Dear PoP – “Lobbyist trying to shut down Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market”

Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market , originally uploaded by needlessspaces.

“Dear PoP,

In case you haven’t seen this, it’s RIDICULOUS.”

The this, is a post from Downtown Commentary that says:

“The Market has operated seasonally for seven years on Thursday afternoons on the north end of 8th Street between D and E Streets…

Recently, Mr. Ken Crerar, president of The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers contacted the Public Space Manager at the Department of Transportation Public Space Management Office requesting that the Market’s permit be rescinded. Mr. Crerar suggests that the market find another suitable location elsewhere in Penn Quarter. The problem he cites is traffic congestion on 7th and 9th Street can be avoided by using 8th Street northward to E Street where he connects with 12th Street to go Massachusetts Avenue. On Thursdays the congestion costs Mr. Crerar up to 15 minutes. And for this 15 minutes, he wants our Market moved despite the number of people it serves.”

More details here.

What do you guys think – is 8th Street a good location for the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market?

48 Comment

  • It’s a loaded question – of course this great market is more valuable than an easy DRIVE down the street. It is well patronized when I have been there. The opening of the market on Vermont at Ms. Obama’s suggestion also is well attended. The Penn Quarter one is still crowded even with the new one. I also noticed that several of the vendors at the new one on Vermont also have stands at Penn Q – so may actually capture a larger customer base, although I do not know the costs of operating at both.

  • I will crap in his street mailbox, in less than 12 minutes. You can crap in his boyish facepage mailbox:

    Another slave to the automobile; however, “Previously, he spent five years with the Footwear Industries of America.”

  • 15 mins? I seriously doubt it takes him 15 mins to go around the block. Who the hell does this guy think he is? How could he possibly think a few extra minutes on his commute would trump this great asset to the downtown neighborhood?

  • It is a great, well patronized market. I have a tough time thinking this singular letter will be sufficient to change that. When has a single letter to the DC gov. elicited a response. Anyway, I would think Jose Andres, who owns Cafe Atlantico on that block would probably get involved if they tried to move the market. Same with the chef at Poste.

  • While the guy sounds like a jerk, it is true that 8th street would not be a bad location for this market? Why the outrage?

  • The phrase “worse than Hitler” is tossed around a lot these days, and far be it for me to add to this overused cliche, but I just have to say, you’ve never see Hitler on a bicycle or shopping at a street market, have you? No. He was always driven around in his armored Benz or parading around in a VW to the roar of the crowds of Nazis. And I’d go so far as to say that Hitler would also complain that a crowded market adds 15 valuable minutes to his commute to the Reichstag. Make of that what you will.

  • Selfish prick! He’s clogging our lungs with his exhaust and wanting hundreds of people to change their shopping habits so that he can have a better commute. Probably drives a Suburban. Take the metro and you won’t have this issue – or are you too good for public transportation.

  • Who is this guy? Another self-involved lobbyist/lawyer who thinks things should bend to him. For me, this attitude is the disease that afflicts a lot of the Washington area. No wonder he doesn’t like this market. Obviously it means a bit more time for him but also the environment at an outdoor market like this is exactly the kind of thing he wouldn’t like.

  • The Bloomingdale Farmer’s market is experiencing a similar problem. One resident of the short section of R Street that is blocked off is unhappy about not having parking for a few hours on Sunday six months of the year and wants it moved.

  • Keep the market.

  • hahaha! dcmom i cant tell if you are joking or not.

  • I agree this is a little bit much, but to rag on the guy for owning a car? Please.

  • I think this guy’s point is not to close down the market, but have it moved from 8th Street. As a weekly shopper, I really love the 8th Street location, with the Archives in one direction and the Portrait Gallery in the other. It’s a two-block street that Mr. Lobbyist admits he only uses as a cut through to shorten his commute.

    8th Street is a PERFECT place for an urban farmers’ market, and I hope DDOT realizes that hundreds of shoppers (and a couple dozen farmers and artisans) are worth more than 15 minutes of his time once a week for six months out of the year.

    By the by, this is apparently on the agenda for the ANC 6C meeting on October 14th. Presume it will then be on the Public Space Committee’s October 22nd agenda.

