This weekend I spent some time at the Dallas Farmers Market. I showed up Saturday around noon and milled about, checking out various vendors and wondering how the market will change if the proposed privatization effort is completed. As I wandered around tasting tomatoes, slices of cantaloupe and strawberries, I started to think about how many cars I interacted with after I got out of mine.
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I get that barring a massive Dallas-wide infrastructure overhaul, cars will always cart potential customers to and from the market, but do they have to drive right through it?
The sidewalks that protect customers from parking vehicles while they fondle fresh creamer peas are impossibly small, and navigating the stalls is tedious. I couldn't help but to wonder what would happen if we gave those cars the boot and implemented a little of the urban density Dallas could use a lot more of. Why not combine the produce sheds, trim some of the produce resellers that are giving the market a reputation as an outdoor grocery store and tighten the place up a little?
If one of the outdoor sheds that holds vendors and cars ditched the parking spots and filled the center with the simple fold-up tables that most farmers markets used, you'd have a lot more space for pedestrians. You'd also end up with a shed filled to the brim with produce instead of car exhaust.
The unused shed could be converted to a more efficiently laid out parking area, or a space for food trucks to park.