It’s five in the evening and it feels like everyone on the planet is trying to get into Kwik Trip. People brush up against you as they push their way through the doors. It’s a mission just to get into the building. As you roll your wheelchair close to the doors you realize there is not a button to power open the door. At this point getting into the building depends on the kindness of people to open the door.
Kwik Trip has seven locations in Winona area and not a single one has a handicap accessible door.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act hinged doorways need to be at least 32 inches wide. Even though automatic doors create greater accessibility they are not required by the ADA.
“Kwik Trip has made quite a few changes to make their gas stations more handicap accessible,” said Amy Schmidt, who works at a local Kwik Trip.
They have handicap parking, wide shopping aisles and customers can even flash their car lights from the pumps to receive assistance pumping gas, Schmidt explained. Kwik Trip has one handicap parking spot in most of their parking lots.
Schmidt was unsure as to why Kwik Trip hadn’t added the buttons to their doors.
Kwik Trip corporate offices were unable to set up an interview for this story.
As miniscule as this issue may seem some Winona citizens see this as a huge issue that should be addressed.
Jayda Garrison is a program director for Cardinal, a local group home, she said Kwik Trip should have handicap accessible doors.
“When handicap people struggle with these doors it takes away a sense of their pride and independence,” said Garrison.
Garrison explained more people within the Winona community should see this issue as a concern. She explained handicap individuals have the right to feel fully functional just like everyone else.
When looking at this situation money could come in as a factor.
According to a worker at Tom’s Lock in downtown Winona, many factor play into the installation of handicap buttons on building doors. A rough total estimate is 2,700 dollars per button.
With no response from the company it is hard to say why they haven’t added these buttons. They follow all other ADA regulations. The concerned Winona citizens hope that one day soon Kwik Trip will take that extra step.
Jayda Garrison, house supervisor at a local group home, talks about why it’s crucial for Kwik Trip to have handicap doors.