ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC
The name of this company is ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC
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by Richard Acree of ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC

Accessible Parking Spaces

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When a business or State or local government restripes parking spaces in a parking lot or parking structure (parking facilities), it must provide accessible parking spaces as required by the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design (2010 Standards).

In addition, businesses or privately owned facilities that provide goods or services to the public have a continuing ADA obligation to remove barriers to access in existing parking facilities when it is readily achievable to do so. Because restriping is relatively inexpensive, it is readily achievable in most cases. State and local government facilities also have an ongoing ADA obligation to make their programs accessible, which can require providing accessible parking.

This compliance brief provides information about the features of accessible car and van parking spaces and how many accessible spaces are required when parking facilities are re-striped.

One of six accessible parking spaces, but always at least one, must be van-accessible.

The required number of accessible parking spaces must be calculated separately for each parking facility, not calculated based on the total number of parking spaces provided on a site. One of six (or fraction of six) accessible parking spaces, but always at least one, must be van accessible.

Parking for hospital outpatient facilities, rehabilitation facilities, outpatient physical therapy facilities or residential facilities have substantially different requirements for accessibility (see 2010 Standards 208.2).

Minimum Number of Accessible Parking Spaces



Accessible parking spaces must be located on the shortest accessible route of travel to an accessible facility entrance. Where buildings have multiple accessible entrances with adjacent parking, the accessible parking spaces must be dispersed and located closest to the accessible entrances.

When accessible parking spaces are added in an existing parking lot or structure, locate the spaces on the most level ground close to the accessible entrance. An accessible route must always be provided from the accessible parking to the accessible entrance. An accessible route never has curbs with abrupt vertical elevation changes 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.

Accessible parking spaces may be clustered in one or more facilities if equivalent or greater accessibility is provided in terms of distance from the accessible entrance, parking fees, and convenience. Van-accessible parking spaces located in parking garages may be clustered on one floor (to accommodate the 98-inch minimum vertical height requirement).

Features of Accessible Parking Spaces


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Accessible Parking Spaces with 60-inch Minimum Width Access Aisle for Cars


1.  Parking space identification sign with the international symbol of accessibility complying with 703.7.2.1 mounted 60 inches minimum above the ground surface measured to the bottom of the sign.

2.  If the accessible route is located in front of the parking space, install wheel stops to keep vehicles from reducing the clear width of the accessible route below 36 inches.

3.  Two parking spaces may share an access aisle except for angled parking spaces (see below).  Access aisle width is at least 60 inches, must be at the same level and the same length as the adjacent parking space(s) it serves, maximum slope in all directions is 1:48, and access aisle must connect to an accessible route to the building. Ramps must not extend into the access aisle.

4.  Parking space shall be 96 inches wide minimum, marked to define the width, and maximum slope in all directions is 1:48.

5.  Boundary of the access aisle must be clearly marked so as to discourage parking in it. (State or local laws may address the color and manner that parking spaces and access aisles are marked.)

6.  Where parking spaces are marked with lines, width measurements of parking spaces and access aisles are to centerlines, except for the end space which may include the full width of the line.

7.  Access aisles may be located on either side of the parking space except for angled van parking spaces which must have access aisles located on the passenger side of the parking spaces.

Additional Features of Van-Accessible Parking Spaces:

Van-accessible parking spaces incorporate the features of accessible parking spaces on the previous page and require the following additional features: a "van accessible" designation on the sign; different widths for the van parking space or the access aisle; and at least 98 inches of vertical clearance for the van parking space, access aisle, and vehicular route to and from the van-accessible space.  

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Van-Accessible Parking Space with Minimum Width Access Aisle Options

1.  Parking space identification sign with the international symbol of accessibility and designation, "van accessible." Note, where four or fewer parking spaces are provided on a site, a sign identifying the accessible space, which must be van-accessible, is not required.

2.  Vertical clearance of 98 inches minimum to accommodate van height at the vehicle parking space, the adjacent access aisle, and on the vehicular route to and from the van-accessible space.

3.  Van parking space must be 132 inches wide minimum with an adjacent 60-inch wide minimum access aisle. A van parking space of 96 inches wide minimum width an adjacent 96-inch wide minimum access aisle is also permitted.  See diagram above.

To comment or ask questions about this article please email, or comment below.

If you observe a building that is not ADA compliant and you would like to know how to proceed, please see the link at What To Do When A Building Is Not ADA Compliant or Accessible.

Thank you,
Richard Acree