QUESTION: A supervisor recently asked me for information on striping and signage of parking lots for ADA compliance, and I found “ADA Business Brief: Restriping Parking Lots” on the Department of Justice website. However, the document is dated January 2002. Is this information still accurate? —Renée, Colorado

ANSWER: Although there is good information in that document, it is not up to date with current requirements found in the 2010 ADA design guidelines. But before we review those guidelines, I also want to stress the importance of checking your governing state’s laws as well. For instance, the State of Missouri has a more stringent van spaces requirement than ADA guidelines, and Missouri’s required signage includes a fine.

The most important changes reflected in the 2010 ADA guidelines are:

1. 208.2.4 Van Parking Spaces states that for every six accessible parking spaces, there needs to be a van-accessible space. This is an increase for van parking, as the previous guidelines required an accessible van space for every eight car spaces.
2. 502.2 Vehicle Spaces designates universal design for the accessible van parking space (11-foot-wide parking space with 5-foot-wide access aisle). The original guideline of 8 feet for the parking space and 8 feet for the access aisle is still allowed in existing striped situations.
3. 502.6 Identification requires signage to state “van accessible” versus just the word “van.” The advisory explains that just using “van” changes the meaning of the sign, making it more restrictive when the intent is to inform.

Changes in scoping
1991 Standards require a specified number of parking spaces to be accessible. 2010 Standards include updates to those scoping requirements (see 208.2.4 Van Parking Spaces above). Find them in Chapter 202 Existing Buildings and Facilities, section 208 Parking Spaces. Access the standards here.

Read the advisories!
Some of the greatest additions to the new guidelines are the highlighted advisory comments immediately below the actual guidelines. You must read the advisories to better understand how to comply with the regulations. For example, 502.7 Relationship to Accessible Routes clearly states that parked vehicles cannot obstruct the access routes. The advisory helps by suggesting an option that prevents vehicles from intruding into the width of the access route. Check out the full standard in section 502, along with the related advisories.

I’m wishing you success in all you are doing to improve the world we live in.