Complete Guide to ADA Parking Requirements

Complete Guide to ADA Parking Requirements

Handicap Parking Space Requirements

For millions of Americans, July 26, 1990, has a special meaning. On this day, Congress passed the Americans With Disabilities Act or ADA. This legislation aimed to make it easier for disabled people to live everyday, functional lives. 

One of the significant changes the ADA made was regulating the number of handicapped parking spaces a business must provide. The goal of ADA parking requirements was to make it easier for those with limited mobility to carry out normal, everyday tasks like shopping. 

What does this mean for business and property owners? Let’s break down all the ADA parking requirements you must know.

Handicapped Parking Spaces

The ADA covers a variety of topics when it comes to handicapped parking. It doesn’t just concern itself with the number of stalls, their shape, and their function. This is why you’ll notice more than one type of handicapped parking space at many department stores or large apartment buildings.

In addition to the parking area itself, there are also requirements for access to those parking stalls. Handicapped parking spaces have dimensions that allow for maximum access and maneuverability.

Handicap Parking for Cars

When it comes to parking, most people who have handicapped parking travel in cars and trucks. That is why most stalls you’ll find at a local store or parking area have dimensions with cars and trucks in mind. These are normal-sized stalls, though they have some additional requirements.

The main focus of the ADA, in this case, is to ensure there is enough room for a wheelchair to navigate around them. The parking space must be at least 96 inches wide to accommodate the vehicle, with a 60-inch additional space for the wheelchair. This space can be shared between two stalls.

Additionally, these spaces are usually located closer to the building’s entrance, near crosswalks and handicap ramps.

Handicap Parking for Vans

The other most popular form of transportation for individuals with disabilities is a van. Vans are the most common form of transportation for those who live in group settings or require additional care. These vans are larger than regular cars, but that isn’t the primary reason their parking spaces are bigger.

Vans can carry individuals who use a wheelchair. Many vans used to transport disabled people are equipped with a lift. This allows people in a wheelchair to enter and exit the vehicle without having to be removed from their wheelchairs, but it does require more space.

For a van, the parking space must be at least 132 inches wide. It will also need to have a 60-inch accessway. The accessway provides enough room for the lift to function and the wheelchair to navigate between the nearby vehicles. As with car and truck parking, these accessways can be shared between multiple stalls. It’s common for these spaces to have loading areas next to them where nobody can park.

Number of Handicapped Parking Stalls

The number of handicapped parking stalls required comes from the overall number of available parking spots. The basic premise is that there must be a handicapped parking stall for every twenty-five regular stalls. You always round up, so if you have 26 stalls, you must have two handicapped stalls.

Once the number of stalls reaches high enough, which is designated as over five hundred, two percent must be designated as handicapped parking. If there are over a thousand stalls, then you must have twenty, plus one for every one-hundred stalls present.

If a limited number of parking stalls are available, four or fewer, then a single van parking space must be provided. This will make sure that anyone with a disability can take advantage of your parking lot and your business.

Location of Handicapped Parking Stalls

The ADA also has requirements about where the accessible parking stalls are located. In all cases, these parking stalls must be along the shortest access route to the entrance. If there’s more than one entrance, it is possible to arrange all the stalls in front of the main entrance or to spread them out between both entrances.

It is also a requirement that the stalls are not on a steep slope. The acceptable gradient is around 2% or less. Anything more significant than this makes it too difficult for people with mobility issues to navigate the parking area safely.

Additional Regulations

There are a number of other regulations that must be observed when dealing with handicapped parking stalls:

  • The international sign of accessibility must mark handicapped parking stalls.
  • Accessways must be marked to discourage parking in them and must be the same length as the parking space itself.
  • Parking surfaces must be stable, solid, and slip-resistant.
  • The international symbol of accessibility, a wheelchair symbol, must be mounted at least sixty inches off the ground and be visible.

These additional regulations aim to make the parking stall as safe and functional as possible for movement-impaired people. You can find more information about this here.

Handicapped Parking

Penalties for Non-Compliance

The penalties are steep if your business or parking lot is not compliant with the ADA. The first violation assessed will cost you $75,000. Each additional penalty after the first will result in double that at $150,000. 

There could also be state or local ordinances which will require additional compliance. These will come with their own penalties. You should always check with local regulations to make sure that you are in full compliance.

Your Paving Specialists

Whether you’re looking to construct a brand new parking lot, or you just need to seal and restripe it, Coastal Paving & Excavating is here to help. We can help you create the perfect ADA-compliant parking lot that will help all of your guests to access your business with ease.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

Frequently Asked Questions

ADA Parking Space Requirements

How many handicap parking spaces are required?

The Americans With Disabilities Act requires one handicap parking space for every 25 total spaces for parking lots of 100 spaces or less. For larger parking lots, follow this guide.

How wide are handicap parking spaces?

The ADA requires handicap parking spaces to be at least 132 inches wide for vans PLUS an access aisle of at least 60 inches, OR be at least 96 inches wide with an access aisle of at least 96 inches.