In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed and changed parking lots all over the country. With federal guidelines in place, it was now easy for businesses to be able to install handicap parking spaces that met these uniform guidelines.
Every handicapped parking spot must be marked with a sign using the standard and recognizable ADA symbol. The symbol is a blue and white sign that must be placed on a white pole at a specific height. The sign is the one part of the handicapped parking spot that states can alter slightly.
Size And Location
Every ADA parking spot must be wider than standard spots to allow for vehicles with special equipment. The larger spots allow for vans and other vehicles to comfortably unload and load people on both sides.
Parking lots for buildings must put their ADA parking spots as close as possible to the front door with the shortest possible route. The lead-up to the sidewalk must be wider than standard walkways and offer wheelchair accessibility. Buildings with multiple entrances and multiple parking lots should make sure that each lot followed the written specifications.
Parking lots that do not serve a specific building must put their ADA spots as close as possible to the main pedestrian walkway. These spots should also offer safe access to every parking lot or garage exit.
Number Of Spots
The number of ADA spaces accessible for cars and vans depends on how many parking spots in the entire parking lot. For example, a parking lot that has one to 25 spots must have at least one ADA spot. The number of ADA spots increases incrementally until the ratio reaches nine ADA spots for parking lots of up to 500 spaces.
When the lots exceed 500 parking spots, a percentage is applied instead of a set number. Parking lots with 501 to 1,000 spaces must have two percent of all spaces meet ADA guidelines. For lots with more than 1,001 spaces, there needed to be 21 ADA spaces for every 100.
Along with having an ADA-compliant parking lot, commercial and government buildings must also be handicap accessible. The guidelines for being handicap accessible are a combination of state and federal guidelines. It is important to contact your local building inspector to make sure that your building meets all ADA requirements.
The ADA has changed the way that parking lots and publicly accessible buildings are constructed. Before you open for business, you need to make sure that you have the right number of ADA-compliant spots in your parking lot to allow equal access to your building for everyone.
Jim Treebold is a North Carolina based writer. He lives by the mantra of “Learn 1 new thing each day”! Jim loves to write, read, pedal around on his electric bike and dream of big things. Drop him a line if you like his writing, he loves hearing from his readers!