ADA Standards for Commercial Parking Lots: A Helpful Guideline
If you are in the process of designing a commercial parking lot for your business, or if your existing lot is in need of updated line striping, it is critical to understand and adhere to ADA (American with Disabilities Act of 1990) standards. The ADA ensures equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities, and its regulations apply to employment, State and local government, public accommodations, transportation, telecommunication and commercial facilities. Furthermore, as a federal law, ADA’s regulations apply whether your business is in Indiana or Arizona.
It is crucial to adhere to ADA guidelines when paving or restriping your commercial lot, not only to avoid serious safety and legal issues but also to ensure that all of your customers have a good experience with your business — before they’ve even come through the door. Below we’ve provided a helpful guideline of ADA regulations for commercial lots.
ADA Standards for Accessible Design
Every commercial parking lot is required to have at least one accessible parking space. There are two kinds of accessible parking spaces — spaces for cars and van-accessible parking spaces — and different standards for each.
Accessible Parking Spaces
Accessible parking spaces for cars must have at least a 60″-wide access aisle adjacent to the designated parking space. This access aisle is wide enough to allow a person using a wheelchair to enter or exit the car. Two parking spaces may share an access aisle. These parking spaces must be identified with a sign with the International Symbol of Accessibility that can be easily seen when a car is parked in the space, and the access aisles must be identified in a way that discourages parking there (typically with horizontal or diagonal stripes). The ADA does not specify a method or color for marking parking spaces and access aisles. State or local regulations may specify the markings further.
Van-Accessible Parking Spaces
One of eight accessible parking spaces, but always at least one, must be a van-accessible space. Van-accessible parking spaces are the same as accessible parking spaces for cars except for three distinguishing features. Van-accessible spaces require a wider, 96″ access aisle to accommodate wheelchair lifts. There must also be a minimum 98″ vertical clearance at the van parking space, access aisle and vehicular route to and from the space. Finally, an additional sign should identify the space as “Van-Accessible.”
These accessible parking spaces must be located on the shortest route to an accessible entrance to the facility. If there are multiple accessible entrances, the spaces must be dispersed and located near each entrance. The spaces must be located on level ground. An accessible route (at least 3 feet-wide) to facilities must be provided with no curbs or stairs and a stable, slip-resistant surface. The slope of the route must not be greater than 1:12 in the direction of travel. Accessible parking spaces may all be gathered in one or more lots if this provides equal or greater accessibility and convenience.
The number of accessible spaces a commercial lot is required to have varies depending on the size of the lot. There are many considerations when designing a parking lot, and confusion can easily arise. It is important when paving or restriping your business’s parking lot that you partner with a company who understands all the legal standards and requirements for the job.
Consider partnering with DC Construction to pave or line stripe your commercial lot. Start the conversation today.