  • This complaint makes no sense. 8th street is segmented on the north by the SAAM, Technology Park and the convention center. It does not even connect to Penn Ave. There is no reason for a driver to use this route unless he is acting overly aggressive. He probably has a FUPA too.

  • In other news, human dildo moves to walkable community, shocked to find people walking everywhere.

  • Okay, I’m not advocating for this guy to shut down a market serving hundreds and providing jobs for others. 15 minutes off a commute one day a week is only worth it if he has a sick family member he must take care of. We don’t know this person, but I have to agree, this is a pathetic argument with no teeth other than “I want 15 min back”.

  • I’m a lobbyist. They didn’t tell me when I got the job that the perqs included an overinflated ego and insufferable sense of entitlement. I just got business cards and this stupid worthless 401k.

  • Can’t he just return a few phone calls (on his Jawbone or whatever the most expensive hands-free is these days) and get a few more billable minutes into his day? Clearly this man is not thinking straight.

  • Isn’t this a similar complaint that many of you make about Fiesta DC once a year? Both are ridiculous.

  • In other news, Ken Crerar is a big fan of “bee raw honey”. Maybe this is significant?

  • vor – the FiestaDC tie-in is a good point. I hear the same complaints about the UHOP mass baptisim that happens every year (and has for as long as i’ve been here). Everyone turns a bit self-important when the event effects them in a negative way.

  • I have been going to the market for years. It shuts down one block. One. From 3 to 7pm. Four hours. On a Thursday. One day out of seven. And not even for the whole year, it’s only from like April to November. I think the correct phrase is “suck it up and deal.”

  • I would prefer he lobby DC to synchronize the traffic lights and during peak times, outbound traffic should have longer cycles to get more people out quicker. That way we can help dcmom’s lungs, reduce the amount of gas tax collected by government, and put commuters in a better mood. Unfortunately, doing so might reduce the need for the human traffic enforcers that are paid to do what DC traffic engineers can’t accomplish with traffic light synchronization. The traffic on K street provides great symbolism for the legislative cluster f our democracy embarks on daily, lacking common sense for simple solutions.

  • CH Resident: Nobody is harping on the guy for owning a car. The assumption that he owns an SUV or another urban assault vehicle is based on his evidently huge ego. But seriously, nobody is saying the guy can’t own a car or drive to work. The fact of the matter is, that his shortcut is blocked one day a week for a couple hours. In any given week I can’t find parking on my street because the Merridean Center is having an event, but I’ve never called the city trying to shut them down.

    Voiceofreason: This is not comparable to the situation with Fiesta. The complaints from residents in that case were mostly based on the haphazard and untimely manner in which street closures were announced. This is an established eight year ongoing weekly event. This guy needs to learn to adjust his schedule and driving habits. You can’t compare him to somebody legitimately upset because nobody from the city or Fiesta bothered to announce street closures and then towed or ticketed their car, or refused to let them out of their street.

  • Isn’t Fiesta also an established, on going, annual event, which is heavily publicized in the run up to it? I think you’re stretching.

  • Yes it is, but the complaints that came from last year’s festival are valid. Streets were closed with little to no notice. I can tell you from personal experience living across the street from Meridian, if you’re going to close streets to parking, you need to tell the residents. Meridian had their annual ball Friday night and began circulating letters to neighbors announcing parking restrictions a month out. My understanding was that last year Fiesta hardly gave any notice at all, and this year the location was up in the air as the Fiesta organizers wanted to move to 14th Street.. I’m not stretching anything, just saying what I heard and read here.

    Regardless, I think Fiesta’s a great event, and if it’s consistently held in MtP and neighbors are told in a timely fashion to move their cars for that day, there’s no problem. I don’t think Ken Crerar can claim ignorance, though. This has been going on every week six months out of the year for eight years. Maybe there was some magical, all-important lobbyist meeting he missed that got his shorts in a bunch, but who gives a shit? He should have fucking better planned better.

  • Does it surprise anyone that lobbyists like this guy are overly self-entitled low-lifes? Isn’t that part of their training?

  • I am absolutely not defending this self-important fool, but everyone keeps responding with “isn’t the farmer’s market more important than 15 minutes of one guy’s day?”

    I think it is important, if you want to respond to a stupid argument, to not make an equally stupid one in return. If this guy is really having 15 minutes added to his commute once a week, it is reasonable to assume that hundreds, if not thousands of other people are similarly affected.

