Is Your Parking Lot ADA Compliant?

April 16, 2022

Is Your Parking Lot ADA Compliant?

Are your existing parking lots compliant with ADA Title III? ADA compliance is crucial to ensure equal access for people with disabilities and avoid lawsuits. The ADA covers everything inside and outside of most places of business, but this blog will focus on ADA compliance requirements for parking lots (city and county requirements may differ).

Number of Parking Spaces

The number of accessible parking spaces the ADA requires depends on the number of parking spaces in your parking lot or garage. The required number of accessible parking spaces must be calculated separately for each parking facility, and one of six, (and at least one) must be van accessible. (See chart below.) Follow this link to try the calculator provided by Northwest ADA center-

Certain medical facilities need more accessible parking.

  • Hospital outpatient facilities need 10% of patient/visitor spaces to be accessible.
  • Rehabilitation facilities that specialize in treating mobility-related conditions and outpatient physical therapy facilities need 20% of patient/visitor spaces to be accessible.

The number of van-accessible spaces is one of every six accessible parking spaces or a fraction of six.

For example, an outpatient physical therapy facility has a parking lot with 50 total spaces for employees only. The lot needs two accessible spaces, one of which must be van-accessible. A separate lot with 200 total spaces for patients and visitors needs 40 accessible spaces, seven of which must be van-accessible.


Accessible parking spaces should be those closest to the business or building entrance. Choose the closest level area if the spaces closest to the entrance are sloped or have difficult terrain. If your building has multiple accessible entrances with adjacent parking, your accessible parking spaces must be dispersed and located closest to all the accessible entrances. The route to the entrance should have no steps or steep surfaces and be stable, firm and slip-resistant.

Parking Space Dimensions

Accessible parking spaces must be 96 inches wide, marked to define the width, and have a maximum slope in all directions of 1:48. They must also have additional space available to the right or left that serves as an access aisle. For cars, the access aisle must be at least 5 feet wide and as long as the parking space itself. Width measurements for lines marking accessible parking lots and access aisles are to center lines, except for the end space which may include the full width of the line.

Spaces for Vans

One of six accessible parking spaces, but always at least one, must be van-accessible. Van parking space must be 132 inches wide minimum with an adjacent 60-inch wide minimum access aisle. Access aisles may be located on either side of the parking space except for angled van parking spaces, which must have access aisles on the passenger side. There should be a vertical clearance of at least 98 inches for the van parking space, access aisle, and vehicular route to and from the van-accessible space.


Accessible parking spaces must be identified by signs that include the International Symbol of Accessibility. Signs at van-accessible spaces must include the additional phrase “van-accessible.”

Signs should be mounted so that the lower edge of the sign is at least five (5) feet above the ground. This helps ensure visibility both for motorists and local enforcement officials.

Assessing Your Accessible Parking Requirements

Whether you evaluate your parking lots on your own or with a certified inspector, it is critical to meet with a reputable parking lot maintenance contractor before proceeding with any construction or maintenance procedures. Working with a knowledgeable pavement professional can mean the difference between compliance and non-compliance. Violations can be extremely costly, not only in repairs but also in facility downtime and even potential lawsuits.

At IPM, our consultants will review your ADA requirements, and then we’ll provide you with a written recommendation that includes signage and parking space requirements with a minimum impact on your per-stall revenue.