I’m coining a new term: “cart blocked.” When the blue lines of a handicapped parking spot are filled with carts, they make the spot useless to anyone who needs the lines to get out a wheelchair, walker, rollator, or their own disabled human body. I would not be able to get my wheelchair out. This Kroger store is a “super” Kroger, and yet only has about six handicapped parking spots, meaning one blocked spot is a serious problem. Everyone buys groceries, including cripples. Every I time I go I pass people in chairs, with canes, using the scooters. Most of us need the spots.
The issue is two-fold. Ablebodied people often shove their carts in the blue lines rather than walk the longer way to the cart corral or into the store. And some disabled people are forced to leave their carts there because it’s too difficult to make the trek to the corral or store; the issue here being that the staff are always too slow in clearing the spaces. I’ve gone into this metro Detroit Kroger, shopped for forty minutes or more, and come out to see lines still filled. This picture is from summer, but this is a frequent occurrence.
How can ableds help? Don’t be a cart blocker. You can help by stopping by the customer service desk and letting them know there are carts filling a handicapped spot if you see it, and if you see someone trying to stash their cart there, call them out. Explain to the store or the cart blocker why it’s a problem. If you see a disabled person putting groceries in their car, you can very politely offer to take the cart back for them. Do remember, though, not to get pushy, invasive, or offended if they say “no.” They might be able to do it themselves. If you’re feeling spritely, and see a cart in a spot alone, you can run it to the corral or store yourself. Keep in mind, it’s the store’s job to do this, so also keep on the customer service desk if you see carts languishing frequently. Be polite but pushy when it comes to people violating disabled people’s spaces. This is not acceptable shit.