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    Is Your Commercial Parking Lot ADA Compliant? What You Need to Know

    For the owner or manager of a commercial property, the condition of their parking lot should be among their top concerns when it comes to property maintenance. In addition to the obvious influence it can have on a visitor’s first impression, the condition of a commercial parking lot significantly impacts the safety of all who use it.

    Maintaining the asphalt surface to prevent personal injury is important. However, to be in ADA compliance,a commercial parking lot must also be properly striped. This clearly identifies areas designated for handicap parking and provides the proper amount of space needed for a handicapped person to easily access both their vehicle and the business. 

    Whether you are having a brand new commercial parking lot or are resurfacing your existing one, it is vital that the striping, size, and number of handicap-accessible parking spots created meet ADA compliance requirements. It is also important to check with your state or local municipality to see if they have any requirements beyond the ADA’s accessibility requirements.

    ADA Compliant Requirements

    Compliance with the ADA standards is federally required for businesses and public entities when it is readily achievable to do so. As striping or restriping is viewed as relatively inexpensive by the ADA, in most cases it is considered to be readily achievable. Failure to comply can lead to expensive fines or potential lawsuits.  The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued updated regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 2010 which outline minimum accessibility requirements for buildings and facilities. Here is an overview of those requirements as they apply to commercial parking lots. 

    Number of Handicapped Accessible Spaces Required

    The number of handicap-accessible parking spots required depends on the total capacity of the parking lot. 


    Total Number of Parking Spaces Available Minimum Number of Accessible Parking Spaces Required 

    (Car and Van)

    1 to 25 1
    26 to 50 2
    51 to 75 3
    76 to 100 4
    101 to 150 5
    151 to 200 6
    201 to 300 7
    301 to 400 8
    401 to 500 9


    For commercial parking lots with 200 spaces or less, at least one of the handicap spaces must be van accessible and for those with 301 to 500 spaces, at least 2 handicapped spaces must be van accessible. Commercial parking lots with 501 to 1000 spaces, at least 2 percent of those spaces must be designated for handicap-accessible parking and one of every 6 of those spaces designated must be van accessible. If the total number of available parking spaces is over 1000, the required 2 percent plus one additional handicapped space must be added for every additional 100 spaces available. Again, one of every 6 handicap-accessible parking spaces must be van accessible.  

    There are a few exceptions to these requirements. Medical facilities must designate 10 percent of their total parking spaces for handicap-accessible parking. Rehabilitation and outpatient facilities treating those individuals with mobility-related issues must designate 20 percent of patient parking as handicapped accessible. If there is a separate employee parking lot, it should adhere to normal commercial parking lot requirements listed in the chart above.

    Parking lots used solely for buses, trucks, delivery vehicles, and law enforcement vehicles are not required to include handicap accessible spaces. However, if it is a parking lot that is accessed by the public such as a vehicle impound lot, an accessible passenger loading zone must be provided. 


    The location of the handicap-accessible parking spaces is also important for ADA compliance. All spaces designated as handicap-accessible must have the shortest accessible route to the building’s entrance. If there are multiple accessible entrances such as in a strip mall, the appropriate number of handicap-accessible parking spots for that specific commercial parking lot should be evenly dispersed between those entrances. 

    For a facility such as a sports stadium that has onsite and offsite parking lots, the appropriate number of handicap accessible spaces for each lot must all be located in the onsite lot. This is because the onsite lot has the shortest accessible route to the stadium’s entrance.

    Parking Space Dimensions

    Regular vehicle handicap-accessible parking spaces must be a minimum of 8 feet wide and van-accessible spaces must be a minimum of 11 feet wide. The access aisles for either type of space must be at least 5 feet wide and painted with hatch marks to discourage drivers from parking in them. These access aisles can be shared between spaces and provide the room necessary for walkers, wheelchairs, and wheelchair lifts to be used. The surface of these spaces must be level and smooth to ensure the safety of all those individuals using them. An alternate van-accessible parking space design permits the space to be only 8 feet provided the access aisle is also 8 feet.

    asphalt parking lot


    In addition to the line striping, access aisle hatching, and the international symbol of accessibility being painted on the parking lot surface, a handicap-accessible parking sign is also required for commercial parking lots to meet ADA compliance. The sign must include the accessibility symbol and, if they are van accessible spaces, that  must also be clearly indicated on the sign.

    The Commercial Parking Lot Professionals

    If ensuring your commercial parking lot meets ADA compliance requirements seem overwhelming, we get it. With years of experience installing and maintaining commercial parking lots, Certified Asphalt knows what is required and can guide you through it. We will make sure your asphalt parking lot surface is level, smooth, and clearly defined with professional line striping. We offer both commercial and residential asphalt services. Contact us for all your asphalt paving needs.


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