.
Bike In Coffee has been around for nearly a decade. Tonning says they see several hundred bicyclists each weekend.
He says during the pandemic, their business increased because all of their seating is outdoors. But along with more bike traffic, they gained more vehicle traffic.
He says because the business is tucked away on a narrow residential road near a popular bike trail, they want to re-emphasize the focus on biking and reduce vehicle traffic. “We’re good neighbors and we just want to keep it that way and so we’re encouraging people if they can ride or walk, to park nearby there’s areas over near the BioPark, there are areas where the bridge comes across the river,” Tonning says.
Riders say they’re excited for a place designed with them in mind. “It’s one of my new favorite things about Albuquerque like a bike centered place it’s smart because there is very limited parking and this will encourage people to bicycle,” says Liota Weinbaum-Gongorra.
The $5 parking charge will start next week, they tell News 13 they won’t charge for handicap and senior parking. Bike In Coffee owners say the money they collect from the new parking fee will go to local charities.