ADA Regulations & Why They Matter
In 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued new regulations governing how businesses must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These new sets of regulations are enforceable for all new construction facilities, there are very few exceptions allowed. The standards did however, include a “safe harbor” for those facilities complying with the previous 1991 standards. The caveat? Any property that undergoes a planned alteration to the parking lot triggers the requirement to comply with the new, stricter, 2010 standard.
Title III Mandates
Title III details the removal of barriers and the construction of areas without barriers as it concerns all public and commercial facilities outlined below.
- Retail & Specialty Stores
- Hotels & Restaurants
- Entertainment & Sporting Venues
- Office Buildings
The Basics of the Regulations
Keep in mind the list below covers the basic requirements that must be met under Federal Guidelines. States and Local Governments have the ability to set stricter regulations. BlueSky recommends aligning yourself with an organization that is well versed in assuring all regulatory requirements are met prior to execution of the work.
- Section 36.304 Removal of Barriers: This section of the ADA stipulates that barriers need to be removed from public buildings and areas. This includes creating designated accessible parking spaces, installing an entrance ramp, and other architectural changes to enhance accessibility.
- Section 4.1.2 of the ADA requires that one of every eight parking spaces in a given parking lot be “designed with adequate adjacent space to deploy a lift used with a van.” This means the spot must have extra space on the left and right side, as well as a sign indicating the space is van accessible.
The United States Access Board (USAB) has also created a set of requirements pertaining to parking lots. These include:
- 206.2.1 Accessible Routes: This requires at least one accessible route from designated parking or unloading zones to the entrance of the accessible building which the parking lot serves. This route should be the most direct possible.
- Generally speaking, 50% of your public entrances must be accessible. This may require the installment of a ramp from the parking lot in some instances.
How Many Accessible Parking Spaces are Needed?
The minimum number of accessible parking spaces required depends on the total number of parking spaces in the lot, as seen in the table below. Furthermore, one of every six accessible parking spaces, or fraction of six, must be “van-accessible.” For example: A parking lot with 400 total spaces needs eight accessible spaces, and two of those eight spaces must be van-accessible.
|Total Number of Parking Spaces in Parking Facility (Lot or Garage)||Minimum Total Number of Accessible Parking Spaces Required||Minimum Number of Van Accessible Parking Spaces|
|1 – 25||1||1|
|26 – 50||2||1|
|51 – 75||3||1|
|76 – 100||4||1|
|101 – 150||5||1|
|151 – 200||6||1|
|201 – 300||7||2|
|301 – 400||8||2|
|401 – 500||9||2|
|501 – 1000||2% of total|
|1001 and over||20, plus 1 for each 100, or fraction thereof, over 1000|
6 Steps to Think About when Planning
- Confirm proper ratio of accessible stalls to the number of total parking spaces
- Ensure proper size of accessible stalls
- Locate an adequate number of accessible spaces closest to accessible entrances
- Erect signs and paint accessory markings in the appropriate color to identify and reserve all ADA parking
- Verify access aisles are part of accessible route to accessible entrance
- Construct properly designed ramps and sloped areas at accessible entrance