ADA Parking Requirements for Handicap Parking
Handicap Parking Requirements for US Parking Areas
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has several provisions which protect handicap parking spaces and their users. The ADA parking requirements were last updated in 2010 and mandate how many traditional handicap parking spaces and van spaces are needed for a given location, size requirements, and other technical requirements.
Accessible Parking Spaces for Cars
Accessible parking spaces for cars that require a transfer to a wheelchair are eight feet wide and should have an adjacent access aisle that measures at least 60 inches for entering and exiting the vehicle. These spaces are marked with a sign and are located on level ground.
Accessible Parking Spaces for Vans
Accessible parking spaces for vans or any modified or converted vehicle are similar to accessible spaces for cars but with extra provisions.
- The access aisle for a full-size van with a lift or a converted minivan or SUV with a ramp should measure at least 96 inches.
- Vertical clearance at the space to accommodate the height of full-size vehicles and their occupants in the access aisle.
- A sign that identifies the space as “Van Accessible”
One out of every six spaces in a parking lot is required to be van accessible. In a lot with less than eight spaces, at least one is required to be van accessible. If the lot has four or fewer parking spaces, a sign identifying van-accessible parking space isn’t required.
Certain types of medical facilities need more handicap parking spaces, including hospital outpatient facilities (10%) and rehabilitation facilities that specialize in treating mobility-related conditions.
ADA Parking Requirements: Location
Accessible parking spaces must be located on the shortest accessible route to an entrance. If there are multiple accessible entrances to a building, the spaces should be divided among each entrance and located closest.
An accessible route is one that does not include curbs, stairs, unstable or slippery surfaces and the slope of this route can’t exceed 1:12 (one inch of raise to 12 inches of distance traveled). ADA parking requirements also state that exceptions can be made to parking garages where spaces may be clustered on one floor in order to accommodate the 98-inch minimum vertical height requirement.
ADA Parking Requirements: Alterations
A bollard - or a short post typically made of concrete or metal – signs, columns, or other elements can’t be located in the access aisle or reduce the minimum clear width of accessible routes. Aisle are also instructed to be designed so that parked vehicles do not obstruct the required width of accessible routes.
Many in the disability community request the placement of a permanent structure in the access aisle to prevent cars from parking there. Like the bollards incorporated into walkways ahead of main entrances to businesses, it would prevent vehicles from entering the space and ensuring it is clear for needed transfers or entry and exit of an accessible side-entry vehicle.