Parking is an issue for most people on a good day. For those who have disabilities requiring parking compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, it can be an issue every day. This is why your business’s parking lot must accommodate those with disabilities.
More than likely, you had your company’s parking lot made compliant with the ADA. However, that did not stop someone from lodging accusations against you that your parking lot fails to accommodate people with disabilities.
What the ADA requires
Parking lots open to the public must have one parking space for disabled individuals’ vehicles for every 25 spaces. Of course, medical providers and hospitals are often required to have more ADA compliant parking spaces per 25 spaces. However, you can’t have only one space if you have 49 spaces. You would need two.
There is another issue to consider. Many people have vehicles specifically designed for wheelchairs. These accessible vans require more room. The ADA has an answer for that. For each regular ADA space your lot has, you must also have a space for one of these types of vehicles to park. Next to the space will be a sort of “dead zone” for loading and unloading.
California and its local governments may also have other requirements you must meet. If you encounter a conflict among all of the requirements, you must adhere to the ones that are the strictest, which may not end up being those of the federal government.
The dimensions matter
Not only do you have to provide compliant spaces, but they also have to be certain dimensions. Regular ADA compliant parking spaces need to be at least eight feet wide. For those that are accessible to vans, the stall can be at least eight feet wide, but only if there is also an access aisle at least eight feet wide as well. Otherwise, the ADA requires these spaces to be no smaller than 11 feet wide with an at least five-foot-wide aisle for access. The length of the stalls matters as well.
Again, you may also need to check state and local requirements for how big the spaces must be to double check whether your lot complies with the strictest rules.
Common mistakes for van accessible spaces
In your attempt to make sure that your clients with disabilities can reach your business, you may miss something. For instance, many businesses make the following common errors:
- Improper inclines
- Insufficient vertical clearance
- Insufficient identification of spaces
These seemingly minor oversights could end up causing trouble for your business. It may benefit you to bring in someone who knows the rules and can determine whether any adjustments to your lot need to be made.
If legal trouble parks outside your door
If you find yourself on the defensive end of a lawsuit regarding your parking lot, you may want to enlist the aid of someone who understands the requirements set forth in the ADA. Of course, the best defense is always to have a good offense, so if you want to be sure that your parking lot complies before anyone accuses you of violating the ADA, state or local laws, the same attorney may be able to help.