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.
Owning a multi-family building and having enough parking spaces for everyone can be a headache. Sometimes the tenants have more cars than parking lot spaces permit too. Or perhaps guests come over and take up a tenant parking spaces leaving no room for other tenants to park. These issues have solutions to solve your parking problem though. So below are some solutions to ease parking lot snarl ups:
- The parking spaces can be monitored for any violations and the cars in violation towed. This can cover guest parking without permission or tenants parking in spaces with aren’t assigned to them. This will open the space back up for the tenant whose spot it is that was taken; plus it will send a message that unlawful parking won’t be tolerated.
- Post signs that state that the parking lot or other spaces are for tenant use only and violators will be towed. Usually this is pretty effective in keeping unlawful parkers from parking. By having the cars towed too, it will also discourage it from happening again. This is especially true because word will get around to other tenants
- Assign a parking space or spaces to each tenant. So decide how many spaces come with the lease and then assign that apartment number to that space or spaces. If another tenant parks in the space, then find out if that tenant’s space has been parked in and tow whichever car is the offending car.
- If there is enough space, offer additional parking spaces for an extra monthly fee. Also, if you have room, you could also offer guest parking. You can have the tenant reserve a spot for a guest or just have the spaces available for a first come first serve set up then.
- Decide whether or not you will have a waiting list for better parking spots. Most tenants prefer to be closer to the building, but that isn’t always possible. Some landlords have a waiting list for spaces which are closer, and the tenant is then assigned to that space who has stayed in the building the longest; or may have special needs. Specify this so you don’t have arguments; however.
Parking for tenants doesn’t have to be a headache if you stay strict with parking enforcement. It’s when the parking isn’t enforced that it becomes a problem for both the landlord and tenants.