Archive for Thursday, August 25, 2005

Good move

A new, larger location for the Lawrence Farmers Market is a good step, but additional moves may be needed to keep the market downtown.

August 25, 2005


The move to a larger location next year should be a good one for the Lawrence Farmers Market and perhaps encourage the popular event to remain in downtown Lawrence.

City commissioners voted Tuesday to allow the market to use the city's long-term parking lot on the west side of the 800 block of New Hampshire Street for Saturday sales. The market will remain in the 1000 block of Vermont Street for its Tuesday and Thursday evening sales, which draw significantly fewer vendors and shoppers.

The new location will provide additional space for vendors along with convenient parking across New Hampshire Street for customers. Market organizers reportedly were pleased with the relocation, but said they still hoped to find an even better home for the market, preferably a space that could provide covered stalls and restroom facilities.

It would be a shame for the market to leave downtown just to add those amenities. Having some public restroom facilities at a central downtown location makes some sense and the needs of the market might be considered in such a project. Permanent stalls seem like a trickier matter, but perhaps some creative solution can be sought.

Maybe this is a time for Downtown Lawrence Inc. to help provide some improvements that would keep the farmers market in the area. Downtown businesses stand to benefit from the increased shopper traffic drawn by the market.

The move approved by the City Commission Tuesday night is a good temporary step, but business and city officials should look down the road at additional ways to keep Lawrence's popular Farmers Market in downtown.


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