All long-time property owners and managers who are in charge of commercial properties with parking lots are well aware of the importance of ensuring ADA compliance. However, for those of you who recently got a parking lot under your wing or are planning to get one added to the property, you must understand ADA guidelines.
What is ADA, and why is it important?
ADA stands for the American Disabilities Act. It was established in 1990 to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities and offer them the same opportunities as everyone else by enforcing reasonable modifications in different areas.
It is critical to have an ADA compliant parking lot because of two main reasons – it is humane and can cost you (fines and lawsuits).
What do ADA guidelines include?
There are so many things that you need to see to when it comes to ADA compliance that it is best to leave the job to the professionals. However, to subside your curiosity, we will give you a general idea of what an ADA compliant parking lot will look like. Below are some ADA guidelines that you need to fulfill.
- A specific number of accessibility spots need to be reserved in a parking lot, depending on its total capacity. For every 25 regular parking spaces, there should be one accessibility parking. If your lot can accommodate 501 to 1000 parking spots, then 2% of those need to be accessibility spots. And if there are over 1000 parking spots, you need to have 20 accessible parking spots and one more for every 100 spaces.
- Parking facilities that offer valet parking services need to have both an accessible passenger loading zone and the required number of accessible parking spaces.
- Mechanical access parking garages also need to have an accessible passenger loading zone located at the vehicle drop-off and pick-up area.
- All direct pedestrian connections leading from a parking lot to the facility need to be accessible.
- Out of every six accessible parking spaces, one needs to be van accessible, which means it needs to have adequate space so a van lift can be deployed. For example, a parking lot with 400 total spaces should have eight accessible stalls and two van-accessible spots.
- Each van accessible space needs to have a sign displaying ‘van-accessible.’
- All signs should be mounted at a height that the lower edge of the sign is at least five feet above the ground.
- Accessible parking spaces need to be eight feet wide, while van-accessible spaces should be eleven feet wide if the access aisles for those disabled parking spaces are five feet wide. Alternatively, a van-accessible area can be eight feet wide if the adjacent aisle is eight feet wide too.
- The access aisles can be shared between two parking spaces, so there is room to deploy vehicle-mounted wheelchair lifts and/or unload mobility devices like wheelchairs and walkers.
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