11 Handicap-Friendly Parking Space Requirements

11 Handicap-Friendly Parking Space Requirements

What are the main handicap parking space requirements necessary for Florida parking lots?

When designing a parking lot, installers always need to provide equal access for everyone, and one way to do this is through reserved parking spaces for individuals with disabilities. In addition, the ADA Standards for Accessible Design include measures and minimum standards for accessible parking lots and similar facilities.

Knowing the requirements and regulations for designing and constructing handicap-friendly parking spaces is critical, whether you are a contractor, business owner, or property manager. Specifically, you need to take note of the correct space sizes, slot locations, and markings to ensure that you comply with the handicap parking space requirements mandated by law.

So, to help you understand design and construction for your parking lot and maintain compliance with the ADA, check out these 11 handicap parking space requirements your parking lot needs to follow.

Varied Governing Laws for Handicap Parking Space Requirements

The state and local governments have their own set of rules, some of which are stricter than others. Updates and revisions may also apply to certain areas or regions. Before you plan or design your parking layout, it would be best to double-check the handicap parking space requirements in your town or city to guarantee adequate observation and accuracy.

Standard Number of Handicap-Accessible Stalls

Based on the number of parking spaces available at a site or in a facility, you need to set aside a specific number of handicap-accessible stalls. Generally, parking for vehicles like vans should be available in one out of every six handicapped parking spaces.

If a parking lot with less than twenty-five stalls has only one handicapped-accessible space at your facility or establishment, you should make the space van-friendly. This rule applies to all types of parking, including employee, public, and limited parking.

Exemptions in the Number of Handicap-Accessible Stalls

Here are some exemptions in designating the correct total number of parking slots for specific facilities and establishments:

  • At medical facilities like hospitals that offer outpatient services, patients and visitors should have 10% additional parking places.
  • Rehabilitation clinics like outpatient physical therapy facilities that serve mobility-impaired patients, should have an additional 20% more parking spaces in addition to the minimum requirement of 20% extra parking spaces.
  • Handicap-accessible spots are not needed in parking lots solely utilized by trucks, buses, police enforcement vehicles, delivery vehicles, and car impound facilities.

Location Spots and Accessibility

If a disabled passenger or motorist needs to enter or depart a parking structure, they should have easy access and the right-of-way. The parking spaces accessible to people with disabilities should be those nearest to the entrances and exits of your parking lot, as well as those for structures that are served by the parking lot.

Make sure you remove all barriers that can make it difficult to get around. Likewise, you should position the entrance and parking spot in areas where people with disabilities do not need to cross lanes or pass behind parked cars to get to an accessible entry.

Parking Space Size

The width of accessible parking spots should be at least 96 inches, and level access aisles should be at least 5 feet wide. On the other hand, van-accessible parking slots should be 132 inches wide and extend the whole length of the stall.

In some cases, you can shorten the area to just 96 inches for van-accessible slots, as long as the adjacent access aisle is likewise 96 inches. This access aisle should be identified on the van’s passenger side, where wheelchairs and lifts are commonly used.

Access Lane Size and Vertical Clearance

You will need to designate an access lane of 60 inches adjacent to the parking area, leading to an accessible doorway or ramp. Individuals may deploy lifts, wheelchairs, walkers, or other mobility aids in the aisle. Two handicap-accessible parking slots may share a common access aisle.

To accommodate the height of common wheelchair lift-equipped vehicles, van-accessible parking places, access lanes, and the vehicular routes that serve them must have a vertical clearance of at least 98 inches.

Surfaces of Handicap-Accessible Parking Spaces

While the ADA does not specify an explicit material to use in its handicap parking space requirements, it states that the parking surfaces in your accessible parking spots should be firm, solid, and slip-resistant to prevent accidents. Generally, asphalt is the most common material used for accessible parking spots and associated access aisles.

Handicap-Accessible Signage

The International Symbol of Accessibility must be visible on the pole in all accessible parking places. The sign usually has a person in a wheelchair painted in white on a blue backdrop. It should be at least 60 inches from the parking surface to not obstruct anyone’s view. However, you need to make sure the sign is visible from the driver’s side.

Pavement Painting Specifications

Your pavement markings should be visible and stand out from your parking lot surface color. The most popular colors used to paint handicap-accessible locations are blue for the background and white for the disability-accessible emblem. You can also use green, red, and yellow, in some cases.

Aside from this, you should paint white diagonal hatch markings on access aisles to deter parking. Then, if needed, you can paint a No Parking sign on the pavement.

Maintenance of Handicap Accessible Spots

Accessible parking spots, through-ways, routes, and access lanes should all be maintained in excellent condition. The moment you notice cracks and potholes, make sure to repair them immediately. Likewise, clean up debris, trash, loose stones, and dirt regularly to prevent accidents or injuries.

Work with a Professional Contractor for Your Parking Lot Design and Installation

Designing a parking lot that complies with the handicap parking space requirements is essential to promote inclusivity and follow legal regulations. However, if you find all the rules overwhelming, we can help you.

ACPLM is a professional contractor specializing in parking lot, ADA ramp installation, and maintenance. Contact us at 888-959-9637 today to schedule a free consultation with our team, so we can discuss how to build your parking lot within ADA compliance and regulations.