Every Saturday we visit my other halfs aging father to help with paperwork, his benefits and such. Today on the way home, on Kissena Blvd in Flushing, Queens we dropped into a FOOD PLUS Supermarket. We entered, me in my chair, my main squeeze on foot through a one way electric door. Once inside you cannot open them, we proceeded to do about $50 worth of weekend shopping and went to pay. That’s when the trouble started. Not one single check out was wide enough for a wheelchair. I had to beg permission to go out through a staff only area. Luckily my able bodied partner went through the register otherwise, unable to fit through the checkout aisle, it would all have had to go back on the shelves.
Then we went to leave via the Out door next to where we had enterted. It had a 4 foot high, approxiametely 2 foot wide part steel bars coming out of the floor to stop trolley theft blocking my way. Unfortunately it prohibited any form of wheelchair or mobility aid from getting out that door so we turned around and went to leave the back exit, and as the picture shows, the entire exit was encaged in a steel jail cell like structure also too narrow for any wheelchair. When the management was approached, after much pleading of ignorance, they assisted us in using the door we used to get in. If they had not done that we would have had no way of getting out.
Really Food Plus tell me in a raging fire with a store filled with smoke are you going to stop running long enough to think to open a entrance door for me to get out. I think not. It is against all fire regulations to place a locked barrier impeding the safe quick exit of anyone especially the aged and disabled in the state of New York and I suspect the same is the case in every states in the US. Five years ago a night club in New Jersey had a similiar security cage & bolte exit over their fire exit so people could not sneak in without paying. They had a pyrotechnics malfunction one night and over 40 of the club patrons were found burned to death against the locked barred fire exit. That owner is now doing life in prison. So, Food Plus I hope you value your life more than you do the disabled patrons of your store. The American Persons with Disabilities Act was hard fought for and long awaited it’s not for the amusement of the retail sector. It’s for the protection of those who make them rich by shopping. We took photos and first thing Monday morning, the FDNY & NY State Health Dept will be called. Then the American with Disabilities Act enforcement department will be called. I’m not shopping where it is not safe and where when such vital issues are pointed out to management their response is “what are you going to do.” My answer … A Lot!