Do you have a business in Austin? Businesses and organizations need to make sure their parking lots are easy for everyone to use—including those who are handicapped. That’s where ADA compliance—a federal law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities—enters the picture.
In the context of parking lots, ADA compliance means providing enough handicapped parking spaces for disabled people and ensuring those spaces meet your local requirements for handicap parking spaces. It also entails making sure the entrances and exits to your parking lot are easy to use and accessible.
In this short blog, follow along as we answer the most frequently asked questions about ADA parking requirements in Austin, and find out what you do to ensure our parking lot is compliant.
How Many Handicap Parking Spaces Are Required In Austin?
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires public facilities like apartments, stores, schools, motels, and recreational facilities to provide accessible parking spaces based on their size. The latest ADA Standards for Accessible Design, published in the Federal Register in 2010, set out the following ADA handicap parking requirements for the number of accessible parking spaces to be provided.
How Large Do Handicap Parking Spaces Need to Be in Austin?
Wondering just how large your handicap spaces need to be? The required size of any handicap parking space actually depends on whether or not the space is designed to accommodate a car or a van. Car-accessible parking spaces must provide enough room for a wheelchair or walker to navigate along the side of the parked vehicle. Van-accessible parking spaces, on the other hand, must provide clearance for chair lifts—which are used to help physically disabled people enter and exit the vehicle.
Based on whether your spaces are designed to accommodate (small) cars or (larger) vans, we can answer the following question:
How Wide Does An ADA-Compliant Parking Space Need To Be?
Car-accessible parking spaces must be at least 96 inches, as well as have a 60-inch-wide access aisle adjacent to the parking space for maneuvering. To provide clearance for chair lifts, handicap parking spaces for vans must be at least 132 inches wide, with a 60-inch or wider access aisle adjacent to the parking space.
Are There A Set Number of Van-Accessible Parking Spaces Required?
Ideally, a facility should have both van- and car-accessible parking spaces to provide the best possible access, but that is not always viable due to space requirements or layout. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s 2010 ADA Standards of Accessible Design, for every six accessible parking spaces in a parking facility, at least one must be a van-accessible parking space. In smaller parking facilities that require only one accessible parking space, that space must be a van-accessible parking space.
Where Do Accessible Parking Spaces Need to Be Located?
Accessible parking spaces must be dispersed among multiple accessible entrances to the facility. This means they need to be in a location in a parking lot that provides the most accessible route to the building’s entrance. While a maximum “travel distance” isn’t required, they should be located on the shortest accessible route to an accessible entrance, relative to other spaces in the same parking facility.
Does A Handicap Parking Space Have To Have A Sign?
The ADA states that all handicap spaces must be denoted by a handicap parking sign, as signage makes it clear to handicap permit holders and non–permit holders which spaces and areas are reserved for disabled people.
That said, signs must be mounted at least five feet above the ground, and, while they don’t necessarily need to be painted blue, a blue sign with the International Symbol of Accessibility in white is the most common. They also need to be designed, corrected, and positioned in relation to the space they are denoting.
How Long Should ADA Accessible Ramps Be?
The ADA guidelines require ramps for commercial property to have 1-foot of length per 1-inch rise and 36 inches of width. You can use a ramp calculator to determine the ramp slope and length.
Why is ADA Compliance Important?
ADA Compliance is federal civil rights law enforced by the Department of Justice. This means that failure to comply can result in charges against your business, and fines of up to $150,000, depending on the rules set forth by the ADA. In some states, if spaces are not properly provided, it’s even considered a misdemeanor.
Should I Repaint My Handicap Parking Spaces Myself?
If you own a business or manage a property that offers handicap parking, it’s imperative that you maintain your parking spaces to ensure they are ADA-compliant. That being said, repainting your parking spaces yourself is generally not encouraged, as there are very specific requirements for markings, lines, and signage that, if not done correctly, could put you (and your business) at risk of a fine or lawsuit.
Rather than do it yourself, try to find a professional paving contractor near you who offers “restriping services” (parking lot line painting) in your area. A restriping contractor can ensure that your parking lot is up to code and is clearly marked for all to see.
Choose Lone Star Paving For Your Commercial Restriping Services
Need to design or repaint an ADA-compliant parking lot in Central Texas?
Lone Star Paving is happy to provide commercial handicap parking striping services in Austin, San Antonio, Belton, and Temple, Texas, as well as the surrounding areas. We can help you designate both standard and ADA-accessible parking spaces, as well as repair your lot, so it looks as good as new. We also provide professional concrete paving, asphalt paving, and sealcoating services (to extend the life of your paving)!
Reach out to us today to schedule service in Austin or the surrounding areas!