Parking Lots and ADA Compliance

How do I get an ADA Compliant Parking Lot?

If you have a parking facility anywhere in the state of Minnesota, whether it’s the Twin Cities or elsewhere: this is a question you’ll have to ask your contractor. If you don’t, this is something your contractor has to bring up.

The good news is that these are black and white. You’re either compliant or you’re not.

That makes it easy for you because then all you need is a contractor who knows the requirements for your parking lot. Goodmanson Construction is such a contractor, which is why we’re always happy to talk about ADA requirements on our estimates.

An ADA Compliant Parking Lot

What are the ADA requirements for a Parking Lot Space?

Location, Location, Location: The Location of an Accessible Parking Space

Accessible parking spaces must be located on the shortest accessible route of travel to an accessible facility entrance.

What’s an “Accessible Route”?

In short, an “accessible route” is the way for people who use the accessible parking space to get into your place of business (using your ADA compliant accessible entry, of course).

An accessible route must always be provided from the accessible parking to the accessible entrance.

An accessible route never has curbs or stairs, must be at least 3 feet wide, and has a firm, stable, slip-resistant surface.

The slope along the accessible route should not be greater than 1:12 in the direction of travel.

What are the Dimensions of an Accessible Parking Space?

There’s a couple of parts to this, and some of it is different in Minnesota because of the Minnesota Accessibility Code, but it’s not difficult. to remember. We’ve even included a diagram!

The Accessible Parking Space itself has to be 96″ minimum in width.

IMPORTANT: In Minnesota specifically: the Accessible Route has to ALSO be 96″ minimum in length.

ADA requirements give a smaller standard of a 60″ minimum. But here’s the thing about ADA and Accessibility Codes: you have to take the more stringent standard as your guideline.

Which makes sense: the 60″ is only a minimum requirement, but no one is stopping states and municipalities from making their own standards as long as they meet that minimum.

It’s like if I want ice cream and the minimum I’ll take is one scoop. But if someone wants to give me two scoops, hey, great. I’ll take it.

Diagram of an accessible parking space.

How Many Accessible Parking Spaces do I Need?

Number Of Total SpacesStandard Accessible SpacesVan Accessible Spaces
1 – 2501
26 – 5011
51 – 7521
76 – 10031
101 – 15041
151 – 20051
201 – 30052
301 – 40062
401 – 50072
501 – 55092
551 – 600102
601 – 650103
651 – 700113
701 – 750123
751 – 800133
801 – 850143
851 – 900153
901 – 950154
951 – 1000164
1001 –1100174
1101 – 1200184
1201 – 1300194
1301 – 1400204
1401 – 1500205
1501 – 1600215
1601 – 1700225
1701 – 1800235
1801 – 1900245
1901 – 2000255
2001 and over(*** – *)*

*** = 20+1 for each 100 spaces. * = at least 1 in every 6 accessible spaces

IN SHORT: The Number of Parking Spaces you have Overall Determines the Number of Accessible Parking Spaces you Need.

What are the dimensions of an ADA Parking Space?

What’s the Slope for an Accessible Parking Space?

The maximum slope of an accessible space in all directions is 1:48. This is really important to maintain and we’re going to get back to this at the end of the article.

What signage do I need for an ADA Parking Space?

The signage requirements are all simple and commonsense. You need an international symbol of accessibility and if it’s a van accessible space you need to say so.

The International Symbol of Accessibility

International Symbol of Accessibility
Source: Wikimedia Commons

You’ve probably seen this before, but it’s official name is the “International Symbol of Accessibility” and it’s supposed to be mounted 60 inches minimum above the ground surface measured to the bottom of the sign. Yes, it’s that specific.

What about Van Accessible Spaces?

Van Accessible Spaces have special rules that go with them, one of which is signage. Each van accessible space has to have a sign that shows it’s van accessible, and that sign has to be a certain distance from the ground so people can be expected to see it when they pull up to the space.

The Dimensions of a van accessible space are greater too. it has to be 132″ minimum width. See the diagram below and remember that in Minnesota, the accessibility aisle needs to be minimum 96″ in width.

Van accessible parking space diagram
Source: The ADA Website
Two ADA Compliant and Minnesota Accessibility Code Compliant Parking Spaces

ADA Compliance starts before Asphalt Paving

Slopes and Grades and Parking Lots

A parking lot isn’t just a flat surface. It has a whole topography designed for maximum efficiency in drainage (which we’ve talked about elsewhere) but also for maximum accessibility. The slope underneath the paved asphalt have to be perfect and have to stay perfect in order to maintain compliance.

Goodmanson Construction recommends all Accessible Parking Spaces be made with insulated concrete.

Why do we recommend this? Because of the potential for frost heaving. You are going to have frost in the ground for a large chunk of the year and that frost results in frost heaving (here’s our blog on Frost Heaving) and here’s where that should concern you:

Your accessible parking spaces won’t maintain the proper slope if they are heaving.

Which is why we recommend having all your accessible spaces done in insulated reinforced concrete. When you’re talking about ADA compliance, you need those slopes to stick.

Insulated concrete does the job by providing a protective barrier between the ground below and the concrete above. That way, your slopes won’t budge and you’ll stay in compliance.

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