Fredericton — After a series of weekend cart-traffic jams in everyone’s favourite bulk food store, Costco has decided to implement traffic lines in hopes of streamlining the shopping experience.
The project, piloted today in Fredericton, N.B., will be expanded to other Atlantic Costco locations depending on its success.
“Well the place is always so packed, and no one knows which way they’re going, or who’s got the right of way. This should clear things up,” said manager Brett Ogilvie. “On weekends especially cart traffic is really backed up in the baked goods section and the electronics aisle — and don’t even get me started on the general confusion around the sample stations.”
Standard rules from the New Brunswick Motor Vehicle Act will apply, with the exception of turn signals, as no one in Fredericton knows how to use them anyway.
“Shoppers will be able to pass only on dotted lines, they can’t pass on a double-solid — the same simple rules that most Frederictonians know from the roads,” said Ogilvie, who is clearly not from Fredericton or has managed never to drive here. “If everything goes well, we may introduce a roundabout. People are pretty familiar with those by now, right?”
The Manatee caught up with shopper Ruth Harris as she was wailing on the horn — a brand-new addition to the carts that shoppers readily embraced.
“Get out of my way, you slow bitch!” Harris hollered at the woman in front of her, who was idling at a sample kiosk and snacking on dill pickle popcorn from a paper cup.
“Some people don’t know how to drive! Or…to cart I guess,” Harris told us. “Me, I’m an aggressive shopper — so I liked it better when you could just ram your carts into dawdlers and make u-turns and speed to your heart’s content. These traffic rules are a huge hindrance for me. But I guess as long as I’m still allowed to drink and shop, I can deal with the changes.”
“I suspect rush hour will still be an issue, but that’s unavoidable — people need to get to Costco after work,” said customer Neil Devon, who was stopped at the busy intersection of fruit and cheese. “But traffic being a little laggy gives me time to get my membership card out and organize all my items well before I get to the checkout.”
Employees are taking turns serving as traffic enforcement officers, handing out tickets to any shoppers violating the rules of the aisles.
“This is BS — I got a ticket for running a stop sign, and it pretty much undid all the savings I would have made buying in bulk,” said Costco member Lyle Orbison. “I’m gonna have to start going to Walmart again. It’s utter chaos in there but at least no one other than the greeter cares what I’m doing.”