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Stores Ditch Shopping Carts to Discourage Vehicle Use
Shopping carts make us buy more stuff than we can carry home. Photo by foreverdigital.

Shopping carts make us buy more stuff than we can carry home. Photo by foreverdigital.

The Sydney City Council voted on Wednesday to ban trolleys (shopping carts) at a local market, citing shoppers’ propensity to load up carts with far more food than they can carry, and then rely on a car to get home.

The City Council is promoting “drop-in-as-you-walk” supermarkets, starting with the new market on Erskineville Road in the west of the city.  Customers are encouraged to shop with small hand-held baskets or reusable bags from home. The plan intends to discourage large purchases, which will help ensure that people walk or bike home.

Banning shopping carts is one way to prevent traffic congestion around new shopping locales.

But in order for the ban to be truly effective, it would need to be complemented by transit-oriented development, in which neighborhoods were built around bus, rail or metro stations so that people can easily access retail and office locations without their cars. It would also require building smaller shopping centers without huge parking lots or garages to entice car drivers – downsizing retail shops might lead to improved traffic and pedestrian safety, as we’ve reported in our previous post about the dangers of “strip malls and big box stores.” Reducing the reliance on cars would also increase accessibility to healthier food, especially for poorer communities, which are often victims of “food deserts.”

What do you think? Do you know about a shopping cart ban in your neighborhood? Does it work?