When planning parking for your multi-family apartment building, you must allow for designated accessible parking for handicapped people. Not only do you need to have this designed parking, but you also need additional room either on the right or left of the parking space above what is needed for a vehicle to serve as an access aisle. This is so that the person who is using the space in front of your multi-family dwelling, whether with a wheelchair; crutches or an electric scooter can get out safely from their van or car. So what else is needed to meet the requirements for handicapped access parking spaces?
Well, you will need a sign that is marked with the international symbol of accessibility. This has to be placed in front of the parking space and high enough so that it’s not hidden by the parked vehicle. The sign is to be positioned 60 inches minimum from the ground or floor. Also, accessible parking needs to be in the spaces as close to the entrance as possible. The surface from the space to the accessible entrance too has to have no steps or steep slopes and have a slip-resistant surface.
In addition, if a space is van accessible, it has to have an aisle at least an eight-feet wide with a sign designated “van accessible.” The space will also have to have a vertical clearance of at least 98 inches at the parking space and along the exit route. A “van accessible” sign needs to be mounted, and the parking space needs to be relatively level with an 8-foot access aisle next to it too
Additionally, you will need to have a marked crosswalk if the disabled person has to cross traffic as well as an accessible route to the building itself. If you can provide only one accessible parking space, it has to be van accessible. If you have many parking spaces, then one in eight needs to be accessible for a van. If you have different entrances, then the accessible parking should be at each entrance.
When planning the parking spaces in your parking lot, always remember that accessible parking spaces are a requirement, not an afterthought.
The purpose of parking lot striping is to route traffic safely and provide safe crossing for pedestrians. So keeping the parking lot striping at your multi-dwelling apartment and well maintained and properly marked. When your property is taken care of it shows that you, as the owner, emphasize safety, maintenance and appearance.
To make your parking lot as functional and safe as possible, you should have clearly marked entrance and exit signs. Crosswalks for pedestrians, loading and unloading zones, and parking spaces are important factors for a functioning parking lot. Too, trying to get the maximum number of parking spaces to meet the current tenant usage of your building is important also. With the correct layout and parking lot striping, you may be able to fit a few more parking spaces to meet your needs.
Something else to consider before laying down striping in your parking lot is what special needs will have to be met. Are you designating specific parking spaces per tenant? What about spaces for disabled tenants or visitors? Are you going to have handicapped spaces for tenants who may need them? By having marked handicapped spaces, designated spaces for tenants and perhaps guests, you can help keep traffic flowing efficiently.
Keep in mind too, how to provide the most functional stalls in your parking lot. A stall which allows the vehicle to be pulled straight in will allow you to put the most parking stalls in your lot. Also, these type of stalls are the easiest to lay out and to paint stripes for. This is also a better way for permitting two-way traffic. If you decide on an angled stall, they are easier to turn into and back out of. This type of stall also will require a narrower lane as well as a one-way controlled traffic flow. The down side that more space is taken out when the parking lot design is laid out because of the angle plus the greater your angle the more space is used.
A well-marked and well maintained parking lot can add value to your property as well as increase attract a higher quality tenant. You’ll find it’s well worth the expense.