    So, is the farmer’s market worth the loss of hundreds or even thousands of hours of peoples’ time once a week? It sounds pretty selfish to say that now. If the complaint is reasonable, and there is a location nearby that would not cause as much of a problem for commuter traffic, then it why not consider it? I don’t know the answer to these questions, I’m just saying it’s arrogant to respond to his complaint with “suck it up” if, in fact, the complaint is legitimate and there are possible changes that could be made to make things better for everyone.

  • Jamie, it’s not entirely unreasonable to limit the counter-argument to this one guy if he’s the only one complaining. In the eight years the market has been there, has anyone else complained that it interrupted their commute? Others have pointed out that there’s not really much reason to believe it could actually take him 15 extra minutes based on the commute he outlined. I personally think this sounds like an isolated incident that resulted in him missing or being late for a meeting. I think two or three minutes turned into 15 when he was writing his letter. His commute isn’t blocked, just altered. The fact of the matter is farmers’ markets in the street are going to impact traffic. But eight years ago it was decided that this was a good spot, and in eight years–unless someone else can provide evidence to the contrary–there’s been one baseless complaint. Tough shit, Mr. Lobbyist.

  • whoa! a reasonable thought-out post from someone. Thanks Jamie.

    now back to your regularly scheduled bashing on greedy lobbyists and SUV drivers.

  • I find it hard to believe someone would file a formal complaint because they were delayed once. I am sure there is some truth to his complaint. Really, it’s hard to imagine anyone going to this trouble because they were, er, late for a meeting once.

    My point is just that I don’t understand why a reasonable person would react to this by saying “suck it up.” It may be there is no better solution, and that this is the only reasonable place for the market. But of all the responses here, not one of them has said “hey, maybe we should look into it and see if there are other possibilities that would work better for everyone – we love our farmer’s market but we want to try hard to accomodate the larger community, and that includes people who are inconvenienced by us, whenever possible.”

    But when you refuse to even acknowledge that the market causes inconvenience for others, then you are just as selfish as they are.

  • I actually hear people complain about traffic all the time… everyday I drive in the city and it takes me 20-25 minutes to drive 4.25 miles across town, mostly because of poorly timed traffic lights (i.e. you wait at one light only to arrive at the next light that is just turning red. It would take 3 times longer to take a bus, metro would take over an hour, for all that will scream at me to use PT. NY Ave, Conn Ave, Mass Ave, 16th, GA Ave, RI Ave all have these problems. I understand the need for speed control, but to create gridlock to achieve it is ridiculous. What’s the point of having more fuel efficient cars if you are sitting in more traffic? Yeah, they raised the CAFE standards, but there will be more cars on less road, burning more fuel. What’s the point?

  • First of all, Jamie,

    Don’t you think that many of the Farmer’s Market customers are already familiar with the location and if it is moved, some of them might not be informed and not come anymore?

    Secondly, THOUSANDS? really? Thousands of people don’t drive there in a WEEk. When there is no market there, you can take a nap in the middle of the road. It is not a major road that is usually used by main traffic and it is only 2-3 blocks long. It would save any driver 3 minutes TOPS.

    As far as saving peoples time, if the city wanted to do that, they wouldn’t barricade half the city to babysit a some pompous self-bloated duches in an all out motorcade parade, not to mention the lives that can be saved if the cops were actually doing… POLICE work. I will leave that for another rant.

    The truth is the guy is a pr1ck and probably invested in one of the properties on the street and doesn’t want the commotion in the area or something.

  • Er, if the patrons of this farmers market are so out of touch that they couldn’t figure out if it had moved, or the organizers are so disorganized that they couldn’t figure out how to let people know they were moving (like, er, posting signs for a month or two beforehand, and at the old location afterwards?), then really, it doesn’t sound like either of them really gave that much of crap in the first place. Sorry – that argument is absurd.

    So since you started off with a ridiculous assertion, I am going to give the rest of your post the same amount of credibility: none.

    Your post proves my original point exactly. You are only interested in seeing one side of things. Without so much as a second thought you dismissed the idea that blocking a road in the middle of downtown for several hours during rush hour once a week just might have an affect on some people. It doesn’t seem that outrageous to me, but neither of us really has any facts here do we?

