Bakersfield

Bakersfield cracks down on abandoned shopping carts

Abandoned shopping carts causing blight through Bakersfield should soon be a thing of the past. 

The Bakersfield City Council approved an ordinance Wednesday aimed at curbing abandoned shopping carts by requiring stores that provide carts to develop and implement a shopping cart containment program. 

“Abandoned shopping carts cause visual blight in neighborhoods, reduce property values in communities, obstruct pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the public rights-of-way, and constitute a hazard to the health, safety, and general welfare of the public throughout the City of Bakersfield,” the ordinance reads. 

Several methods to contain shopping carts are permitted by the ordinance, including the following: 

  • Installing bollards
  • Wheel locking or stopping mechanisms
  • Employees designated to prevent the removal of shopping carts
  • Security deposit

The ordinance allows for other methods for onsite containment that are approved by city code enforcement. 

Stores that do not comply with the ordinance will be subject to citations from the city. 

“With this shopping cart ordinance I think we’re going to be able to start pulling these off the streets and making a difference,” Councilwoman Patty Gray said. “I know the Bakersfield PD is thrilled that we’re going to be able to get some of them off the streets.” 

To go along with the ordinance, the city council also passed a resolution establishing a subsidy program to help facilitate compliance. 

The city estimates the cost of implementing the carts program will range from $4,000 to $20,000. 

Indoor systems would be the most inexpensive option, ranging from $4,000-$6,000. 

Parking lot systems for smaller retailers, 30-50 carts – such as Walgreens and Rite-Aid – are expected to run from $8,000-$10,000. 

Larger parking lost systems for medium-sized retailers such as grocery stores, who have 75-100 carts, would cost anywhere from $10,000-18,000. 

The largest parking lot systems for retailers like Walmart and Target. Who have 175-200 carts, are expected to run around $18,000-$20,000. 

The subsidy program will cover the capital costs that local businesses would be required to spend to install the systems. 

City manager Christian Clegg said the city’s grants will cover about half of the costs taken on by the businesses. 

“We feel like that’s a fairly generous opportunity to help get these property owners and retailers into compliance with the ordinance,” Clegg said. 

Existing property owners are required to have their shopping cart containment program in place by Feb. 8, 2023, while new property owners have until Aug. 12, 2022.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.