A.D.A. Requirements on Parking Lots
The Americans with Disabilities Act (A.D.A.) was passed in 1990 to ensure uniform compliance with standards for the benefit of those with disabilities. Its scope encompasses everything from the width of doorways and force required to open them to the use of Braille in elevators to assist the visually impaired. Most common in relation to pavement are the standards for disabled parking, access aisles, curb ramps, signage and markings etc. Some states and municipalities also have laws which regulate proper accessibility for the disabled. Many people think that all buildings older than 1990 are “grandfathered,” and do not have to comply with the federal requirements of the A.D.A. This is actually not true- all building owners are under an ongoing obligation to remove any and all barriers to entry. (Click here for a complete explanation of the A.D.A.)
A.D.A. advocates claim that businesses have had enough time and money to comply with the requirements. Recent discussions with Villages around the Chicagoland area revealed that an inventory of all properties would be taken and any accessibility issues would be noted. Those properties not in compliance would be put on notice, and must make changes within a certain time period. Those still in violation could face a fine. The good news is there may be a tax credit available to small businesses who seek to improve access to their facility. A tax advisor should be consulted for further information on this.
Some important things to note: building owners and landlords can be jointly liable under the A.D.A. for tenant violations. Some owners believe since there have not been any previous complaints or injuries at their facility, that they cannot be held liable. Some common ADA violations include: not complying with the “path of travel” obligations, incorrectly constructed curb ramps, and excessive slopes in A.D.A. parking spaces.
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Thank you to our in-house E.I.T. Matthew Emde for his contribution to this blog! Got a question about A.D.A. requirements on your lot? Comment below or contact one of our parking lot experts at (888) 773-ROSE.