What sells homes? What do the denizens of cities enjoy? Street Markets. Street markets are amenities that buoy the value of places, homes, neighborhoods and cities. Public entities make places more livable, make homes more attractive and make streets friendlier by creating street markets, or permitting those created privately to exist.
Think Los Angeles and you think cruising in your car down Sunset Boulevard. But even in LA people wish for walkable neighborhoods. A recent NYTimes article describes "A scruffy stretch [of street} known as Sunset Junction, bordering Silverlake" that has become "an appealing mix of low-key restaurants and eclectic shops that draw(s)...creative types with long mornings and limited incomes." This is just the "creative class" that contemporary cities need to attract "clean" industry and higher paying jobs. What attracts this type of citizen? The street market, is one of a variety of amenities that makes that "scruffy" street attractive. The farmers’ market that sets up every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon (Sunset Boulevard between Edgecliffe Drive and Griffith Park Boulevard) provides food to the ethnic restaurants, interaction between neighbors and the opportunity for the people watching that is at the core of creative activities.
Submitted by Alfonso Morales on Mon, 01/21/2008 - 11:30am.
Cities continue to be stymied in their efforts to control where day laborers seek work. Southhampton Village, New York recently built a circular driveway in a public park so that employers could have a place to pick up workers without leaving their vehicles and without slowing traffic on the street. But neighbors sued, claiming that to use a park for anything but recreation was unlawful. The court agreed, forcing the city to go back to square one.
On the other coast, Baldwin Park, a Los Angeles suburb, barred day laborers from soliciting work in parking lots and sidewalks unless they left a 3-foot buffer for pedestrians. But the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, "MALDEF," a public interest organization, sued on behalf of the laborers. In granting a temporary restraining order against the city, the court found that the ordinance violated the First Amendment, which bars government discrimination against certain kinds of speech (here commercial speech) absent a compelling government interest. The news reports are a little unclear, but it appears that the 3-foot buffer amounted to a de facto ban on soliciation from the sidewalks of the city.
Submitted by Gregg Kettles on Thu, 01/17/2008 - 6:15pm.