Is Your Asphalt Parking Lot Legal?
The Americans with Disabilities Act, more commonly known as the ADA, is a comprehensive set of federal laws. These regulations make it illegal to discriminate against those with disabilities in matters related to housing, employment and education. The ADA also states that virtually every public and commercial facility must provide designated parking spaces as well as a barrier-free route from those spaces to an accessible entrance. The ADA is very specific about what makes a parking lot compliant, and it also provides details about the possible fines you could face if your lot does not comply. These fines can be substantial; a first violation can cost you as much as $75,000, and a second violation can result in a fine of up to $150,000. Because the ADA is so complex, it is easy to overlook aspects of your parking lot that are not compliant with the law. Fortunately, experienced parking lot striping contractors know how to make sure that your lot meets all legal requirements.
Is Your Asphalt Parking Lot Legal?
Are There Any Exemptions to the ADA Requirements for Parking Lots?
The ADA applies to all retail stores, restaurants, entertainment venues, hotels, office buildings, hospitals, warehouses, sporting venues and factories. Only places of worship and the facilities they control, including day care centers and schools, have a blanket exemption. However, some private clubs may be exempt.
What Are Some Commonly Overlooked ADA Violations in Parking Lots?
Experienced asphalt contractors know that there are many areas of your parking lot that could potentially fail to comply with the ADA. Here are some that are commonly overlooked.
1. The ADA requires a minimum number of parking spots that are reserved for the disabled. This number is based on the total parking spots in the parking lot as well as the type of services offered by the facility. For example, a hospital outpatient facility must provide more accessible spaces than a retail store, and a rehabilitation facility treating patients with mobility issues must provide more accessible spaces than a hospital outpatient facility.
2. The location and type of accessible spaces are clearly defined by the ADA. Accessible spaces must be located along the shortest direct route to the accessible entrance. Furthermore, a specific number of the accessible spaces must have extra space along each side to allow the deployment of a lift from either the right or left side of a van.
3. Accessible parking spaces and access aisles must be properly identified. You are probably familiar with the blue pavement markings used to identify the spaces, but you may not be as familiar with the lines used to define access aisles. Furthermore, you may not be aware of the need to erect permanent signs or the regulations related to their height.
4. The access route between your entrance and the accessible parking space needs to be safe, easily navigable and unobstructed. Pay special attention to your asphalt maintenance in this area. Poorly sealed cracks can pose difficulties and/or risks to those using wheelchairs. Open potholes are also a safety issue. If there are any curbs in the path of travel, you must install the proper ramps. Ensure that low-hanging tree limbs or signs do not violate the requirements for overhead clearance.
5. A fresh application of seal coating can be considered an alteration to your parking lot. The ADA provided a grace period for existing parking lots, but it expired as soon as the lot was altered. Instead of assuming that your existing layout still complies with the ADA, ask your seal coating or striping contractor to check whether you need to alter your parking lot design.
The experts at Affordable Striping & Sealing can help you make your parking lot fully compliant with the ADA. We offer a full range of asphalt maintenance services, including parking lot striping and pavement markings, crack filling, curb painting, parking lot design, asphalt sealcoating, parking lot signs and road markings. We are known for exceptional work at affordable rates. You can use the online form to request a free quote, or you can call 702-222-9009 if you prefer.