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Enhancing Accessibility in Parking Lots: ADA Guidelines and Beyond

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Enhancing Accessibility in Parking Lots ADA Guidelines and Beyond
Photo by Sven Mieke on Unsplash

Making things accessible is where you meet necessities much more appropriately—making things easier for living independently. A person cannot imagine something that could have been much easier compared to the current situation, where everything seems messed up. 

When an average person struggles for proper access, could you ever imagine how difficult it can be for someone with a disability? Parking collisions are one of the important subjects among several other hindrances.

The persistent occurrence is a mobility disability that impedes pedestrians with disability in transportation. Impediments such as street objects, vehicles, plowed snow, and shopping carts can hinder drivers with disabilities using wheelchairs from entering or exiting. Statistics indicate that the situation may even worsen in the imminent years. Every five out of four find it difficult to reach their destination. 

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law established in 1990 that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places open to the general public. Ensuring accessible parking remains an ongoing challenge for the parking and mobility industry. 

ADA standards continue to provide amenities for all visitors. Here are some factors to consider:

Parking Signage Images / Video

Signage is a graphic display intended to convey information to travelers. Displayed as Images or Video footage with all the safety instructions imbibed. Parking Signage is a must to have proper guidance to mitigate street collapses. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifies handicapped parking lots marked with the International Symbol of Accessibility (ISA) for easy identification. 

The instructional signages will mitigate the liabilities on any person or property. They result in an easy convenience for ADA. Ensure the signages should not blocked by vehicles in the parking lots. Only people with state-issued identified handicapped parking permits can use the parking space.  

Pavement Markings

Parking lot

Pavement Markings are lines and symbols on the surface of roads, highways, and parking lots to instruct and guide drivers. Pavement marking is used to enhance visibility, reduce confusion, and increase safety measures on the road.

All accessible parking spots must have aisles at least 60 inches wide adjacent that indicate a “No-Parking Zone” and diagonal lines indicating access to a “Parking Zone.” Following this will set a good standard for all pavement visitors.

Well-Maintained Parking Lot

Parking lots are meant for easy and safer convenience for happier customer experiences. Well-maintained parking is a barrier-free accessible path to travel. It includes all-year planning and accessible facility features that is unavailable or not working. Proper maintenance is required periodically. A public awareness campaign should educate the community about the importance of well-kept parking lots for people with disabilities. Comply with ADA standards for maintained parking lots.   

Adopting Ramp Slope

Keeping ADA stand ratio for public and commercial properties requires a 1:12 slope on most applications. The ramp’s pitch is important to caregivers who assist disabled and manual wheelchair users in handling wheelchairs.

The slope should not be more than 2% in any direction; for people with disabilities. Access to spaces must be firm, stable, and slip-resistant for easy handling. The most prevalent ADA compliance issue is identified in modern parking lots and can result in a heavy fine.

Accessible Parking Spaces

Empty car parking lot at a supermarket with family and disability parking places

Considering accessible parking spaces for impaired people facing difficulties while access to an entrance. They are 96 inches wider than standard parking spots. It is much easier for ADA with accessibility needs. Even their caretakers find it easier to navigate accordingly around the vehicle. 

ADA devices such as Wheelchairs, walkers, and mobility require enough space for easy accessibility. They are located close to the entrance, at the appropriate spots ensuring safety standards of enter and exit facility.

Public and commercial facilities should adhere to the essential requirements to ensure accessibility and functionality for all. Businesses must have readily available parking for drivers. For instance, 2 out of 10 parking spaces should be available for the 4-wheelers to park.

Smart Parking Technology

Parking operators need systems that mitigate misuse, such as without permits, expired permits, and those who illegally use another person’s permit for accessible parking spaces. Parking technology has advanced, intended to facilitate more accessibility, including touch operation, easy-to-use interface, operating height controls, induction loop hearing, self-service interactive devices, contactless payment, power door operators, call-for-assistance capabilities, etc.

For example, enforcement officers should watch drivers, resulting in those with legal permits getting robbed of accessible parking. Officials need to do more to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities and make sure their voices are heard. 

Officials can easily monitor to review key data to gain visibility of any violation and uphold compliance. A critical step organization can take to stand in solidarity with people with disabilities is to understand and consider their needs.

Parking Equipment

A large segment of the community lacks the manual dexterity to operate and cannot pay from a wheelchair. There are some meters and pay stations that are not accessible for people with disabilities. 

Accessible Parking and Placard Abuse reported difficulties paying for parking. For many people, an inability to grab a ticket stub or use a credit card slot makes parking in many garages impossible.

Portland, Ore., offers two payment options: Parking Kitty app allows smartphone users to pay remotely for metered parking. People who cannot operate the meters or use the app can use one of the City’s Scratch-Off cards, which can be paid in advance and displayed on the dashboard.

Number of Parking Spots

Having one appropriate parking lot for disability parking spaces is crucial. Depending upon the size of the parking lot, a total number of parking spots is required for the disabled person ensuring to ADA standards. The required number of accessible parking lots increases by one for every 25 spots. Medical facility has a different requirement, with 20% of parking lots accessible for disabilities.

ADA Noncompliance Penalties

The most critical things any commercial property manager or business owner can do are to ensure the safety standards of its customers and the general public. The consequences of not abiding by ADA requirements are sometimes severe and far-reaching. Discrimination and civil rights violations may occur from failing to adhere to the ADA accessibility criteria.

ADA Noncompliance penalties allow fines of up to $75,000 for first-time offenders under federal law. Following breach and failure to adhere to ADA standards may result in penalties up to $150,000 and other severe fines and punishments, including the temporary closure of your business. Furthermore, ADA noncompliance regulations expose your business to expensive litigation and other legal action.

Conclusion

Constructing a parking lot for persons with disabilities following ADA standards empowered them. This article provides informal guidance in understanding the ADA guidelines for enhancing accessibility in parking lots. Learn more you need to know about rules and regulations as an ADA parking lot specialist with smart solutions that are accessible.

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