international disability logo painted on parking lot

Guidelines to Parking Lot ADA Compliance

In this article, we will discuss ADA compliance for parking lots in Minnesota. The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law that protects people with disabilities from discrimination based on disability. This includes access to public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation services. Every parking lot must meet specific requirements under ADA guidelines or risk being sued by individuals who cannot access your facility due to physical barriers such as stairs or curbs.

What is ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law that protects people with disabilities from discrimination based on disability. This includes access to public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation services. The ADA also sets minimum standards for what is considered “accessible” parking spaces in Minnesota (as well as other requirements).

Compliance with Title III (Public Accommodations & Commercial Facilities) is a federal law. While it is a federal law, the fines vary by state and local cities.

Does my parking lot have to meet ADA regulations?

Generally speaking, if you have a parking lot, you will need to meet ADA regulations. “Places of public accommodation” must meet ADA requirements, except religious entities. Places of worship do not need to meet Title III requirements.   

Barrier Removal

The ADA requires (Section 36.304)  that public accommodations remove any architectural or structural barriers in existing buildings, including parking lots.

1. 36” wide walkway from the parking lot to building entrance
2. Walkway running slope no steeper than 1:20
3. Shortest path from the parking lot to ADA compliant entrance
4. 50% of entrances need to be ADA compliant (generally speaking)
5. Smooth transition from the parking lot to walkways (curb cuts)

How many accessible parking spaces do I need?

Please see the chart below detailing the number of spaces needed. The chart is based on section 208.1 standards. At least 1 and 6 spaces must be van accessible.

Total Number of SpacesNumber of Accessible Parking Spaces Number of Van-Accessible Spaces
1 to 2511
51 to 7531
500-10002% of total parking1/6 of total accessible spaces
1001 & Above20 plus 1 for each 100 over 10001/6 of total accessible spaces

What are the size requirements for disabled stalls?

Each parking stall must be a minimum of 8’ wide and also a minimum of 8’ in length. Additionally, there needs to be an adjacent “unloading zone” with a minimum width of 8’. Federal regulations allow for additional loading zones to be 5’ wide, but Minnesota requires all unloading zones to be a minimum of 8’. Two parking stalls can share one loading zone.

What signage and parking lot markings do I need?

The universal handicap should be painted in the parking stall. Unloading zones should be painted to discourage parking. A “No Parking” sign needs to be permanently mounted and centered in the aisle space unless it obstructs curb cuts. If there is an obstruction, then “No Parking” will need to be painted on the loading zone.  

Permanently mounted and centered at the head of the parking space, a universal handicap sign needs to be mounted. The bottom of the sign needs between 60”-66”.  Additionally, a sign must include “$200 Fine for Violation”. If all accessible stalls do not have 98” of vertical clearance, the stalls that exceed 98” of vertical clearance need to have an additional sign labeled “Van Accessible.”
Signage can be mounted on the building as long as it’s no more than 8’ away.

Fix Trip Hazards

While it is not explicitly stated in ADA guidelines, fixing trip hazards increases safety for your customers and employees. Additionally, it minimizes the chance of a costly premise liability lawsuit. A quick walk around your parking lot every other month will help you spot and issues and address them before they become expensive repairs. A small crack sealed now will save you on a cost pothole repair later.

Ensuring your parking lot is ADA compliant is not only good business, but it’s the law. If you have any questions or need assistance in evaluating your parking lot, please contact us for consultation. Being one of the leading paving companies in Minneapolis, we have helped multiple companies make their parking lot ADA compliant.

Additional Resources

Erickson Asphalt is monitoring the COVID-19 virus and is implementing measures to enhance the safety for our customers, staff and the general public.

Can I still receive an estimate?
Yes, we can still provide an estimate. During these challenging times, we have a few guidelines we ask that you follow:

If you are adding on to an existing drive/parking lot, please mark out the new area.  You can mark off areas with marking paint, garden hose or stakes and twine.

For all projects:

  1. We will call prior to arrival.
  2. While we would prefer to meet you at the door with a smile and a handshake, please help us practice social distancing by maintaining 6 feet of separation.
  3. Optionally, if you prefer, you can remain inside while we are onsite.  Our estimator will call or Facetime™ with you to talk about your project and about any concerns/issues he might come across.
  4. That afternoon or the following day, we will send you an estimate.
  5. If everything looks good, you can e-sign the estimate.
  6. Our scheduler will work with you to schedule a convenient time to have the work completed.