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Emergency Exit & ADA Entrance Blocked at a Tulsa QuikTrip

August 1, 2009 Accessibility, Travel 8 Comments

Yesterday morning I stopped at a QuikTrip location in Tulsa to use their restroom and get a snack for the road.  I did not park in the disabled parking spot because it was further away from the entrance (but close to the wheelchair ramp).  From my car I could see a problem at the entrance:

The extra space next to the door was packed full of merchandise.  Once through that door the problem was clear:

T0 comply with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act you need 18″ clear to the handle side of a door you are pulling toward you and 12″ to the side of a door you are pushing away.  As I am realizing this is not just for those in wheelchairs but for all of us that have some physical challenges.  The store was designed fine but their placement of xtra stock has made the above entry non-compliant.

Heading back to the men’s room more stuff is stacked in the way.  A wheelchair would never pass through here and with a cane it is now too narrow.  It gets worse.  Around the wall to the left is an emergency exit:

And in front of the emergency exit is a power washer.

I didn’t buy anything nor did I say anything at the time – I was too angry.  A couple of hours later, at my brother’s house in Oklahoma City I look up the phone number for the QuikTrip at 15th & Denver in Tulsa.  I get a manager on the line and complain about the ADA access and the emergency exit.  He is not concerned.  I asked if it will still be cleared a week later when I pass through again.  He said, “probably not.”  I filed a complaint on the QuikTrip website.

Folks, the ADA guidelines exist for a reason.  Placing your crap in our way is very disrespectful.  Blocking emergency exits is criminal.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there are "8 comments" on this Article:

  1. Tom Niemeier says:

    It usually is the tenant the on screws up the design that was meeant to be accessible. Thanks for a great post. It helps to see real life infractions at a place we often visit.

  2. Jimmy Z says:

    The best people to contact about blocked exits are the local fire marshall and/or fire department – they respond quickly and usually really care about the issue!

  3. Angelo says:

    It’s always going for non-disabled people to really think of the disabled-first. That especially goes for places where disabled individuals are rare. That Quicktrip might get one disabled person every few weeks on average……and it’s probably never experienced an event where the emergency exists were necessary.

    Negligence sets in because the need to obey these policies is not apparent, or consistent. It’s the same for people who complain about handicapped-spaces and how often they sit empty. Handicapped people are a minority, and aren’t especially visible in this society.

    But, you know, as Jimmy Z mentioned, that’s why we have state officials to enforce the laws and give them that “apparent” and “consistent” need. Hee hee.

  4. Avid Reader says:

    I’m surprised that you got such an uninterested response from the QT manager. I frequent the QT near my home here in St. Louis and always find it to be well maintained and the staff friendly and helpful. I’ll have to look next time I’m there and see if it’s compliant with the regulations you stated, but I believe it is because it has two wide front doors with nothing around either side.

    Please let us know if you get any more information regarding the situation from QT Corporate or the store itself, i’d be curious to see if it’s resolved at some point.

  5. Don says:

    I have to second the comment about contacting the local fire department. I’m not sure that they’d necessarily go after them for the ADA violations, but blocking an emergency exit is a serious violation.

    Much like the previous comment, I also feel that the QuikTrip locations I visit here in St. Louis always seem to be clean and uncluttered, with wide double-doors that open easily. I’m not physically disabled in any manner, so accessibility hasn’t really been a high-visibility item for me (except when I’m pushing my daughter around in a stroller), although following your website over the past week or so (and reading some of the archives) have started to get me thinking more and more about it. I can tell that it’s going to take me some time to start thinking in that mindset; I’m usually rushing around late for something, and so taking a moment to picture myself in a wheelchair or with crutches or a cane is going to take some getting used to, but already I find myself becoming more aware of my surroundings. Please keep up the good work, and hopefully together we can all make this world a better (and more accessible) place!

  6. Murph says:

    Enough with these posts, save them for ADAreview.com

  7. Now that’s great customer service! Sheesh.

    I too am interested in any followup you get from QT, which I usually love (fountain vanilla Diet Coke is my weakness, yum!).

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