Here are some photos to help explicate the situation.
|The BB&T Bank is to the west (left) of the Safeway. To walk past the Safeway to stores on the right, one must walk out into the parking lot|
|This narrow section of sidewalk is navigable without going into the parking lot, but there's not a lot of room.|
|This is just past the trash can. The sidewalk is about 12 inches wide, but there is also a sign in the way.|
|Here's a look from the opposite angle. The sign and trash can are visible on the left side of the photo.|
|This photo is also taken from the east. The trash can is visible. The BB&T Bank is beyond the Safeway|
The designers of this Safeway were therefore not required to give any consideration to pedestrians, which is obvious from the outcome. Only those who drive cars were considered in their design choices. Even those who drive here and may also want to go to the bank or to the dollar store nearby are forced to step out into the parking lot traffic in order to do so.
To his credit, when this problem was pointed out to the manager, he was surprised and concerned and expressed his opinion that this design would provide a disservice to his customers. Too bad they didn't ask him before they started.
(cross posted on Greater Greater Washington)