It's entirely possible that the grocery chain Trader Joe's — named after its founder, Joe Coulombe, and not some random guy named Joe — would rather you walk to its stores than drive to them in the first place. It's certainly difficult enough to drive — with crazy-making parking lots that never seem to have enough spots, with bad flow and irrational numbers of compact versus full-sized spaces. Even the stores that were built in pre-existing locations seem to hex the asphalt around them. That said, we were duly impressed by the recently completed lot at the new Fairfax location — and see it as a sign that things are improving. There are three exits rather than the usual two, and lots and lots of spots to plant your vehicle. It's hardly “smart planning,” but it's a good start. However, you should still ride your bike — they have bike racks! — for your Joe's to-go. 175 S. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax District. (323) 931-4012,

—Rachael Narins

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