Friday, November 23, 2007

Search Continues for Second Resident Opposing Bloomingdale Farmers' Market

The Bloomingdale Farmers' Market recently finished its extremely successful run this year. In anticipation of coming back next year, a few weeks ago Market guru Ted McGinn claimed that the market would be returning this year. This statement incited a strong statement of opposition from a neighbor living on the 100 block of R Street N.W., who complained of the lack of parking and said that McGinn should not presume that the market will return next year.

The exceedingly strong support of the market in response to this resident's complaint underscores the importance of the market to this community's revitalization, both economically and psychologically. Many residents have pointed out that either (a) there isn't a parking problem or (b) any parking issues are far outweighed by the benefit to the community.

But Scott Roberts (who provided the message from the original complaintant) has offered an interesting comment from a resident on the unit block of R Street N.W., who argues for benefits to the disaffected resident:

I am not a social economist, but it seems to me (call it convention wisdom subject to being disproved) that the weekly inconvenience of closing off a very small block in the neighborhood adds to the value of the neighborhood, and actually helps maintain the presence of the Big Bear Cafe at your corner. Consider the alternative that existed before the Big Bear Cafe -- a corner liquor store/convenience store with a caged cashier. I used to find beer cans and Wild Turkey bottles in my tree box or gutter from time to time; I have not seen a single one at all this year.

I have no problem with your leading the search for alternate locations; but I think you are benefiting a substantial amount from having the Big Bear Cafe and the Farmer's Market at your doorstep. Please reconsider biting the hand that may very well be feeding your property value. An authentic economic analysis might help us to understand the impact of the market on the neighborhood, including the 100 block of R St NW.
We could use more economic analysis of social issues in our neighborhood. This anonymous comment is a good start.

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