Crossing guard makes visiting Golden Farmers’ Market safer

On Wednesdays, pedestrians and drivers alike might notice someone new, helping people to cross Highway 95 from Main Street to the CP Parking lot for the Golden Farmers’ Market.

This paid employee is working for the Golden Farmers’ Market, making it safer and more efficient for people to cross the road at that point, which can often be congested with pedestrians and traffic.

In the summer months, there is an increased amount of traffic on Highway 95, which can cause difficulty crossing, and it can be unsafe. The Golden Farmers’ Market worked with the Town of Golden and the Golden-Field RCMP to develop a plan that addressed the safety needs of market customers.

The Golden Farmers’ Market discussed the possibility of hiring a crossing guard with the Town of Golden, and it was determined that the market would be responsible for providing the crossing guard. Due to the cost, weekly vendor fees have increased.

The market hired Crossroads Traffic Control to provide a crossing guard, ensuring customers and people visiting the market are able to cross safely. Each week, Crossroads puts up signs ahead of the crosswalk to inform vehicles that they may be required to stop.

Market organizers say they have noticed an increase in vehicles slowing down and becoming more aware of pedestrians crossing.

The crossing guard has also grouped crossing customers together to ensure traffic is being interrupted less often, organizers said.

Last year, the market began putting up a temporary fence along the side that faced the highway to bolster safety as well.

The fencing has helped both traffic and visitors feel safer about using the green space by the market, organizers said.

Since putting up the fencing, visitors are using the grassy area more, and parents have mentioned they feel better knowing their children are safer and aren’t darting into traffic.

This market season, a number of new vendors have joined the already diverse lineup of tents.

Kate Smyles has designed a creative and collaborative space for all ages to connect and contribute to the beauty of the community.

Her space invites people of all ages to collaborate in weekly art pieces, make sock puppets, add to a theatre scene for the puppets, make masks, make fabric art, weave rugs, read or act out stories, and enjoy free play. Funding for that project was offered by the Golden and District Community Foundation.

Smyles is accepting donations of materials like fabric, sewing needles, embroidery floss, buttons, clean socks, and felt.

To donate materials or help out with volunteering, visit Smyles at the Wednesday markets in the CP Rail parking lot across from 7-Eleven.

The market offers more than 20 local food vendors, including Wandering Fern Cafe and the Bacchus Mini Cafe, which are both new this year.

Each year, the Golden Farmers’ Market has grown in size, and it has outgrown the space available at the CP Rail parking lot. At the beginning of the season, market organizers spoke with innovation and marketing manager Jean-Marc La Flamme at Great Canadian Heli Skiing, and considered a move to “the old court house” on the corner of 6th Street N. and 10th Avenue N., which is now owned by Greg and Maaike Porter of Best Day Ever Management and is geared to supporting sustainable mountain communities.

Due to the logistics involved with moving the market location to the old court house, there was not enough time to complete landscaping, develop the space, and design a workable plan, organizers explained.

Market organizers hope to host a few trial markets at the old court house in August, and will complete its planning throughout the fall and winter in hopes of moving the location for the 2020 market season.

There are still spaces available for musicians to perform at the weekly markets.

Anyone interested in performing music can e-mail goldenfarmersmarket@gmail.com to see what dates are available.

For more information about upcoming markets, go to www.goldenbcfarmersmarket.com or check them out on Facebook at Golden BC Farmers’ Market.

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