Safety Nets: Building ADA Compliance into Your Parking Lot

Safety Nets: Building ADA Compliance into Your Parking Lot

Building codes require businesses to have signs in their parking lot that demarcate handicap access in case no elevators, ramps, or rails are present in a given space. The usual methods are visual guides and vehicular considerations for people with disabilities. Still, ADA compliance extends beyond just mere paint aesthetics and navigation implements in the world of disability accommodation. It protects your business from lawsuits and provides safety for the disabled who benefit from your ADA-designed parking lot.

Parking lots have to be designed so that the disabled do not encounter barriers to movement, difficulty maneuvering, or physical harm. Any of these can lead to a lawsuit against the lot owner. Often, warnings are installed in parking lots explicitly stating hazards and denying liability, which may be due to construction or utility work occurring close by.

It’s better to hire a capable contractor and upgrade your lots to standards than deal with the constant threat of a lawsuit. Here are ways in which ADA Compliance can be integrated into lot design.

1. Signage: 

Accessible parking lots should always display the international symbol of accessibility in bright but soothing colors. Accessible parking signs have to be highly visible and contrast significantly with their background. In some cases, a sign may be too high for a person who uses a wheelchair to see as they approach the lot from out on the street compared to others.

2. Markings: 

Although accessible parking stalls are not required to have the international symbol for accessibility stamped directly onto the pavement, this is a typical practice, and it is strongly advised. To prevent confusion, the aisles adjacent to accessible parking spaces must be hash marked to distinguish them from parking spots.

3. Access Aisles: 

These are the walkways designated for wheelchair use and should be clear of any debris, parking stalls, or barriers to allow for ease in movement. People with disabilities should be allowed to park directly adjacent to any building they are visiting. 

4. Lot Slope: 

Every accessible parking space and aisle must have a maximum slope of no more than two percent in any direction. This implies that for every 50 inches of horizontal movement, there should be only one inch of vertical change. It’s a common ADA compliance design consideration but also the most ignored in practicality.

5. Lot Surface: 

Alligator cracking, potholes, ruts, and warping can make for an uncomfortable ride experience for passengers on the pavement; imagine this degree of damage on a parking lot surface and the trip hazards involved. Parking lot maintenance is a significant part of ADA compliance. The surface needs to be clean of loose debris and faults, so no one is prone to injury or damage to their vehicles.

If you feel you may be at risk due to the state of your parking lot and wish to have the lot assessed for ADA compliance or upgraded to the standards required, DG Pavement Solutions may have just the thing!

We are providing services in the picturesque village of Estero, FL, and you are welcome to check our reasonable and free quotes on commercial & residential services you require. Please check out our services and let us know how we can help you design a better and compliant parking lot.