Handicapped Parking Guidelines:

Our customers know how important it is to provide handicap access, but often parking lots seem to have too many, or even worse, too few stalls for the handicapped.   What’s the right number?   It’s actually a formula based on the number of stalls in your parking lot.   This chart from the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 makes it easy to know how best to support those with special parking needs by designating the required number of stalls for those who are handicapped. As of 2010, the standards are as follows:

Total Number of Parking Spaces Provided in (Column A) Mininum Number of Van-Accessible Parking Spaces
Parking Facility   (1 of six
(per facility) Minimum Number of accessible spaces)
  Accessible Parking Spaces  
  (car and van)  
1 to 25 1 1
26 to 50 2 1
51 to 75 3 1
76 to 100 4 1
101 to 150 5 1
151 to 200 6 1
201 to 300 7 2
301 to 400 8 2
401 to 500 9 2
500 to 1000 2% of total parking 1/6 of Column A*
provided in each
lot or structure
1001 and over 20 plus 1 1/6 of Column A*
for each 100 over 1000
*one out of every 6 accessible spaces



For obvious reasons, valet-only locations are exempt from these guidelines, and required only to provide a passenger loading zone. Other exceptions include outpatient medical units (where 10% of the total spaces are to be handicap accessible), and buildings or offices that provide services to the mobility impaired are required to reserve 20% of the total spaces for accessibility.

Additionally, these stalls should have the shortest accessible route to the entrance(s) of the building. Buildings with multiple entrances should have accessible stalls near every entrance. Here’s a few more guidelines:

  1. Signs must be mounted on the ground in front of these spaces,
  2. Signs must be high enough so they can be seen while vehicles are parked in the spaces.
  3. Handicapped Accessible parking spaces should be at least 96 inches wide and have a 60-inch-wide, 20-foot-long access aisle adjacent to the space. (Wide enough for a wheelchair to enter or exit a vehicle)
  4. Two spaces may share the same aisle.
  5. Stalls are to be marked with the international symbol of accessibility.
  6. If the accessible route is in front of one of these parking spaces, wheelstops should be installed to keep vehicles from reducing the width below 36 inches.
  7. Van-accessible spaces should be at least 132 inches wide, unless the adjacent aisle is 96 inches wide to accommodate a wheelchair lift. To complete the package, the mounted sign should designate the space as “van-accessible” and a minimum height clearance of 98 inches must be provided at the parking space, access aisle, and along the route to and from that space.

If you have any questions on your lot, it’s accessibility or whether it complies with the most recent ADA standards, our professionals can help.  If you’re creating a new lot, these numbers are critical to few extra steps in the initial phases of planning can make a huge difference for inclusivity and meeting the needs of your entire client base.

This article was adapted from the web and personalized for Macadam Company, Inc.  Sources include http://www.ada.gov/restriping_parking/restriping2015.html