By Olive Root
Special report April 1, 2019 (La Mesa) –Ever since the La Mesa farmer's market moved last year to downtown on Friday nights, the community has been split between residents and some merchants who love a market in the village core, vs. some restaurant owners who complain that the market has hurt their businesses by taking away parking.
So today, the City of La Mesa and La Mesa Village Association announced an innovative solution: the farmer’s market will be moved into a new sky bridge to be built over the intersection of La Mesa Blvd. and Spring St., much to the surprise and delight of merchants an market vendors.
See their commments below:
“This idea has definitely grown on me,” says Dinah Cook, chef at a local farm-to-table eatery. “Now our customers can drive, walk, take the trolley or ride a scooter to reach us. Plus all those hungry shoppers will have a birds-eye view of our businesses.” An elevator will also make the sky bridge easily accessible to the disabled. Parking will be provided at the lot on Spring St. and Allison AVe.
The new sky bridge will connect up to the already-underway footpath over I-8 to connect up the downtown village to the industrial area that houses wineries, breweries, and cannabis dispensaries.
Local vintners, brewers, and dispensary owners have agreed to fund the project and as thanks, will be provided space in the aerial market to dispense tastes of wine, craft beer, and cannabis-infused edibles to those 21 and up.
“Like, dude, it’s a no brainer,” says Buzz Stoner, proprietor of Buzz’s Dispensary. “The sky bridge gives new meaning to our company motto: getting high.”
Local farmers also voice relief that the market won’t be shutting down or changing to a less popular night of the week. Wanda B. Green says, “Now our lettuce won’t be wilting on hot summer days, thanks to the air conditioning we’ll have in the glass sky bridge –and we anticipate more traffic on chilly winter days, too, when we’ll have heat and serve up warm teas infused with our home-grown herbs.”
Mayor Mark Arapostathis unveiled a rendering of the new skybridge in a press conference today at City Hall. “Seeds of change are coming to La Mesa,” he announced. “I thank the community members for sharing their ideas in our recent farmer’s market forum and offer special thanks to the citizen who proposed the skybridge concept, Bridgit Forall.”
Happy April Fool’s Day!
Read more 2019 April Fool's Day reports: https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/april-1-2019-special-edition