Make Sure Your Parking Lot is ADA Compliant

As a property manager or a property owner it is critical that you understand the basics of ADA guidelines. As a property owner or manager, if the ADA requirements aren’t met on your property, you could be held responsible in a lawsuit. Knowing what the basics are is important, but what’s more important is having a contractor that can meet the ADA requirements and ensure that your property is up to code.

A recent blog from All County Paving gives us some insight to guidelines that are ADA requirements and what are not. Here is an example they provide that shows that having a reputable contractor that knows the requirements of ADA:

Federal ADA guidelines do not require the international handicap symbol painted on a blue background on the pavement of the parking stall.  Did you know that? You see them all over in almost all parking lots, but that blue square and white stick figure are not required by the ADA. However, many communities do require that symbol, and some specify where it should be placed in the stall. So that blue symbol is common either because of nonfederal laws or just because people expect them to be there, so property managers have them painted. But they’re not an ADA requirement. 

What the federal government does require is a sign on a post (or on the wall if the parking space butts against a building) indicating that a space is reserved for accessible parking. There are specifications for that sign (such as how high off the ground), but there’s nothing in the guidelines about a symbol on the pavement. Some cities, counties and states require only the specific sign that the ADA requires, but others require the symbol and a notice of the dollar amount of the fine for a parking violation. It varies from location to location.

Think about it. You face ADA guidelines concerning your parking lot how often? Maybe once a year when it’s restriped? Every year or two when it’s sealcoated and striped? And less often when structural alterations (in the form of pavement repairs) are made? Why would you want to be responsible for knowing what your property needs in terms of the ADA? You’d have to research it each time any work is done on your property! And if you own or manage properties in different cities, counties or even states you’d need to know the ADA requirements specific to that property! And you would need to redo your efforts for each property each time you sealcoating, stripe or make any structural repairs!

Here are some of the ADA basics that apply to almost all parking lots. This will at least give you some ammunition when talking with a contractor to see if he’s the ADA expert you want to partner with.

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