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Home |Types of reserved parking signs | Employee parking sign? | ADA handicapped regulations | Parking & status | Custom reserved parking sign | Blog
 
When the Americans with Disabilities Act passed on George H. W. Bush's watch in 1990, most publically accessible businesses became not only morally but legally obliged to make their property accessible to people with mobility limitations. Not only do businesses have to make a good-faith effort to allow for large vans and access aisles, they also have to make sure wheelchair-bound guests can get from their cars to the front door easily and without too much of a walk.
Federal law establishes the minimum width of the parking spots (12' for van spots and 8' for car-accessible parking places), as well as the number of required spots, though the states are permitted to make more restrictive laws if they so choose (many do). Handicap access spots must be the shortest possible distance from the front door of applicable businesses.
Number of handicap parking spots required for different lot sizes

Number of total parking spots in lot

Number of handicap van-sized spots required

Number of total handicapped-accessible spots required

1-25 1 1
26-50 1 2
51-75 1 3
76-100 1 4
101-150 1 5
151-200 1 6
201-300 1 7
301-400 1 8
401-500 2 9
501-1000 1 van-accessible spot for every 8 handicapped accessible spots 2% of all parking spots
1001 or more 1 van-accessible spot for every 8 handicapped accessible spots 20 spots + 1 spot for every 100 parking places over 1000
 
Across the board, handicapped accessible parking spots are the responsibility of the property owner, but there are wide variances over administration of how these spots are administered. California recently changed one word in an obscure law, watches replica and handicapped customers went from never having to pay for parking to leaving fees to owners' discretion in private lots. Differences in enforcement and the difficulty of administering such a large body of regulations opens handicapped parking up to enforcement problems. (WJLA, a Washington, D.C. television station, found that dozens of cars in one of the most restrictive parking environments in America had been abusing handicapped signs to park all day.)
Clear signage forms the most critical part of any handicapped parking plan, though – without the signs in place, people may think the space is just an extra-wide parking spot like any other! The ADA provides plenty of guidance for handicap accessible signage.
The international accessibility symbol (the famous figure in the wheelchair) must appear somewhere on the sign.
To aid visibility, any text's width-to-height ratio should be somewhere between 3:5 and 1:1, and the characters themselves should be 1/5-1/10 as thick as they are high. All characters must be either light on a dark background or dark on a light background, and the sign should be matte rather than shiny.
Be aware that painting the symbol on the ground isn't enough – ADA regulations state that the sign has to be visible even when there's a vehicle parked in the spot.
 
 
 
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