The retailers of Oregon have a problem. It is one that is wholly solvable, but one that is hiding in plain sight: shopping carts. They are in the rights of way, making them a significant traffic hazard. They are in undeveloped lots. In the brush, rusting away. They are at Nye Beach turnaround. They abut Walmart on both sides of Highway 101. They are in parks and down ravines full of blackberry thickets.

So, what can be done? Limiters. Walmart, Kroger and Safeway, among others, are massive companies that provide their shareholders good quarterly profits. What about community impact? Not part of the equation. Interestingly, the one store here not contributing to this problem? Walgreens. Why? They installed magnetic limiters, and their carts aren’t able to be taken off the premises.

Big box retailers often get good local, state and federal tax advantages to set up near major streets and highway junctions. Warrenton in Clatsop County is a good example of this. Now that many of those arrangements given to retailers here have sunsetted, it is time for these companies to control their own carts when they are taken off premises — which are their property — to ease one issue affecting the community. Leading by example? I hope so.

A quick Google search provides ample companies and technologies to prevent or reduce cart theft. Lessened blight and therefore reduced taxpayer money (required to return the carts to the store of origin and landfill the damaged carts) seem like goals all parties could agree to.

Ryan Parker

South Beach

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