Shopping Carts DON’T Float…at least not in the Petaluma River!

Long ago in a galaxy far far away I used to rant and rave about all the abandoned shopping carts around town.  I seem to remember addressing the City Council at least once. But I found it tiresome and vowed to

  • Never pick up or push another cart out of the ‘Hood.
  • Never take another photo of a cart unless it had a body in it. *

I do remember working with others in our ‘Hood to pick carts up and haul them back to the stores.  Loading them in the pick-up was a chore and took two of us to pull it off. And this brings us to this morning when I spotted two freshly deposited carts in the Petaluma River off the Water Street Promenade.

I was genuinely impressed with the effort.  Based on my experience hauling carts it had to take at least two people to lift the carts over the railing and into the river…

Water Street Promenade Petaluma River

Water Street Promenade Petaluma River Abandoned Carts tossed in the river

And as you can see, one of them was a perfect nose dive…

Water St Petaluma River

Water St Petaluma River Abandoned Cart Nose Dive

I had forgotten how interesting some of the abandoned cart images can be in terms of photo post processing.

It is possible to create some very interesting art images, particularly of carts that are just beneath the surface–.I may even enter one of them in a photo contest–Working Title: Petaluma River Art Objects

I offer a brief slideshow for your consideration and opinion.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*By the bye, the photos I took years ago are still the first ones you see if you enter  “abandoned shopping carts Petaluma” in Google or Bing images. I guess this post may add some more. So be it.



Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Shopping…Carts in 2013

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! I hope that everyone has something to be thankful for!  If not, you can take comfort in the fact that many of your favorite stores will be open on Thanksgiving! In addition many restaurants will be open to fuel the hungry shoppers! Best of all, shopping carts will get a workout on Turkey Day!

Yes indeed! According to the Oracle of the 21st Century (The Internet), Walmart, Target, and Kmart will be standing at the ready to facilitate your purchases early on Thanksgiving Morn. In addition, Best Buy and Macy’s are opening their doors in many locales.

Nordstrom apparently is the Grinch of the Retail World and won’t be open. Emoji

Be sure and check with your local stores and be first in line.

For shoppers in Petaluma there is an added a la shopping cart bonus this shopping season!  If you are too tired to return your shopping carts, there is a convenient drop off point at Sonoma Mountain and East Washington….

Shopping CartsaWeb

Shopping Cart Protest in Petaluma!

Given the unrest in various quarters of our society, both locally and nationally, it was no surprise that a group of shopping carts decided to occupy a local shopping center. They were objecting to the tracking devices, wheel locks, and other restrictions being placed on some of their fellow carts, thus inhibiting their unrestricted movement around and about town… 

CARTS HAVE RIGHTS! © Frank Simpson

The protest was also a warning to future carts at shopping centers under construction that it could happen to them also if they did not stand up for their rights to freedom of movement…

Carts on Strike! © Frank Simpson

What will happen next? I hear rumors that plastic bags are organizing! They are angry about proposals to ban them and to otherwise limit their freedoms. They are particularly upset over treatment such as this…

Shopping Bag Abuse! © Frank Simpson

Yes, indeed! Things are very interesting in Petaluma on this April 1, 2012.

Happy April Fool’s Day

Coralling & Hobbling Shopping Carts Part II

In April, Safeway implemented the Carttronics cart control system. Basically, it is an electronic control system which prevents the easy removal of the carts from the parking lot…

Carte Signs 001

If the cart goes beyond a certain point, the front wheel locks…


I have already noticed behavioral changes in some people. For example, one of Petaluma’s most prolific “Kart Kleptos” now uses a K-Mart Cart or a Staples Cart when shopping at Safeway…or any other store for that matter.

A more practical solution frequently employed by determined Safeway “cartnappers” is to simply transfer their groceries to the cart of another store (currently Staples is the number one choice, with K-Mart and Longs as close runners-up) and take off.

Of course this means the other stores are probably wondering where all their carts are going.

Raley’s in Petaluma recently opened a new store with an electronics cart control system similar to the one installed by Safeway…

Carte Signs 002

Raley’s also stenciled warnings in the parking lot…

Carte Street Sign

The systems installed by Raley’s and Safeway have drastically reduced the number of abandoned shopping carts in our environment…Reducing scenes such as these…

A resounding thanks to both stores!

Coralling & Hobbling Shopping Carts Part I


This article was originally published on November 27, 2007 on Petaluma 360 as Petaluma A La Carte (The Shopping Cart Depository Blues). The original article was lost in the migration by Petaluma 360 to a new platform.

The text of the article is available as a pdf download by CLICKING ON>> PETSHOPCART