ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Zagat just ranked the St. Paul Farmers Market as one of the nation’s top five. But getting to the market just got harder.
Because of construction for the new St. Paul Saints stadium, the spots where market shoppers typically park are now off limits.
It’s upset neighbors who live in the area, and the city says it’s working with housing associations to find closer options.
With Saturday being the big day for business, the city and the St. Paul Grower’s Association had to come up with a plan – a process that just got a bit more complicated.
Jack Gerten, market manager for the Grower’s Association and director of the Farmers Market, knew this was coming after getting word from the city.
“We had to figure out how we’re gonna make this work,” Gerten said.
And now they’ve launched their plan.
“People drive and come and see the lot’s closed, they can just follow the little signs going all the way around, directing them to Kellogg Avenue where all the parking is,” he said.
The new market-designated parking runs about $3 and is a bit further away – but Gerten says there are other options.
For the heavy loads, there is a pick-up lane. Pedi-cabs are also available, but the market’s managers are hoping that customers will decide that a little extra walking fits in with the healthy mindset encouraged by the market itself.
“Get healthy food and you get your exercise – it’s the perfect weekend,” Gerten said. “You don’t have to go to the Y, you know. You’ve done it all here. Just come to the market.”
Not everyone is OK with it. Some people who spoke with WCCO said they’ll probably only make one more trip back this season because of the parking.
But the city says there are about 2,000 parking spots south of the Farmers Market.
Gerten said things seemed to go smoothly Saturday, and described the crowd as “steady.”