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Greendale police remind drivers shop safely

Mall construction adds to parking lot challenges

Aug. 15, 2011

Greendale - Construction work at the south end of Southridge Mall comes with a cautionary reminder from the village's Police Department about parking lot safety.

Incidents, such as a serious infraction one year ago, can result in citations to drivers, but police generally simply want drivers to be careful under new and challenging circumstances at the mall, 5300 S. 76th St.

"We just wanted to make sure that people are aware that part of the area will look different to drivers, even if they are familiar with the parking lots," said Sue Zuber, Greendale police administrative assistant. "It's a high-traffic area with cars and pedestrians."

Zuber said police officers have been working with mall security to ensure maximum safety.

The department issued a press release as construction got underway to emphasize the change in environment that can cause problems.

"Hundreds of vehicles come and go from Southridge Mall over the course of a week," the department noted. "Due to mall renovations and the new construction project on the south end of the mall, there may be detours and the possibility of poor visibility due to construction signs and equipment. … Let's all slow down and drive with care and consideration for other drivers when driving in the parking lots.

The notice added;. "Our shopping experience will be safer and more enjoyable."

The notice points out that while not all traffic laws are enforceable on private property such as the mall, the village does enforce ordinances that cover a variety of poor driving issues, including speeding, failing to stop at posted signs and driving recklessly.

Reckless driving was enforced in August 2010, when a 21-year-old off-duty mall security officer, arriving at the lot to report to work, reportedly decided to "play chicken" with a fellow security officer driving a mall vehicle.

Illegally cutting across the lot, the report states the driver nearly hit a man and two young children who were walking to a mall entrance.

The adult pedestrian reported the incident and it was recorded on a mall security camera.

"Citations being issued on Southridge property are not common," the department release said. "It only occurs when a person's driving is dangerous to others or themselves and frequently is because a citizen called to complain about other driver's actions or due to an accident in the parking lot. Mall security patrols will call the police if they observe reckless driving."

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