Preserve Pike Place Market open to site visitors

The Pike Place Market is among the oldest and most profitable public farmers markets within the United States. Its distinctive and funky mixture of small, owner-operated companies, eclectic buildings, brick-cobbled streets, artists and road musicians, and views of the bay within the middle of downtown, all come collectively to make this place the center and soul of our area. During the final two years it was at many instances the one constructive pulse within the middle metropolis. The Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority (PDA), the Pike Place Market Historical Commission, the non-public property homeowners and the companies within the Market all have to be congratulated and given our assist.

Which results in this latest query of closing off site visitors and eradicating free parking alongside Pike Place Street. This thought, in actual fact, has come up time and again all through the historical past of the Market. It was studied throughout the Market’s founding initiative within the Nineteen Seventies. However, Victor Steinbrueck was very clear that we have to preserve the road open to automobiles and folks. But each few years the concept resurfaces of barring autos on Pike Place. While closing Pike Place to automobiles may appear to make the vacationer and customer really feel extra snug, the site visitors is definitely a part of the success of the Market. The Market could be lessened with out the site visitors backbone and interplay of transport and service-vehicle entry which is crucial to the well being of the retail and accessible short-term parking.

Authenticity is vital to the Market’s outstanding success. It shouldn’t be a Disney model of a market, however an precise working farmers market, the place the idea of “Meet the Producer” isn’t just a slogan. The zesty, bustling jumble of distributors, pedestrians, sluggish shifting automobiles and supply autos is what makes the Market distinctive and real. Pedestrians have the identical proper to be on Pike Place because the truck supply car, the rideshare drop off, the restaurateurs choosing up provides, and the van dropping off Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or aged passengers. In truth, pedestrians dominate the road throughout the busiest instances of the 12 months, and there’s a sense of security in numbers over automobiles.

This circulation and entry are vital to the well being and vitality of a public market. In truth, it’s a part of the Market’s historic character. The movement of vehicles and folks preserve the Market vigorous throughout the day and nonetheless lively at evening. Furthermore, as we emerge from the pandemic — with retail restoration nonetheless fragile — this isn’t the time to experiment with limiting entry to distributors.  

We do agree that the Pike Place Market PDA, with use approval from the Historical Commission, be given authority to limit basic site visitors at instances when the summer season weekend pedestrian foot site visitors is so heavy that even the automobiles can’t get via. However, we strongly oppose the everlasting closure of site visitors on this wonderful working folks’s road. Has anyone thought to even ask the retailers and farmers what they give thought to road closure at Pike Place?

Today, the Market is the shining glory of Seattle’s downtown. Many of us from across the area is not going to come to the middle metropolis of Seattle as a consequence of security issues, closed storefronts and usually blighted circumstances. However, the Pike Place Market is the one place everybody can really feel secure and luxuriate in. It brings us collectively. It is free and actual. It is the improper time to strangle the lifeblood of the market. Rather than fixing what doesn’t want fixing, allow us to as a substitute convey our vitality and assets to assist the remainder of downtown return to well being and vibrancy.

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