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To the editor,

There have been news reports within the past year about accidents in crosswalks, global warming, etc. One area of concern for people including myself is the lack of safety in shopping mall and plaza parking lots.

In the summer time, during storms or other times when shoppers are lazy, we see cars parked in fire lanes or close to crosswalks in shopping plazas. This creates a congested area where pedestrians or shoppers can't see around cars, or where the idling cars narrow the roadway for two-way traffic. There have been a number of close calls where a shopper steps out from in front of a parked car to be almost hit by a car going around an illegally parked vehicle.

The Superstore plaza in Dartmouth on Eisner Drive is close to my home. There are cars parked illegally in front of the grocery store, in front of the liquor commission and in front of Nubody's, even when there is plenty of parking in the designated areas.

I have contacted the HRM and their reply is that the plaza is private property and that they don't have jurisdiction to enforce no-parking laws until someone gets hurt. I have also contacted the merchants in the plaza, who either don't reply or pass the buck, saying that it is not their responsibility to police parking but that of the plaza's landlord.

Unless someone does a story to make these people accountable, no one will take up the cause. This is always a safety issue, but it is also frustrating to see gas being wasted by idling cars waiting for a shopper.

By A concerned and frustrated consumer

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