Carts cause headaches

Published 7:55 am Monday, April 22, 2013

To the Editor:

I want to take this opportunity to say “THANK YOU” to Joe Cowart for his recent editorial in the ROANOKE-CHOWAN NEWS HERALD regarding people who leave shopping carts in parking spaces in public parking lots at every shopping center in North Carolina. You are totally correct about how people do this and have no concern for the next person coming in to park. BUT, I want to add a couple more instances from experience that will make one think we need some kind of laws to enforce that will help correct this situation and bring the consequences to more public awareness.

First, let me say that I am not for making more laws just to have laws, but I can speak first hand from my own knowledge about why something needs to be done.

Over the past ten years, I have had a broken foot and had to use a walker while in a cast for several weeks. Also during this time, my wife experienced a broken leg, a broken hip, and cancer treatments, all of which caused her to use a wheel chair. It was not until these things happened to us that I fully realized how important Handicapped Parking Spaces really are.

Now, picture yourself driving your car to the grocery store and you are using either a wheel chair, or a walker, and you must put that on the ground next to your door before you can get out of the car. Now, picture yourself trying to find a Handicapped Parking space that provides extra space between the cars so that you can place the wheel chair there, BUT, only one space is vacant – BUT there is a shopping cart sitting in the middle of that one space and you cannot leave your car in the travel lane and get out and move your walker or wheel chair over to the shopping cart to move it out of your way. Then if you can manage to do that, now you have to go back to your car, put the walker or wheel chair back into the car and now move the car to space you just cleared up – Oh, by the way, it is possibly raining and very cold. The person who did not care how you got your groceries and left that cart in your way is now gone in their nice warm car and they could care less what happens to you.  This has happened to me and to my wife and this is not something that I just happened to think up. IT IS A REAL PROBLEM!

Another incident happened to me in Cary, N. C. while I lived there for several years. I drove into a vacant parking space, but before I could get out of my car, another car pulled into a parking space two spaces away from mine, but there was a shopping cart sitting in the space he wanted, so he simply bumped the cart with his front bumper to move it and it rolled across the parking lot into my car and left a dent in my passenger door.

I have watched many people unload their cart and drive away leaving the cart to be taken care of by the next man or woman needing a parking space.

I do not claim to have the answer, but I have never seen this problem addressed in any way that would create public awareness of the problems they cause, simply because “I don’t care – I got my space and that is not my problem”. This mentality is everywhere I go and is getting worse, and not better.

I am sending this to some of our Legislative Members so that they too can be aware of “the rest of the story” regarding shopping carts. I feel that the people who administer the ADA laws and regulations need this information as well, but I do not know how to reach them.

Louis Johnson