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Wrrnsbg. Farmers’ Market safety issues raised — and refuted

Warrensburg Farmers’ Market patrons Ruth Near (left) and Mary Cranker cross River St. after shopping Friday Sept. 6 at the market (at rear) as a Jeep stops well before the crosswalk. Pedestrian safety concerns have been raised over the past several years, with suggestions the market move to a site with adjacent parking — but the market’s manager protested such an idea this week.

Warrensburg Farmers’ Market patrons Ruth Near (left) and Mary Cranker cross River St. after shopping Friday Sept. 6 at the market (at rear) as a Jeep stops well before the crosswalk. Pedestrian safety concerns have been raised over the past several years, with suggestions the market move to a site with adjacent parking — but the market’s manager protested such an idea this week. Photo by Thom Randall.

— The popular Warrensburgh Farmers Market, held Fridays on River St. has prompted pedestrian safety concerns to be aired with the town board, but the market’s founder responded this week that the apprehensions are unfounded.

Warren County Sheriff Bud York sent a letter to the town board recently citing that there had been several incidences in which pedestrians were nearly struck by vehicles, asking the town to address the problem, according to town supervisor Kevin Geraghty.

The Warrensburgh Farmers’ Market is held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays and draws hundreds of people to its site along narrow River St., which is also serves as state Rte. 418, the main route to the town of Thurman and the primary route to Stony Creek from the east.

One option mentioned by Geraghty in the past has been moving the market to the pavilion at the town recreation field off Library Avenue, or a site on Main St. where the enterprise would have more visibility. During the summer months, tens of thousands of vehicles pass daily on Main St., perhaps ten times the traffic on River St.

Geraghty has said such a move to Main St. might not only help allay safety concerns, but boost the market’s revenue. A boost in patronage would be welcome, as the market has been seeing declining attendance this summer due to the recent proliferation of other farmers’ markets in the region.

Warrensburg market founder and manager Teresa Whalen, however, staunchly supports the enterprise staying put on River St. The market is the only one in the region that features a pleasant riverside setting, with water cascading over rocks not far behind the lineup of produce and gourmet food vendors.

Whalen said that although Rte. 418 has hosted various crashes through the years, not one has occurred adjacent to the farmers’ market in its 15 years of existence.

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