How Many Handicap Parking Spaces Are Required?

Posted by Amanda Steele on Feb 1st 2023

How Many Handicap Parking Spaces Are Required?

Having accessible parking spaces is a must for any building. Accessible spaces allow people with disabilities to use the parking lot and more easily enter and exit their vehicles and the building. Not only are accessible parking spaces important in an ethical sense for any building owner or parking facility manager, but they are required by law in many cases.

The Americans With Disabilities Act outlines the rules for accessible parking, including how many parking spaces must be van-accessible. Ensuring that you meet these standards for accessible parking is critical, but you may have questions about the exact requirements. While there are many good resources out there, having the rules all in one place is helpful to many building owners.

A Guide To Accessible Parking Requirements

The rules for accessible parking vary depending on the size of the parking facility. Trying to research the regulations about accessible parking can get confusing. To help you with the requirements, this guide from ADA Central is here to simplify this information.

Let's jump into the essential information you need to know about accessible parking spaces for your parking facility or lot.

What Are The Rules For Where Handicap Spaces Are Located in A Parking Lot?

Before looking at the number of parking spaces required, it's essential to understand where accessible spaces need to be located in relation to the parking area. According to the ADA, all of the accessible parking spaces in lots or garages need to be as close to the entrance as possible. These parking spaces need to be near the "shortest accessible route" to an accessible entrance to the building or out of the parking garage.

So, in a parking garage, the accessible parking space should be near an elevator or a wheelchair-accessible ramp. In a parking lot, the accessible spaces should be close to an access aisle and near wheelchair-accessible sidewalks.

ADA Requirements And Access Aisles

Accessible parking spaces must have adjacent access aisles. These areas allow people using wheelchairs or other mobility devices to get out of their vehicles easily.

The ADA requirements for access aisles also include that they must be marked with signs to tell other drivers not to park there. They must be as long as the parking space and level with the ground.

The access aisle can be shared by two accessible parking spots so that the access aisle is on one side of both spaces.

The Number Of Accessible Parking Spaces

Now that you know information about the location of accessible parking spaces and the addition of access aisles, let's look at the exact requirements for the number of accessible parking spaces in a lot or garage. The actual number will depend on how big the parking facility is, and the list goes as follows:

  • One accessible space for parking lots with 1-25 spaces
  • Two accessible spaces for lots with 26-50 spaces
  • Three accessible parking spaces for parking areas with 51-75 spaces
  • Four accessible parking areas for lots or garages with 76-100 spaces
  • Five accessible parking spaces for parking facilities with 101-150 total parking stalls
  • Six accessible parking spaces for facilities with 150-201 stalls

Once the parking lot reaches 500 spaces, two percent of the parking spaces must be accessible parking.

What About Van Accessible Parking Spaces?

While most accessible parking spaces don't have to offer van access, some of them do. The ADA requirements outline that every one in six accessible parking spaces must be large enough for vans. These van-accessible parking spaces allow larger vehicles to park near the access routes. This kind of accessible parking is vital for people with wheelchairs and some other mobility devices, such as walkers and canes.

ADA Rules For Limited Parking Spaces

If the parking lot is small enough that there are only four spaces, there must be one accessible parking space. This accessible parking space must be large enough for a van and have an access lane.

But, lots with less than four spaces do not need a marked sign indicating that it is an accessible space.

How To Indicate Accessible Parking Spaces

Once you ensure you have enough accessible parking spaces around your parking lot or garage and that they are located in the right areas, you now need to ensure they are marked correctly. For most accessible parking areas with over five parking stalls, there must be signage indicating which stalls are accessible.

These signs come in various sizes and designs. Still, they almost always include the universal character of accessible parking spaces, symbolizing a person using a wheelchair.

These parking spaces should also include this symbol painted on the ground. Often, this is painted in blue. For more specific requirements about how large to paint the symbol, check out more resources from the Americans With Disabilities Act website.

ADA Central Has Accessible Parking Signage

Are you looking for the right signs for your accessible parking area? At ADA Central, we provide a varied selection of high-quality ADA-compliant signs for your organization. Our inventory includes signage for van-accessible parking spaces, handicap parking signs, and much more. Look over the signs we have in stock today, or reach out to us to find out more about custom signage options.