Potential Changes to Coordinate with a Growing Downtown
Jessica Hopkins, the Director of the Emporia Farmer's Market, is what we like to call a "doer". The Farmers Market has grown significantly over the past few years. The growth of the market coincides with downtown business and job growth. The result of mutual growth is parking stress, and that stress can be managed proactively or re-actively. The leadership of the Emporia Farmers Market chose to address growth issues proactively while planning for future permanent changes.
The plan is to move the market from the 700 Block of Merchant Street parking lot to a side street: either 8th Avenue or 7th Avenue, between Merchant Street and Commercial Street. The move would allow events to "cone" the side street parking with traffic cones, but retain street usage until the actual event (for example- thestreet would be closed Wednesday in the late afternoon and on Saturday mornings during market season, but would remain open all other times). During an event, the side street would remain closed to traffic. This change would retain the entire parking lot in the 700 Block of Merchant Street for business and consumer use- the Emporia Farmers Market would not block off parking in the area.
If the side street concept tests well, it could pave the way for an outdoor project that permanently houses the Farmers Market and other outdoor activities in proximity to local businesses and event venues. Read the official change proposal bullet points below:
2017 Outdoor Season: LOCATION CHANGE PROPOSAL
Saturdays,(MARKET OPEN )
Wednesdays,(MARKET OPEN )
Proposal: Relocation of the Emporia Farmers Market from parking lot at 7th & Merchant to 8th Avenue or 7th Avenue, between Commercial & Merchant Streets. The market would request the city commission utilizes their street closure ordinance for approved hours and dates during outdoor market season (attached). This request would only adhere to the 2017 outdoor season; market & city may re-evaluate the plan for future use.
Benefits of setting up at 7th or 8th Avenue
2017 Outdoor Market Dates for Street Closure Request
JUNE 3, 10, 17, 24
JULY 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
AUGUST 5, 12, 19, 26
SEPTEMBER 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
OCTOBER 7, 14, 21, 28
JULY 5, 12, 19, 26
AUGUST 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
SEPTEMBER 6, 13, 20, 27OCTOBER 4, 11, 18, 25
We thank the Emporia Farmers Market leadership for exploring new opportunities to work collaboratively with area businesses and event venues. Change is always hard, but it is nice that we are in the enviable position that requires us to manage growth opportunities. It is our hope that the top ranked Farmers Market in the state of Kansas continues to grow and prosper while maintaining its downtown roots. New pedestrian traffic possibilities, new opportunities to collaborate with local businesses and a minimized impact on local traffic should enhance the next generation of the market!
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Emporia Farmer Market is preparing for another successful outdoor season starting Saturday, May 6! We've been looking at new ways to grow the market, incorporate more community involvement and bring new customers downtown. Here's a great piece from the Emporia Main Street e-newsletter explaining some of the changes we've been exploring.
Posted by EFM