Title III Public Accommodations: ADA Parking Lot or Parking Structure
Is it coming up on the maintenance plan? Does the parking area just look worn and faded? Recently purchased the facility and want to make some improvements?
Whatever the reason, there are Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) parking compliance standards to review before calling in the contractor or the maintenance crew.
Think about whether the site has grown since the parking lot was last striped. The number of accessible parking spaces provided on a site is to be calculated according to the number of spaces required for each parking facility. The required number is NOT
to be based on the total number of parking spaces provided in all of the parking facilities (lots and/or structures) provided on the site.
It is also important that accessible features be maintained and outdoor features are especially challenging because of weather and other conditions. Accessible parking spaces, aisles, and routes should be kept in good repair and kept free of snow, ice, or fallen leaf build-up. The harsh sun may have lightened the stripes and the symbol of accessibility in the accessible parking space. It is for reasons such as these that the Department of Justice (DOJ) prompts business and property owners to do an annual survey for readily achievable barrier removal. Accessible parking is a top priority as it enables many people with disabilities to “get in the door.” The table below provides information on car and van accessible parking spaces required.
One of six accessible parking spaces, but at least one, must be van accessible. Parking for hospital outpatient facilities, rehabilitation facilities, outpatient physical therapy facilities, or residential facilities have substantially different requirements for accessibility.
Accessible parking spaces must be located on the shortest accessible route of travel to an accessible facility entrance. Where buildings have multiple accessible entrances with adjacent parking, the accessible parking spaces must be dispersed and located closest to the accessible entrances.
When accessible parking spaces are added in an existing parking lot or structure, locate the spaces on the most level ground close to the accessible entrance. Slope is crucial for the accessible parking space and the access aisle; it may be necessary to adjust the slope for the area before putting down the new striping for the spaces and the access aisles. Slopes not steeper than 1:48 (2.083%) are permitted
. This is for both the parking space and the access aisle. This is for running slope and cross slope. An accessible route must always be provided from the accessible parking to the accessible entrance.
An accessible route meets these criteria:
never has curbs or stairs
must be at least 3 feet wide
and has a firm, stable, slip-resistant surface.
The parking area will connect to the accessible route. Please note that wheel stops may need to be added to the accessible parking space(s) in order to maintain the 36 inches along the accessible route.
Accessible parking spaces may be clustered in one or more facilities if equivalent or greater accessibility is provided in terms of distance from the accessible entrance, parking fees, and convenience. Van-accessible parking spaces located in parking garages may be clustered on one floor (to accommodate the 98-inch minimum vertical height requirement).
Do you need to add more accessible parking spaces when you restripe the parking lot? Do you want to update the spaces to universal design? Within the ADA 2010 standard, accessible car parking spaces are a minimum of 96 inches in width minimum and accessible van parking spaces are 132 inches in width minimum. The access aisle for these types of spaces is 60 inches wide minimum. Two accessible parking spaces may share an access aisle.
Many drivers, especially those who operate vans, find it more difficult to back into spaces than to back out; therefore, where a van and car will share an access aisle, consider locating the van space so that the access aisle is on the passenger side of the van space.
There is an exception within the ADA 2010 Standard where the accessible van parking space may be 96 inches wide minimum where the access aisle adjoining it is also 96 inches wide minimum. Both options are shown below.
Another configuration for the parking lot is to consider universal design where the vehicle spaces for both car and van are 96 inches wide minimum and the access aisle between them is 96 inches wide minimum. See diagram below.
Yes, the access aisle width is as important as the accessible parking space width. Here is a diagram showing how an access aisle may be used.
This is why it is important to make certain the access aisle is properly striped so that no vehicle parks in the access aisle. This becomes crucial when both the spaces and the access aisle are 96 inches wide minimum.
It is also important to keep physical structures, such as ramps, out of the access aisle. Built-up curb ramps are not permitted to project into the access aisles and parking spaces because they would create slopes greater than 1:48 (2.083%).
The diagram below shows the curb ramp installed outside of the access aisle area. There are ADA standards for the size and slope of the curb ramp. so please address this with your contractor if you are adding curb ramps in addition to restriping the parking lot.
Here are some examples of what NOT to have in an access aisle adjacent to an accessible parking space (whether car or van). If you have a ramp in your parking lot that is similar to this, you need to remove this immediately and put in a compliant curb ramp. Access aisles are required to be nearly level in all directions
(running slope and cross slope) to provide a surface for wheelchair transfer to and from vehicles.
Where parking spaces are marked with lines, width measurements of parking spaces and access aisles are to centerlines, except for the end space which may include the full width of the line.
Access aisles may be located on either side of the parking space except for angled van parking spaces which must have access aisles located on the passenger side of the parking spaces.
If accessible parking spaces and access aisles are moved due to slope issues, to be closer to the accessible entrance, or to provide a larger number of accessible spaces, remember that not only will the international symbol of accessibility be striped in the space, but the accessible parking signs need to be mounted for each space.
The international symbol of accessibility is striped in the parking space and the sign is mounted at the correct height at the front of the space. Van accessible spaces shall have a sign designating them as van accessible.
Please note that the van accessible sign does not preclude a car from parking in the accessible space. It is meant to inform the van driver that there is sufficient width in the parking space and access aisle to accommodate the van and a possible lift.
Making your business accessible means more customers. ADA compliant parking gives your business the edge.