    All I said was, before you flog the guy, is there any harm in seeing if his complaint has merit? And if it does, then seeing if there’s another venue? But as yet not a single person has said anything other than “to hell with him.”

  • anon 1:07… check your math. if only 1 car drives down the road every minute (its way more than that)… then there are over 10,000 cars passing on the road every week.

  • Jamie @ 1:00 said: “Really, it’s hard to imagine anyone going to this trouble because they were, er, late for a meeting once.”

    With many people I could find that very easy to imagine, actually.

  • Jaime – I’m not providing alternatives for the farmer’s market, I’m providing alternatives for general traffic congestion and I didn’t curse the man, it’s obvious he has a right to protest… whether it’s warranted or not is irrelevant in our democracy, but plenty of people lose sight of that all the time.

    Alternative location – National Building Museum – F Street b/w 4th & 5th, but that would inconvenience everyone at the Triple Nickel… not going to happen, but it’s Metro accessible which would make it more desirable for lots of people.

  • the reason that many of seem one sided in this issue is that many of us here feel that people, not cars, come first. the flow of traffic does little to influence the culture and quality of life of city residents. but the flow and interaction of pedestrians is hugely impactfull. thats where we’re coming from.

    i would be in favor of closing more streets more often. but i am healthy and i like walking. plus i’ve learned how to avoid traffic most of the time, which takes a long time in this town. its not easy. and yes, being stuck in traffic fucking sucks dirty pauper dong. but tough shit. there are plenty of roads and if this moron can only find one alternate route in a gridded out city he should be mocked. his name should come to mean something bad. like Crerar: a douchepouch that prefers drivethrough windows to common decency. a man that who hates society. a chum herder that that fornicates with car exhaust pipes. or something like that.

    we live in a time where dc residents crave services with a palatable thirst. this farmers market and others like it, hell every other store in dc, we want. we want stores more than we want our cars. we want a walkable we want places to buy quality products and actually interact. we dont not give a damn if this inconveniences people in cars. so yes, we’re one sided. and we refuse to see the other side.

    and in fact when people think that cars should come between us, and the good things in this city that enable positive interaction between us, we go ballistic. so yeah. fuck this mutherfucker. he deserves any negativity he gets. i hope he stubs his toe, that prick. and gets a paper cut. or a speeding ticket.

  • I would like to take a moment and applaud bobadbloggitty.

  • TonyS: Re-do your math: One car/minute x 360 minutes (say, the four hours the marked is open, plus one hour for setup/teardown) is 360 cars per week.

    The complainer is excessive in his justification that it saves him 15 minutes: even stuck at the light he maxes out at seven minutes. However, the fact that he is a douchebag who should be taking the subway there should not make our arguements specious.

    This market is a benefit to the residents of Penn Quarter, and other nearby areas, who have supported the market for eight years. Those residents should be given priority beyond commuters trying to make a shortcut from a 2-3 block long street.

  • What’s this 2-3 blocks? The Penn Quarter market takes up 1/2 of the block, of one block. It’s from the CVS to the entrance of the parking garage. It is between D & E Streets. Nothing intersects, unless there is some letter between D&E that I missed in elementary school. Between the Navy Memorial and the Portrait Gallery is 2 blocks. You can’t drive down 8th through Navy Memorial to get to Pennsylvania Avenue without killing some dogs, office drones and the homeless guy sporting the ZZ Top look.

  • I have a feeling this guy will get laughed at when his complaint is heard, and told to go the F back to Virginia.

  • the ZZ Top homeless guy has a schtick too. he flatters all the women, says “don’t chuck those pennies now.” and then emits a fantastic chuckling laugh.

  • @pqresident Why hasn’t your blog taken up this issue? Seems to impact your neighborhood much more than PoP’s…

  • our blog has taken up this issue and you know where to find us. PoP covers much of DC now so his neighborhood is everywhere these days.

  • I work down in that area and eat at Teaism freqently. there is no traffic on 8th. if it is such a great “cut-through” why aren’t more doing it. I have a better idea, why doesn’t DDoT spend some money and improve the traffic flow on 7th. opening up 8th on thursdays does not help the other 4 days a week of the traffic nightmare that is the stretch of 7th between Penn and Mass. ticket and tow double parkers on 7th especially between G and H. stop people from blocking the box at H and G and F and D and E.

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