The first lady wants a new farmers’ market to come to D.C., but the location is causing some controversy. If approved, the market would shut down part of Vermont Avenue once a week during rush hour.
Nestled in the concrete village that is downtown D.C. could soon be a fresh farmers’ market near the White House. “I think it’s great because there’s no grocery stores and the selection of food is pretty limited,” said Olivia Lee, a D.C. employee.
The idea is coming from a famous neighbor — First Lady Michelle Obama. But it would mean closing Vermont Avenue NW between H and I Streets from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. — cutting through the evening’s hectic rush hour.
“Traffic is already congested because of Pennsylvania Avenue being closed off so it will be a traffic nightmare,” said Mildred Long, a D.C. employee.
Anyone who lives or works in D.C. already has to deal with the motorcades and security perimeters. “Traffic at rush hour — it’s going to block that up,” said Lesley Rein, a D.C. employee.
Still, others are pointing to the positives — including healthy eating options. “It draws people,” said Emily Meyers, a D.C. employee. “It helps with the local economy — the produce.”
Others say it will bring life back to downtown, something similar to Eastern Market in Southeast D.C. that brings the community together and makes shopping personal.
“This used to be like a center of activity,” noted Cindy Yeast, a D.C. employee. “You had the park; you had the houses around it; you had the White House. And it’s become a little sterile.”
The application for the farmers’ market hasn’t yet been approved. If it does get approved, it would be on Vermont Avenue periodically on Thursdays.