Please consider this as a "comment" on proposed residential development situated off Watkins Mill Road in the back of Montgomery Village Center, that I believe will be adversely impacted by "abandoned used shopping carts."
It was my experience when I last shopped at Aldi store and it was pouring down rain, that most of the Aldi shopping carts were lined up in the far end of the parking lot, abandoned, while few were in front of the store.
I have seen Big Lot & Aldi shopping carts abandoned at the Montgomery Village Avenue Bus Stop looking unsightly as they randomly accumulate there.
What do you suggest would be the remedy for "abandoned shopping carts" in the Village Center parking lot and the Bus Stop down the hill from the Village Center?
The twenty-five cents per cart is not working as an incentive for shoppers, who are not accustomed to returning the used cart.
Maybe a sign is needed to educate Aldi shoppers about why they get their quarter back and how it works to get that quarter from the cart.
I have more suggestions:
1) For shoppers who are bus riders, perhaps a new Bus Stop should be considered, if it were located at the top of the hill somewhere convenient to the New Centerway Road Extension, the new stores and for the new residential development, whose residents may also be inclined to "abandon used shopping carts" randomly on the residential common areas and parking spaces.
This way used shopping carts could be abandoned at the top of the hill, before riders get aboard the bus, making it easier for Aldi & Big Lots employees to gather the carts and return them to where they belong, and do it on an hourly basis, especially during rain, ice and snow.
Of course, they could keep the quarters, or maybe donate them towards the cost of employees’ masks.
2) For shoppers, who drive to the Center and park, I think each store should monitor the gathering of these "abandoned shopping carts" found in the parking lot between 4 and 7 p.m., and especially when it’s raining, icy and snowing.
3) Please consider asking MCDOT to find the best place to feature a Village Center bus stop on the Centerway Road Extension and a place for bus riders to "abandon used carts" near that stop.
4) Please consider asking the Aldi store to put up a sign that educates shoppers about the importance of the quarters coming back to them, when they return the cart and how it's done.
5) Please consider how to best resolve the "abandoned shopping cart problems," by those who drive, those who take the bus, those who walk the cart home and those who become residents in the new residential development of townhouses, condominiums and rental apartments.
Of course, this situation of "abandoned used shopping carts" is already common practice among some existing residents of townhouses, condominiums and rental properties surrounding the Village Center.
I write these comments with the hope your expert guidance will recommend the best practice in resolving this common problem. I fear an increase of "abandoned shopping carts" will be found everywhere, in and around the Center and not convenient to the next round of shoppers, especially during rain storms, icy weather and snow.
I look forward to learning of the Planning Board's deliberations on solving this common problem of "abandoned shopping carts," that will adversely impact the proposed residential development and the two anchor stores in the Montgomery Village Center.
Thomas Choice Gardens Condominium