The Americans with Disabilities Act requires businesses to incorporate handicapped-friendly parking spots into their parking area. These accessible spaces must be near the shortest route to an accessible entrance. If there are multiple entrances, the handicapped parking spots should be evenly divided between the entrances.
Determine how many accessible parking spaces you need based on the size of your parking lot. For lots with one to 25 spaces, you need one accessible space and it must be a van-accessible space. For lots with 26 to 50 spaces, you need two accessible spaces, one of which is van-accessible. For lots with 51 to 75 spaces, you need three accessible spaces, one of which must be van-accessible. For lots with 76 to 100 spaces, you need four accessible spots, including one van-accessible. For lots with 101 to 150 spaces, you need five accessible spaces with one van-accessible. For lots with 151 to 200 spaces, you need six accessible spaces, including one van-accessible. For lots with 201 to 300 spaces, you need seven spaces, including one van-accessible. For lots with 301 to 400 spaces, you need eight accessible spaces, including one van-accessible. For lots with 401 to 500 spaces, you need nine accessible spaces, including two van-accessible. For lots with 501 to 1,000 spaces, 2 percent of your total spaces must be accessible, with one-eighth of those being van-accessible. For lots with 1,001 or more spaces, you need 20 accessible spaces plus one accessible space for each 100 total spots over 1,000, and one-eighth of the accessible spaces must be van-accessible.
Ensure your car-accessible spots meet the prescribed requirements. These spots must include adjacent accessible aisles at least 5 feet wide in order to ensure space for wheelchairs to be able to get next to the vehicle. These spaces must be identified with the handicapped sign and be on a level surface. The access aisle must be clearly notated on the ground. Adjacent spots may share an access aisle.
Make sure you have the required number of van-accessible spaces. These spaces require an 8-foot-wide access aisle adjacent to each spot. There also must be a 98-inch vertical clearance for a van to park at the spot, and the spot's sign must indicate it is "van-accessible."
While it is common to use blue paint to differentiate the accessible parking spaces, it is not required by law.
Mike Bell has been writing professionally since 2006. He wrote for and edited the "Independent Florida Alligator," and has also contributed to the "St. Petersburg Times," "Orlando Sentinel" and "Miami Herald." With a Bachelor of Science in journalism, Bell is now a student at the University of Florida Levin College of Law.