What is Accessible Parking?

Accessible parking requires that sufficient space be provided alongside the vehicle so that persons with physical disabilities, including wheelchairs, can transfer and maneuver to and from the vehicle. Each lot or facility where parking is provided for the public as employees, customers or visitors should provide accessible parking spaces that meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

What is the number of accessible parking spaces required per lot?

If parking spaces are provided for self-parking by employees, customer or visitors, then accessible parking spaces should be provided in each such parking area in conformance with the table below. Spaces required by the table need not be provided in the particular lot. They may be provided in a different location if equivalent or greater accessibility, in terms of distance from an accessible entrance, cost and convenience is ensured. The following table indicates the number of spaces required for new non-medical construction and may be used as a guide for existing parking lots.

Minimum Number of Accessible Parking Spaces
ADA Standards for Accessible Design 4.1.2 (5)

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces Guidelines at

Access aisles adjacent to accessible spaces shall be 60 in wide minimum. One in every eight accessible spaces, but not less than one, shall be served by an access aisle 96 in wide minimum and shall be designated "van accessible". All such spaces may be grouped on one level of a parking structure.

What kind of signs should be posted on accessible parking spaces?

Accessible parking spaces shall be designated as reserved by a sign showing the symbol of accessibility. Van Accessible spaces should be marked with an additional sign "Van-Accessible" mounted below the symbol of accessibility. Such signs shall be located so they cannot be obscured by a vehicle parked in the space. These signs should be seen from a driver's seat if the signs are mounted high enough above the ground and located at the front of a parking space.

Minimum Number of Accessible Parking Spaces
ADA Standards for Accessible Design 4.1.2 (5)

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces Guidelines at

Where should Accessible Parking Spaces be Located?

  • Accessible parking spaces serving a particular building should be located on the shortest accessible route of travel from adjacent parking to an accessible entrance.
  • In parking facilities that do not serve a particular building, accessible parking should be located on the shortest accessible route of travel to an accessible pedestrian entrance of the parking facility.
  • At buildings with multiple entrances such as office parks or strip malls, disperse accessible parking among the accessible entrances.
  • Accessible parking should be located on firm, stable, slip-resistant surface slopes not exceeding 1:50 (2 %) in any direction.

Dimension of Accessible Parking Spaces?

  • Accessible parking spaces should be at least 96 in wide. Parking access aisles should be part of an accessible route to the building or facility entrance.
  • Two accessible parking spaces may share a common access aisle.
  • An accessible route must be provided between the access aisle and the accessible building entrance. This route must have no steps or steeply sloped surfaces and it must have a firm, stable, slip-resistant surface.
Accessible Parking Space Illustration Option 1
Universal Accessible Parking Space Illustration Option 2

"VAN ACCESSIBLE" Parking Spaces

  • The increasing use of vans with side- mounted lifts or ramps by persons with disabilities has necessitated some revisions in specifications for parking spaces and adjacent access aisles. The typical accessible parking space is 96 in wide with an adjacent 60 in access aisle. However, this aisle does not permit lifts or ramps to be deployed and still leave room for a person using a wheelchair or other mobility aid to exit the lift platform or ramp. In tests conducted with actual lift/van/wheelchair combinations, researchers found that a space and aisle totaling almost 204 in wide was needed to deploy a lift and exit conveniently.
  • The "van accessible" parking space required by these guidelines provides a 96 in wide space with a 96 in adjacent access aisle which is just wide enough to maneuver and exit from a side mounted lift.
  • If a 96 in access aisle is placed between two spaces, two "van accessible" spaces are created. Alternatively, if the wide access aisle is provided at the end of a row (an area often unused), it may be possible to provide the wide access aisle without additional space.
  • A sign is needed to alert van users to the presence of the wider aisle, but the space is not intended to be restricted only to vans.

"UNIVERSAL" Parking Space Design

  • An alternative to the provision of a percentage of spaces with a wide aisle, and the associated need to include additional signage, is the use of what has been called the "universal" parking space design. Under this design, all accessible spaces are 132 in wide with a 60 in access aisle.
  • One advantage to this design is that no additional signage is needed because all spaces can accommodate a van with a side- mounted lift or ramp. Also, there is no competition between cars and vans for spaces since all spaces can accommodate either. Disclaimer: The information above was found online. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy or up-to-date changes of the information contained on this site, each State has its own guidelines for "Accessible Parking Spaces", please check official sources for accurate and/or up to date information that pertains directly to your facility or new construction.