Recognize Potential ADA Parking Lot Violations

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Lawsuits related to violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act are increasing, and one of the areas that is commonly targeted by plaintiffs in “drive-by litigation” is parking lots. Assessing compliance is easier to conduct on the exterior of your building than on the interior. Should an individual, consumer group or attorney decide to check your parking lot for compliance, you might never know that it had been inspected until you receive a complaint or are fined or sued. In addition to protecting yourself against possible litigation, making sure that your parking lot is ADA-compliant can help you generate positive reactions from current and potential customers, encouraging their patronage. There are various conditions that could be violations under the ADA, but some are more common than others.



The number of handicapped parking spaces that you must provide in your lot depends on the lot’s total spaces. For example, if there are 50 spaces in your parking lot, at least two of them must be reserved for handicapped parking, but if there are 1,000 total spaces, you must provide at least 20 accessible spaces. If your lot consists of only one space, that space must be reserved for handicapped parking.

Furthermore, if you are only required to provide one handicapped parking space, it must be van-accessible. For lots with 401 to 500 total spaces, there must be at least two van-accessible spaces. Larger lots must make at least one out of every six handicapped parking spaces van-accessible; originally, the ADA only required that one in eight handicapped spaces were van-accessible, but the law was modified.

All accessible spaces must be at least 96 inches wide and must have access aisles adjacent to the space that are not included in that measurement. Van-accessible spaces need to have access aisles that are at least 96 inches wide; car-accessible spaces require a minimum of 60 inches for access aisles. However, if an access aisle is shared by a car-accessible and van-accessible space, the aisle may be 60 inches wide if the van-accessible space is at least 11 feet wide.

Accessible parking spaces are to be located as close as possible to the nearest accessible entrance. The path between the spaces and the entrance must not have any barriers that would impede progress, including curbs. If the curbs are in the path, curb ramps must be present.


All handicapped spaces are to have signs bearing the International Symbol of Accessibility, and van spaces must have an additional sign denoting them as van-accessible. Signs are to be permanently mounted so that they are visible to drivers and are not hidden by cars. Pavement markings should be applied to access aisles to ensure that other drivers do not mistake them for parking spaces.


The route between the entrance and the handicapped parking space should be as short and direct as possible. The ADA specifies the maximum slopes of parking spaces, access aisles, curb ramps and sidewalks comprising the route. For example, curb ramps cannot have a slope greater than 1:12 or 8.33 percent.


APM is a sealcoating and paving company in Lexington. We are asphalt pavementspecialists with more than 35 years of experience serving customers in Central Kentucky. Our services include parking lot striping and pavement markings, sealcoating, asphalt patching and concrete repairs, asphalt paving, stormwater management, concrete installation, parking lot signs, site work and car stops. We are committed to providing each customer with superior results at affordable prices. If you have more questions about Recognize Potential ADA Parking Lot Violations or would like to receive a free quote, give us a call at (859) 299-8111 or fill out the online contact form.