Parking Program for ADA Compliant People
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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is a civil rights law which protects the rights of people with disabilities. This law covers employment, transportation, accessible spaces, telecommunications and many more. The ADA includes provisions for public accommodations to meet these accessibility requirements or federal standards met nationwide. Included with this are parking programs. In this article, we will learn more about the ADA standards for parking and how people can make their spaces safer and easily accessible for all. To learn more about ADA Compliance (including ADA website compliance checker) , you may refer to

ADA Standards for Parking

To ensure that your parking program is of ADA compliance, you must refer to the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. These standards identify the minimum requirements and provisions accessibility in parking lots and similar facilities. Included here requirements on:

  • Number of accessible parking slots
  • Accessible parking space size
  • Marking of accessible parking spots

These guidelines apply for both public and employee parking spaces (i.e. lots or garages) Aside from the ADA standards, you should also refer to your state government's laws and regulations to ensure that you're following accessibility requirements. 

Location of Accessible Parking Spaces

Accessible parking must be located at the shortest acceptable route to the entrance. These parking spaces must be dispersed according to accessible entrances. Any barriers restricting the entrance or exit of an establishment should be removed.

Number of Accessible Parking Spaces

The number of required accessible parking spaces would depend on the parking facility. Based on the ADA standards, for parking areas with less than 25 slots, there should be at least one accessible parking space. For every additional 25 slots, there should be at least one additional accessible parking space. The number of required accessible parking spaces is as follows:

  • For 1-25 parking slots in a facility, there should be at least one van-accessible parking slot.
  • For 26-50 parking slots in a facility, there should be at least two accessible parking spaces (one car-accessible and one van-accessible parking slot).
  • For 51-75 parking slots in a facility, there should be at least three accessible parking spaces (two car-accessible and one van-accessible parking slot).
  • For 76-100 parking slots in a facility, there should be at least four accessible parking slots (three car accessible and one van accessible parking slot).

Size of Accessible Parking Spaces

As previously mentioned, accessible parking spaces can either be car-accessible or van-accessible. Car-accessible parking spaces should be a minimum of 8 feet wide and requires an access aisle of at least 5 feet. The total width of a car-accessible parking space is 13 feet. On the other hand, van-accessible parking spaces should measure 8 feet wide and adjacent to an 8-foot access aisle, with a total of 16 feet. 

The size of accessible parking spaces should allow access aisles. Access aisles are needed for people with disabilities, especially with those using a wheelchair or any device that supports walking. These access aisles are recommended to be located in areas which directly connect onto the sidewalk or entrance to a building.

Marking of Accessible Parking Spaces

For easier identification, the ADA requires that accessible parking spaces be marked by signage. This sign should have the international symbol of accessibility. If the accessible parking space is van-accessible, the signage should also indicate this. The sign should be at least 5 feet above the surface of the marking space, including the height of the curb. 

Accessible parking spaces could also be marked with paint and striping. To learn more about this, you may review the 2010 ADA standards for Accesible Design at

Non-Compliance of ADA Standards

The non-compliance of ADA standards, not only in terms of parking regulations, but also in public accommodations and other aspects of public life, would result in additional costs shouldered by the business owner. You may potentially be sued or face fines from state and federal agencies. As business owners, it's best to properly do your research on accessibility requirements (not limited to ADA standards, but also local and state government regulations) to save on costs and extra labor.

Filing an ADA Complaint

One may file a complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice,  complaint can only be made to the U.S. Department of Justice if the lot doesn't fulfill federal ADA requirements. Otherwise, the complaint will be made at the local or state level.

Providing accessible spaces in establishments and parking areas is essential because it allows people with disabilities to have the same rights and opportunities as everybody. This can greatly help lessen discrimination and promote empowerment, because these people will see that their rights have value. As owners of public establishments, you have a responsibility to apply adjustments and make reasonable accommodations. By applying these accessibility requirements (enforced by the ADA and your local government), you'll make your space accessible for all.