For decades we have realized that the Santa Barbara Police Station is too cramped for the growing population of our area, and we look forward to this most essential service moving into an adequate space. However, both of the proposed locations would have severe effects on our citizens.
With all due consideration of the various activities going on at the Lowry Center and the lawn bowling green, etc., wouldn’t the choice between it and the Farmers Market lot be best determined by counting the number of people using each of them and the volume of income each location generates for the city?
I suspect the comparison would show that the Farmers Market draws more people, who spend more money, than those who attend the various activities at the other location. Certainly, displacing the farmers themselves from the market that produces more than 50 percent of the income of all the markets in Santa Barbara would be a severe blow to the Farmers Market Association. And making it more difficult for customers to find the delicious, healthy produce we buy there should be an important consideration.
The Saturday Market is also, incidentally, an informal social center for regular customers, who are constantly meeting friends there — in our own case, we spend more time talking at the market with our neighbor, who lives two doors up the road, than we do at home. And out-of-town visitors are astounded at the lively bustle and atmosphere of the place.