The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a comprehensive civil rights law passed in 1990 that ensures individuals with disabilities have equal access to all aspects of public life and prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. This includes areas such as employment, housing, transportation, and several other public accommodations, programs, and services.
Since the ADA’s implementation, all businesses must incorporate provisions and provide adequate spaces in a parking lot that optimize access for people with disabilities. However, although the law is over 30 years old, there is still considerable uncertainty about what is required to ensure ADA compliance.
To assist you in ensuring that your parking lot meets all ADA standards and continues to provide the best access for all of your visitors, we’ve put together a complete guide with everything you need to know about ADA parking lot requirements.
Continue reading below to learn more about ADA parking lot requirements and discover how McConnell & Associates can help ensure your parking lot remains compliant, safe, and accessible to all with our premium-quality asphalt and concrete services.
What Is ADA Compliance?
As previously mentioned, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a piece of federal legislation passed in 1990 and was designed to protect disabled Americans’ civil rights and ensure equal access to all aspects of public life.
In essence, the ADA requires all public spaces and privately owned businesses with 15 or more employees to implement and maintain specific accommodations to ensure fair access for people with disabilities. This includes places such as libraries, schools, retail stores, restaurants, hotels, banks, and more.
Because the ADA is a complicated legal document encompassing a plethora of regulations, its significance to businesses and property owners is not always clear. To further complicate matters, some ADA regulations range from state to state, and requirements apply to both the interior and exterior of businesses.
One aspect of ADA compliance that is often overlooked and frequently disregarded is a company’s parking lot, yet they are held to the same standards. In fact, the ADA states that the primary priority for ADA compliance for any business should be ease of access. As a result, it’s critical that commercial companies take all necessary steps and incorporate ADA-compliant amenities to ensure that their parking lots are accessible to all.
ADA Parking Requirements for Handicap Accessible Parking Spaces
ADA compliance applies to nearly every aspect of owning a commercial property or managing a public business, including parking lot accessibility. While incorporating ADA-compliant features into parking lots may seem complex, it will allow your business to avoid government sanctions and costly fines that can result from noncompliance.
When designating handicap-accessible parking spaces, there are five major factors to consider:
Number of Parking Spots
The ADA standards for accessible parking establishes and requires a certain total number of parking spots designated for handicapped persons, depending on the size of the parking lot. Parking lots with 1 to 25 spaces are required to have one designated handicap parking spot, and the required number of accessible parking spots increases by one for every 25 spots in a parking lot. Medical facilities have slightly different standards, as 20% of their parking lots must be handicap accessible.
Handicap accessible spaces must be level, and the slope cannot be greater than 2% in any direction. This is by far the most prevalent ADA compliance issue identified in modern parking lots and can result in a hefty fine.
Aisles adjacent to all accessible parking spaces must be clearly marked to indicate that they are not parking spaces, and diagonal lines should be used to designate access aisles.
The ADA also specifies that handicap parking spaces must be clearly marked with the International Symbol of Accessibility (ISA) to make them easily identifiable. Handicap parking space signs must also be at least 60 inches off the ground to ensure they are not blocked by vehicles parked in front of them, and the size of the sign must be at least 12 by 18 inches.
Additionally, only people who have a state-issued handicap parking permit can use the parking space.
Handicap parking spaces must be a minimum of 8 feet wide, with a minimum of five feet of aisle space close to them, and in a location that provides the most accessible route to the building’s entrance. If the parking space is intended to signify a van-accessible space, this must be clearly stated on the sign, and the parking space must be a minimum of 11 feet wide.
ADA Noncompliance Penalties
Following ADA regulations is one of the most critical things any business owner or commercial property manager can do to ensure the safety of their customers and the general public. Failure to comply with the ADA accessibility standards may result in major safety concerns, discrimination, and civil rights violations. Failure to comply with ADA regulations often has substantial and far-reaching implications.
For first-time offenders, noncompliance with ADA regulations may result in a fine of up to $75,000 under federal law. Additionally, any subsequent infractions and failure to comply with ADA standards may result in penalties of up to $150,000 and other severe fines and punishments, including the temporary shutdown of your business. Furthermore, noncompliance with ADA regulations exposes your business to potentially costly lawsuits and other legal action.
McConnell & Associates Is Kansas City’s Go-To Parking Lot Paving Company
Whether you’re a business owner or building manager, it’s vital to be aware of the fundamental rules and regulations laid out by the ADA. While many of these rules apply to older parking lots, hiring a professional, ADA-compliant asphalt and concrete company will ensure your parking lot remains up to date and fully compliant with all federally mandated ADA regulations and protect your business from legal action.
At McConnell & Associates, we have over 40 years of expertise, offering premium-quality asphalt and concrete services to our Midwest customers. We are proud to be our customers’ number one choice, and we take immense pride in producing high-quality work, exceptional customer service, and a successful outcome.
If you have any questions about the ADA compliance of your parking lot, please don’t hesitate to contact McConnell & Associates today to speak with one of our highly-trained asphalt and concrete experts about your parking lot.