UPDATE: The Purported “Clement Street Farmers Market” Isn’t Going to Start on June 9th, 2013 After All

So let’s see, two or three weeks ago I came across this flyer (see below) and I thought, “How is it even remotely possible that we could have a large farmers market on Clement (complete with an inflatable Bounce House) without me hearing about it at least more than a month ahead of time?”

(You know, certain people came to town  a while back and thought it would be a piece of cake to get TASERS approved for the SFPD, even though they were warned about which particular town they just unpacked their carpet bags in. This farmers market is the same kind of deal.)

Anyway, we’re ten days out from the purported Opening Day and I can now tell you that there’s no way that that this plan can go off on time. If only for the simple reason that the SFMTAMUNIDPTSFBCISCOTT hasn’t signed off on the idea. (Was it on the agenda of the most recent meeting? Nope! Is it in the minutes? Nope! Oh well.)

Speaking of which, it hadn’t occurred to me that the #2 Clement would just skip the start of Clement altogether. So yes, MUNI won’t be delayed by the Clement Street Farmer’s Market, only the people who ride MUNI will be delayed. Fair ‘nough.

Any land use proposal has its pros and cons, right? If certain people understood that, certain people wouldn’t be so disappointed with Reality.

Ah, memories:

“From Rishi Mukhopadhyay of NextDoor.com comes word of the:

Clement Street Farmers Market.

See?

Click to expand

So, they’re going to shut down Clement between 2nd and 4th Avenues in the Inner Richmond every Sunday until 2:00 PM starting four weeks from now on June 9th, 2013?

What? This is news to me! The opening date strikes me as highly, highly improbable, but what do I know?

The next steps for this concept:

- Monday, May 20, 2013: Community Meeting at 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM, Richmond District Police Station, 461 6th Ave between Anza and Geary.

- Thursday, May 23, 2013: Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation (ISCOTT) Hearing, One South Van Ness, Seventh Floor, Room #7080.

OK, we’ll see how this one goes.

IMO, the SFMTA isn’t going to laugh off having the #2 Clement make a quarter-mile detour to get to a parallel street only to have to drive another quarter-mile to get back to Clement.

And I’ll point out that Clement Street itself is kind of a farmers market already on Sundays.

And I’ll point out that 2:00 PM is kind of a busy time on Clement in the Inner Richmond on Sundays.

And I’ll ask how does this proposal square with our Prime Directive of “Transit First?”

Now let’s hear from youthful Peter Lauterborn, Legislative Aide to District One Supervisor Eric Mar:

“Dear All,

I am writing you because of your past interest in opening a farmer’s market in the Richmond. And while I have been quiet on the subject for a little while, it is not for a lack of work. We are at the point of nearing approval for a significant market entering the neighborhood!

The Plan: The Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM) has teamed up with the Clement Merchants Association. AIM is known for a small number of high-quality, large scale markets around California.

The older plans for smaller markets all fell through, so we’re going big! This plan calls for a Sunday morning street closure of Clement from 2nd to 4th Aves on Sunday mornings. AIM plans very robust, well-rounded markets that are a major draw.

Major highlights of the AIM Market:

- Wide range of local products, including eggs, milk, cheeses, meats, etc.

- Include enrichment such as children activities, live music, and even kids jumpers.

- Provide matching dollars for “food stamp” users.

- Based on usage, the parking loss should be a non issue and the 2 Clement bus rerouting isn’t a problem. We are also planning outreach to all of the existing produce merchants along Clement. Also, the SF Bike Coalition is going to help make this a friendly event for those who don’t drive.

The Asks: As people who have advocated for a market, this is the time where we need your leadership the most! Our plan is going before the MTA for the street closure, and we need support!

1. Write a letter of support explaining why the Richmond needs a farmer’s market and how, given the low usage of Clement on Sunday mornings, this is the right use of public space. (send to Peter.Lauterborn@sfgov.org). The letter should explicitly support the street closure.

2. Encourage friends and community members to ask write!

3. Attend a community meeting on Monday May 20, 5:30-6:30pm at the Richmond Police Station. And bring out allies!

4. Bonus! Come to the MTA hearing on Thursday May 23rd at 1 South Van Ness to support the motion.

We wouldn’t have gotten this far without all of you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at any time.

Let’s do this!

Best,

Peter Lauterborn
Legislative Aide
Supervisor Eric Mar, District 1″

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2 Responses to “UPDATE: The Purported “Clement Street Farmers Market” Isn’t Going to Start on June 9th, 2013 After All”

  1. Peter Lauterborn says:

    This is the “youthful” Peter Lauterborn form Supervisor Mar’s office. Glad to see the market being covered.

    The date has been pushed back, but only because of scheduling needs. The MTA has been very supportive of the project and it is currently projected to start June 23rd after the ISCOT hearing on 6/13.

    The reroute is just 7 blocks total, the existing merchants are every supportive of the project, and we have had well over 100 letters of support come into our office. We feel very good about this project. (The only issue has been with the bouncy house, which was really just an example from other markets and that’s been scrapped already.)

    But if people have specific concerns they should feel free to email or call my direct line. Of course we want to mitigate any inconveniences to people.

    Thank you!

    -Peter

    Peter.Lauterborn@sfgov.org
    415.554.7411

  2. TinyTim says:

    Although the bouncy house has been bounced, just wondering–does food consumption go well with a bouncy house? Is that food bouncing around in your kid’s stomach, likely to stay there?

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