North Market Street is a great place to do business in many ways, but it was even better before the county started eliminating parking spaces.
Saturday, Kamaaina Loan sent an observer out to see what more parking means for business. The locale: the Upcountry farmers market.
The market used to be held at the Eddie Tam Community Center, which has maybe a dozen parking stalls. And it used to attract about 6 vendors and perhaps two dozen customers over the course of a couple of hours every Saturday morning.
If somebody was setting up the meeting room in the center for a baby luau or birthday party, which was usually the case, there was even less parking.
Over a year ago, for reasons unrelated to parking, the market was moved to the private parking lot next to Longs at Kulamalu Town Center.
It took a while for people to get used to it, but nowadays, the farmers market draws at least 5o vendors and we don’t know how many customers. But last Saturday, the parking lot — we didn’t count, but it has probably 300-400 stalls — was full. Overfull.
People wanting to get at the locally-made jellies, just-picked avocados, fresh greens and sausage biscuits (among many other things) had to park along the access road, and the overflow of cars reached nearly to Maikalani (the offices of the Institute for Astronomy).
We cannot think of a clearer example of what you need for business stimulation.