Parking problems at farmers market |

Parking problems at farmers market

Susan Wood
Jim Grant/Tahoe Daily Tribune Jeff Staub had to park two blocks from the Farmers Market on Tuesday.

A few boulders may be standing in the way of easing a parking mess for Tuesday farmers markets in South Lake Tahoe.

The El Dorado County Certified Farmers Markets were packed yesterday at the American Legion Hall, forcing motorists patronizing the markets to get creative in parking. This is the second time in two seasons that parking has become a problem.

On Tuesday, some vehicles darted around corners behind the markets. Others were parked every which way on Young Street, which has become more narrow with boulders alongside the street.

“Essentially, we have a one-way street. We’re worried someone’s going to get hit,” said Geri Beld, a markets vendor from Pollock Pines who was assisting markets manager Jim Coalwell. Beld said she saw a near miss involving a baby stroller.

Cmdr. Gene Ross, a Legion Hall manager, said more vehicles could fit in its other two lots behind the building, but a few boulders would have to be moved.

“We have these two parking lots, but we can’t get to them,” Ross said, adding he had talked to engineer Stan Hill about the problem.

Hill concurred, saying he’s waiting to hear back from California’s Lahontan Water Board management to see if the rocks can be taken out to help with the traffic circulation through the area. The state mandates the water quality measures.

“At some point, we could go out there, but we’d want something consistent with the needs of the project,” Lahontan environmental scientist Robert Erlich said, referring to the city’s Sierra Tract Erosion Control Project.

The large rocks, some measuring up to 5 feet across, were placed there by the city for the project. The project represents one of the city’s projects for best management practices, basinwide landscaping guidelines to maintain Lake Tahoe’s clarity.

The American Legion put down wood chips on their dirt lot as part of erosion control measures, but Hill said the Legion will quickly need to do a lot more to meet the Oct. 15 deadline for BMPs.

“I don’t have a problem removing the boulders,” Hill said. “I was hoping Lahontan could take a look.”

In the meantime, next week’s farmers markets scheduled for the Fourth of July holiday may be even busier than this week’s.

“It’s very crowded,” Lynn Conroy said, leaving the markets with a bouquet of flowers. She parked two blocks farther than usual.

This isn’t the first time the issue has come up. Last September, the city and Markets Manager Jim Coalwell, who was unavailable Tuesday, sparred over one of the Legion Hall parking lots blocked with machinery. It turned into a confrontation until the Legion’s attorney, Dale Sare, was brought in.

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