Guiding Principles of How to Construct Your ADA Compliant Parking Stalls
Location, Location, Location
Accessible spaces must connect to the shortest accessible route to the accessible building entrance or facility they serve.
- If a parking facility serves multiple buildings or accessible entrances, accessible parking spaces should be dispersed to enable people to park near as many accessible entrances as possible.
For example: A shopping center has fifteen stores, each with a separate entrance. There is one large parking lot with 1000 spaces. The twenty accessible parking spaces should be dispersed to provide some options for people to park close to the different stores.
- If separate parking facilities serve the same building or entrance, accessible spaces may be grouped together, as long as the number of spaces provided is determined according to each of the separate parking facilities.
- Accessible parking spaces must be identified by signs that include the International Symbol of Accessibility. Signs at van-accessible spaces must include the additional phrase “van-accessible”.
- Signs should be mounted so that the lower edge of the sign is at least five (5) feet above the ground. This helps ensure visibility both for motorists and local enforcement officials.
- Dimensions (all dimensions are minimums): Accessible parking spaces are eight (8) feet wide, van-accessible spaces are eleven (11) feet wide. Access aisles for either type of space are five (5) feet wide. These adjacent aisles, which can be shared between two spaces, provide room for individuals to deploy vehicle-mounted wheelchair lifts and/or unload and use mobility devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, etc. An alternate design allows a van-accessible space to be eight (8) feet wide if the adjacent access aisle is also eight (8) feet wide.
- Access aisles must be marked (e.g., painted with hatch marks) to discourage parking in them. This is especially important where the alternate design is used and an access aisle at a van-accessible space is the same size as the space.
- The surface of accessible spaces and access aisles must be smooth, stable, and virtually level in all directions to ensure safe use for people with disabilities, including those who must load, unload, and use wheeled mobility devices.
Additionally, van-accessible spaces, their associated access aisles, and the vehicular routes serving them, must provide vertical clearance of at least 98 inches to allow for the height of typical wheelchair lift-equipped vehicles.