Is Your Parking Lot ADA Compliant?

handicap parking space

It’s not only good sense to make your business accessible to everyone: it’s the law. Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), specifically the updated Title III, became a federal requirement in March 2012. Noncompliance can mean anything from fines to potential lawsuits and will likely result in downtime for a business that needs to update its infrastructure to become compliant. Here are some of the requirements of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design: if you have upcoming parking lot maintenance and want to talk about making sure you comply, get in touch with Command7.

ADA Title III Overview

Title III of the ADA specifically addresses commercial facilities and private businesses that are open to the general public, such as retail stores, restaurants, banks, and parking garages. As of 2010, there are new ADA regulations and minimum standards that facilities must meet. It requires the removal of barriers that would impede access to individuals with disabilities as well as new construction projects without barriers. Businesses that don’t comply with the 2010 standards are advised to do so when their next scheduled parking lot maintenance takes place and it’s “readily achievable” to plan and finance the construction project in a reasonable amount of time. Here are some of the requirements in Title III.

Number of Spaces

The number of accessible spaces in a parking facility depends on the number of total spaces: ask a qualified parking lot maintenance contractor about what your requirements would be. An appropriate fraction, often one out of every six, of the accessible parking spaces in your lot must be “van-accessible.” For facilities that serve multiple buildings, the spaces should be spaced out near as many of the accessible entrances as possible; when there are multiple facilities for the same building, the number of spaces in each facility should be grouped according to the number of spaces in the facility. These spaces should be connected to the shortest possible accessible route to an accessible entrance.


Accessible spaces are, in general, eight feet wide with a five-foot wide access aisle. Van accessible spaces can be 11 feet wide with a five-foot access aisle, but alternative dimensions allow eight-foot wide spaces with an eight-foot wide adjacent aisle. These aisles can be shared between two spaces.


Accessible parking spaces must be identified by signs. These signs must have the International Symbol of Accessibility on them, and van-accessible spaces must also include “van-accessible.” These signs must be mounted five feet above the ground, measuring from the bottom of the sign, for maximum visibility.


Access aisles must be marked, often painted with hatch marks, to discourage parking in them. All of the surfaces should be smooth, stable, and as level as possible in all directions. Accessible features must be maintained, kept in good repair, and free of snow, ice, fallen leaves, and other obstructions or dangers.

Other Requirements

In addition to the ADA requirements, the United States Access Board (USAB) has requirements that need to be met regarding accessible routes and entrances: the ADA and USAB websites can tell you more about their guidelines and regulations. Keep in mind that your municipality and state will have their own ADA requirements that need to be met. Enforcement of accessible parking laws are carried out by your local authorities, like city police departments, so make sure that you comply with local as well as federal guidelines.

Accessible Parking Lots with Command7

Making sure that your business is accessible to everyone is not only important to you as a property manager, but is also a legal requirement. Making sure that your parking lot complies with the ADA guidelines is necessary and can be done when it’s reasonable for you to do so. If you need help with any services required to make or keep your lot compliant, whether you’re seeking restriping or any other maintenance service, Command7 can help. Call 855-214-2168 or fill out our online contact form for a quote or more information.

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