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?

handicapWell, 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.