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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 9, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Bellevue shopping carts: What is best to prevent their theft?

Keep the carts in a corral

I wonder if Bellevue has looked at other cities or countries in its search for the answer to disappearing shopping carts [“Bellevue ponders measure to herd lost shopping carts,” NWMonday, July 6]. I recall from living in Washington, D.C., that many area supermarkets installed railings along the edge of the store’s entrance sidewalk with openings wide enough for foot traffic to pass through but too narrow for a cart to leave the sidewalk. Full carts are left inside the railing while the customer gets his car from the parking lot.

The customer then drives alongside the railing and transfers his groceries from the cart to the car. The cart never leaves the store. An interesting side effect with this system is that many shoppers with few purchases choose to hand carry them to their cars rather than return for the sidewalk pickup.

Also, coin-operated carts, similar to those used at airports, are widely used in Europe.

— W.F. Potter, Seattle

European deposit system keeps carts at stores

Supermarkets in a European country I visit frequently use a simple automated system.

To obtain a shopping cart, one must deposit either a euro or half-Euro, which is returned to the customer when the cart is returned.

This simple system has significantly reduced the problem of people taking carts and not returning them. Perhaps a similar system would ameliorate the problem described in Bellevue, without government intervention.

— Jay Tripp, Redmond

Comments | More in Bellevue, Business, Pedestrians

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