How Many Handicap Parking Signs do You Need?
Many business owners know that they are required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to provide parking that is accessible to anyone with a disability.
What they may not know is how many parking spaces they are required to reserve. The requirement could be different for existing businesses as compared to businesses that are associated with new construction.
Whenever there is new construction of a parking lot or garage, the following table can be used. In addition to the minimum number of accessible spaces required, there is also a requirement for “van accessible” spaces.
There must be one “van accessible” space for every six, or fraction thereof, accessible parking spaces.
If your parking lot has 150 parking spaces, you would need five of those spaces to be reserved for accessible parking. Of those five accessible spaces, one would be a “van accessible” space.
If you have a lot with 201 parking spaces, seven spaces would be reserved for accessibility, and two of those seven spaces would be “van accessible.”
Table provided by ADA National Network.
If your lot serves multiple buildings or has access to several building entrances, your accessible parking spaces should be spread out to serve many of these points.
Hospitals, rehab facilities, and other medical facilities need more accessible parking than other commercial or public facilities. 10 percent of spaces at hospital outpatient facilities need to be accessible, and 20 percent of spaces at rehabilitation and physical therapy facilities need to be accessible.
“Van accessible” parking is still one for every six, or fraction thereof, for these facilities. There are some exceptions to the need for reserved accessible parking. If your parking lot or garage is only used for buses, delivery vehicles, law enforcement vehicles, impounds, or trucks, then there is no requirement for accessible spaces. A zone for accessible pick-up and drop-off is necessary if the lot is accessed by the public (for picking up impounded vehicles, for example).
If you have a parking facility that was built before 2010, these regulations may not apply. A “safe harbor” clause allows existing parking facilities to operate under the ADA regulations that were applicable during the new construction (a parking lot constructed in 1992 would comply with ADA 1991 regulations, for example).
If an existing parking facility undergoes a planned alteration, then it must be brought up to the newest ADA regulations, including the addition of accessible parking spaces, to the “maximum extent feasible.” (Safe Harbor section, Accessible Parking Fact Sheet, ADA National Network)
Reserved handicap parking signs are also required in parking lots, garages, and other facilities. To find out what accessible parking sign you need in your state, view our help article: Which Handicap Parking Signs do You Need?
For more information on 2010 ADA requirements, including accessible parking space dimensions, visit the ADA National Network website.
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