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Raleigh Hopes to Corral Abandoned Shopping Carts

Posted February 9, 2007

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— Abandoned shopping carts are popping up in neighborhoods across Raleigh, prompting one City Council member to call for a crackdown.

A WRAL News team found carts in side yards, on downtown streets and flipped over near Dumpsters far away from any grocery store.

Councilman Thomas Crowder calls abandoned carts a nuisance, and he has put the issue before a City Council committee, which will begin looking at possible solutions next Tuesday.

"It's becoming a huge problem throughout the city," Crowder said. "It becomes a public nuisance. It's run down these neighborhoods further, and it makes it harder to rejuvenate (them)."

Raleigh resident Robert Brown agrees. He often finds carts from a grocery store up the street on Lake Wheeler Road in his front yard.

"It just looks ridiculous," Brown said. "You don't want anyone to think you're dirty and you live in a dirty neighborhood because that's exactly how it looks with a whole bunch of shopping carts everywhere."

Officials could hold stores or customers responsible for carts taken off store property. They also could require businesses to install a wheel locking system that would kick in when the cart is at the edge of the parking lot.

Developer Craig Ralph installed such a system at a shopping center he owns on Martin Luther King Boulevard after neighbors expressed concern.

"It's a social obligation we feel we have to the community," Ralph said. "We don’t want the presence we have in the neighborhood to be an inconvenience to the neighbors.”

A Food Lion on Western Boulevard also has a locking system for cart wheels, but Tim Shipman, the director of loss prevention for the supermarket chain said it would cost  too much to install it at all Food Lion stores.

The wheel-locking system costs about $20,000.

Durham officials also are debating who should have to pay to corral wayward shopping carts.

More than 1,000 abandoned carts are collected in Durham each year, and officials are looking at the idea of charging stores if city workers have to return carts to the stores. Some council members said they don't want to penalize stores for something they can't control.

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  • BRUCEY BABY Feb 10, 2007


  • Its me again Feb 10, 2007

    Just Let Nifong Handle it

  • romeopm Feb 10, 2007

    god you guys are cranky

  • FlSunshine Feb 10, 2007

    This should be a "no-brainer." In Florida it is against the law to remove the shopping carts from the store's parking lot. The shopper can be prosecuted. It is the same as shop lifting. It also raises the price of goods for the rest of us when the stores have to replace shopping carts.

  • superman Feb 10, 2007

    Have the city to pay 1.00 reward to the homeless people who return shopping carts. Be better than spending 10 million to give them a "proper and fitting place" to sit all day downtown at the new mall they wanna construct. about 10,000 from the city and those shopping carts be back in the stores in now time.

  • Curegrrl Feb 10, 2007

    there's nothing better than throwing a grocery crt in the back of a Bravada....driving out into the county..and going down a hilly road...hahaha....those were the days....
    unfortuneately...it wasn't in raleigh or wake...

  • clackymcsplatter Feb 10, 2007

    Hey!! get rid of the bus system and let the bums push each other around in shopping carts

  • St Ives Feb 10, 2007

    Who cares about caps as for shopping carts, I could use a few. great to store garage iems.

  • Mr. T Feb 10, 2007

    I think this is a good venue for Thomas Crowder, maybe even something he can handle. If it is a constituant that needs his help, Mr. Crowder won't even return phone calls or answer by letter. Boy, he's really good for us. Ha Ha! Aren't there more pressing matters that he could put his efforts toward. Really!

  • North Carolina Native Feb 10, 2007

    I hope they hurry up and find someone to blame!