What are the ADA Requirements for Parking Lots?

October 14, 2019

What Are the ADA Requirements for Parking Lots?

For paving contractors, it is important to know the laws on handicapped spaces and accessibility. There are laws in place that require certain considerations for those with physical impairments. Knowing what kind of paint striping machines equipment and associated tools you will need ahead of the job will save time.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

In 1990, the federal government passed a sweeping reform bill aimed at helping a specific group of people. The goal was to better assist handicapped individuals and to make it illegal to discriminate against them. The Americans with Disabilities Act set forth many rules to impose accessibility requirements on public buildings. Those rules included a set of regulations for parking lots. So, what are the ADA requirements for parking lots?

For everyone, building access begins in the parking lot. To be compliant with the ADA, there must be a certain amount of handicapped spaces available. The amount needed depends on the total number of spaces that the lot or parking garage has. Every lot must have a minimum of one handicap accessible space. There must be at least one handicapped space per every six spaces, and they have to be large enough for a van.

Four main factors qualify a parking space as handicap accessible.

  • Dimensions: An accessible space must be eight feet wide with an adjacent space of equal size on either side of it. 
  • Pavement marking: The ADA does not require marking each space’s pavement with the universal sign for accessibility. However, it is common practice to do so. It does require marking the adjacent space with yellow diagonal lines to indicate that it’s not a parking space. 
  • Pavement slope: Accessible spaces must not have more than a two percent slope in any direction. The grade must be level and flat for ease of movement. There can only be one inch of vertical change for every 50 inches of horizontal change. 
  • Signage: All spaces must have a sign showing the international sign for accessibility. The sign must be a minimum of 12 by 8 inches. It also has to have a warning that violators will receive a fine up to $200. Building owners must center the sign in the space and place it between 60 and 66 inches off the ground.


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