Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thinking About The Traverse City Farmer's Market

As the number of farmers at a market grows the more need there is for a dedicated manager.

See: PhysOrg - As Farmers' Markets Grow, So Should Management

Traverse City is obviously outgrowing the downtown farmer's market as there are cars looking for parking and people packed in the aisle. It is a good place to see people and be seen but for many folks it is too crowded. Setting up alternative, competing markets is not a fair solution to anyone. Where can Traverse City move the farmer's market? You need a place downtown to support the core businesses. Ithaca, NY has their farmer's market right on Cayuga Lake. It is a large covered structure and has its own dock. Could Traverse City use the old zoo space next to the marina as a sprawling farmer's market?

Other cities (e.g., Baton Rouge, Chapel Hill) have their farmer's markets in parking decks. Traverse City has a parking deck downtown too. The farmer's market could potentially be moved to the top level on nice days and an interior level on rainy/snowy days. Offer free parking until 5 PM and all of a sudden Traverse City has a farmer's market larger than the current one, with plenty of parking, and still within walking distance to downtown.

Looking Backwards And Forwards

Much thanks to Traverse City and Ray Minervini for preserving and renovating the Grand Traverse Commons. It is part of what makes Traverse City so remarkable and servers as a demonstration to the rest of the country.

See NPR.org - Old asylums decay, but some eye pricey restoration
Kirkbride Buildings

Friday, July 25, 2008

Traverse City Does Not Need More Roads

Why build more roads when in the future fewer cars will be on the road? Why not use the money you're supposed to for non-motorized trails and transport?

See: Report Projects 4% Shrinkage of US Vehicle Fleet in Face of $7/Gallon Gas by 2012
CIBC World Markets Managing Director/Chief Economist and Chief Strategist Jeff Rubin is projecting a shrinkage in the US vehicle fleet of 10 million vehicles in light of projected $7/gallon gasoline by 2012.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thanks Traverse City Commissioners

Thanks to you I do not have to worry about the possibility of taking in boarders in my ADU. See:More U.S. homeowners consider taking in boarders

Friday, July 11, 2008

Food Festivals

MSNBC - America's best food and wine festivals

IHT - Food-themed festivals thrive as growing declines

There's a lesson here for the Cherry Festival. Be careful about focusing more on the idea of the festival than what it is supposed to promote. Just look at Gilroy for an example. It was once the garlic capital, now there are only 500 acres left of garlic farms. If cherry orchards keep getting turned into subdivisions all that'll be left in northern Michigan will be street names such as "Cherry View Orchard Lane" - but there won't be any view there.

Another Food And Lifestyle Magazine For Northern Michigan?

Right on the heels of Edible Grande Traverse, a new magazine from Village Press, The 45th!.

Boardman Lake Is A Jewel

I am always surprised by how little activity Boardman Lake gets. But I have had tourist compliment me on how nice the east Boardman Lake trail is (as if I had anything to do with it) but they also lament that the trail does not circle the lake. I tell them, "not yet, but it will". And when Traverse City does get a complete Boardman Lake trail it is going to see a lot of use and love.

And when TACS finishes building a boathouse, boardwalk and a dock at the north end I wouldn't be surprised to see the combination of library, children's garden, boathouse, and urban trail get statewide and even national attention.

See the RE: Sailing group breaks ground