How Many Disabled Parking Spots Are Private Businesses Required To Have?

The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) is a landmark piece of federal legislation that requires businesses to comply with regulations surrounding issues of accessibility for those with physical handicaps. Anyone who owns, leases, or operates a business that serves the public must comply with the ADA or face consequences.

For those with disabilities, being an advocate for yourself and your rights begins with understanding what is required by businesses in regards to the ADA. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about compliance, including how many disabled parking spots small businesses are required to have, and what you can do if you feel a business isn’t legally complying.

Who Has To Comply With ADA Requirements?

Businesses that provide goods and services to the public are required to comply with ADA laws and regulations. These includes businesses such as restaurants, bars, stores, hotels, private schools and museums, theaters, shopping malls, medical offices, and recreational facilities, just to name a few.

It’s also important to note that even businesses that don’t provide goods and services to the public, such as office buildings and factories, must also comply with ADA requirements.

What Do Businesses Have To Provide?

Every business, large or small, that provides parking for its customers must provide the specified amount of disabled parking spaces as required under law. These parking spaces should be clearly marked.

Disabled Parking - parking lot
Image by Gerrie van der Walt on Unsplash: The ADA does apply to private businesses, meaning a business cannot restrict handicap parking.

How Many Disabled Parking Spaces Does A Business Need?

Businesses, if they provide parking for customers, must have parking spaces accessible to those with disabled parking placards or plates. The number of accessible spaces required depends on the total number of spaces in the parking lot or parking garage.

For example, a parking lot with a total of 25 spaces must have a minimum of one disabled parking space. For businesses with parking lots between 25 and 50 spaces, two disabled parking spaces are required. As the number or parking spots increase by increments of 25, the number of required disabled parking spots goes up as well.

Do Parking Spaces For Disabled Drivers Need To Be Accessible?

The required disabled parking spaces can’t simply be put anywhere in the lot, either. Disabled parking spaces must be placed in a location that provides the most accessible and often the shortest route to the entrance of the business.

In addition to that requirement, the disabled parking spots also need to be at least eight feet wide with an adjacent aisle space that is at least five feet wide. A space reserved for a handicapped van must be 11 feet wide. From these spaces, a clear path to the entrance of the business must also be available.

What Requirements Exist For Parking Signs?

The number of spaces that a business must provide is one part of the disabled parking equation; the other is the signage used. Each disabled parking spot must be designated with a sign that sits at least five feet off the ground. The signs must include the “Universal Symbol of Accessibility” as well, being a minimum of five feet wide for a regular space and 11 feet wide for a van space.

Any access aisles adjacent to a disabled parking spaces must also be marked with diagonal stripes. The only exception to signage rules under the ADA are parking lots that have four spaces or fewer, or residential parking lots with assigned parking spaces.

Image by Robert Ruggiero on Unsplash: How many disabled parking spots are private businesses required to have? If they provide parking, they must provide as many as any other business under the ADA!

What Are The Penalties For Non-Compliance?

The ADA is enforced by the Department of Justice. If a business, even a small one, is not meeting ADA requirements, you can file a complaint with the Justice Department against them. There is an online form available for this, but you can also send in a complaint by mail.

It is also possible to get a lawyer and pursue your own legal case against a business that has not met ADA requirements. This is often a great way to motivate a small business to comply with the law, since they’ll want to avoid costly private litigation to deal with the matter.

It is also possible to bring state and local authorities into the matter, such as the local police department. You’ll need to check with the offices that enforce ADA requirements on a state and local level to determine how to proceed.

Featured image by Matt Alaniz on Unsplash