Farmers’ market dealing with parking woes

The unruly habits of angry drivers have forced the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market to get strict on parking until a new location can be found.

Last spring, market president Bob Callioux confirmed the market is looking for new digs, having outgrown its Springfield Road location.

A new spot may now be on the horizon, as the market is working out details with a developer and the city.

But in the meantime, market management have decided the crazy parking on the Central Okanagan School District’s property must stop.

“There was a couple of really big issues this year and it just sort of blew up. So, for everyone’s safety we decided we would close the spots,” said Callioux.

The area in question is beside the school district office parking lot.

In the past, anyone heading to the market has been able to park on the vacant lot to head into the market, even on Wednesdays when the school district office is open and its parking lot is off limits.

The land is owned by the school district and, after numerous incidents, the outdoor market’s management decided using it was not worth putting customers and those heading to the school district at risk.

Callioux noted he witnessed a couple of incidents he would characterize as road rage this year, and some cases where people were nearly hit by cars.

School district superintendent Hugh Gloster said he had heard of several near misses involving pedestrians, and believes the situation was not particularly safe for parents and small children who would sometimes walk between parked cars.

“There was an interim plan between ourselves, the market folks and the city to try and bring access through the lane between our property and theirs, but I think they found that just moved the congestion to another point,” said Gloster.

Wolf Wesle, of the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market, confirmed a deal is underway to move the market, but said it will likely be in the same place for at least another year, so a parking solution is needed.

The Kelowna SPCA will be parking cars in the lot directly above the Farmers’ Market on Springfield. The spots are by donation, if customers wish to make a donation, and the traffic will be controlled on site.

The new parking plan has had a positive impact on the SPCA’s bottom line, Callioux said.



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