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With the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) back in 1992, a number of guidelines were introduced to help improve the lives of disabled individuals. The law contains a number of provisions intended to make all public places in the US both accessible and hospitable to those with disabilities.

This article will focus on how parking lots are regulated under the ADA and will go over the guidelines you must follow as a business owner with a designated parking lot.

ADA Parking Lot Guidelines

  • All accessible parking spaces must be marked with the international symbol of accessibility.
  • To determine how many accessible parking spaces your lot should have, consider the total number of spaces. You should have 1 accessible space for every 25 or fewer spaces. This would mean having 2 accessible spaces for lots ranging from 26-50 spaces, and so on.
  • Accessible parking spaces should be located closest to a wheelchair-accessible entrance. They should also be located on level ground.
  • Accessible parking spaces should be bordered on the right or left by a clearly marked access aisle, giving disabled individuals plenty of room to get in and out of their vehicle, and easily transition to their wheelchair or other mobility device. Van-accessible spaces should be at least 8 feet wide, while car-accessible spaces should be 5 feet wide.
  • Van-accessible spaces must include a sign with the phrase “van-accessible.”
  • Van-accessible parking spaces, access aisles, and vehicular routes must have a 98-inch minimum vertical clearance.
  • A flat, stable, slip-resistant, and stair-free accessible route must lead from each access aisle to the nearest accessible building entrance. Marked crosswalks must be present if the access route must cross through an area with vehicle traffic.
  • Make sure all paint lines and accessibility symbols and signs are clearly visible.

For more information to help you make sure your parking lot is in compliance with the ADA, view the ADA Design Guide for Restriping Parking Lots and International Parking Institute.

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