June 30, 2020

ADA Compliance when Re-Sealing and Restriping Your Parking Lot

Due Diligence
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Providing accessible parking is a requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and is the legal responsibility of the owner. The routine act of re-sealing and restriping your parking lot requires that you stay current on the law which will keep you in compliance. Here’s what you should know:

  • The ADA requirements can change every few years. The law considers things such as the parking lot size, the signage, and the location and size of the spaces. In the past, ADA stalls were required to be only 5’ wide. Now all ADA stalls and access aisles need to be a minimum of 8’ wide with a 2% slope or less in every direction.
  •  Each state’s ADA laws may differ. Make sure you check your individual state laws before you begin your project. For example, new Minnesota ADA requirements went into effect in 2015 allowing existing striping to be grandfathered in, as long as it is left as-is or simply re-striped in the same location. But once new pavement is installed or existing pavement is re-sealed, landowners are required to update their parking lot to new ADA requirements.
  • Lawsuits do happen for noncompliant ADA parking stalls. With easy access to aerial photography and drive-by views online, people can easily notice if your parking lot is not ADA compliant. A few of the easy-to-spot issues include:
    • Not having enough ADA stalls for your lot
    • Missing signs, or signs that are not mounted at the right height and centered on the stalls. 
    • Not having an access aisle, or having one that is too narrow. 

Harder to spot is whether the slope of your stalls is ADA compliant. However, there are multiple phone apps now that allow you to tell the slope of pavement by placing your phone on the ground. These readings may or may not be accurate, but the information is nonetheless being used in lawsuits, claiming stalls are not compliant. 

Below is a great example of noncompliance. The property owner did a complete mill and overlay of new asphalt. And the project looks great, however, is it in compliance with ADA laws?

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The ADA parking spaces in the photo above are no longer compliant with current ADA requirements. It’s easy to see that the parking space is missing an ADA accessible parking sign on a pole, centered on the parking space. But, what’s harder to notice is that the “access aisle” (the protected cross-hatched area) is not vehicle- or van-accessible. The new striping does not allow for a fully protected 8’ wide access aisle. This is non-compliant. 

In the photo below, we have graphically corrected the striping to show how the access aisle should look. Now, both parking spaces depict an 8’ wide access aisle to meet current requirements.

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Need help understanding the ADA laws?

Some asphalt companies and parking lot painters may offer to create a plan for you, however those plans are often not ADA compliant from the start.

We are here to help. Our engineers are knowledgeable and experienced in ADA law and can create a plan that will be compliant. Before re-sealing or doing a mill and overlay, chat with us. We’ll be happy to discuss your site and schedule an ADA assessment.

Learn more about our ADA compliance inspection and design process through this quick mailer.

This article was originally published August 3, 2017

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