Does a Parking Lot Need to be Paved to be ADA-Compliant?

ADA compliance is a big topic when it comes to your parking lot. Lawsuits and fines for failing to meet ADA guidelines happen every day. As a business owner, you want to be sure all of your customers have safe and equal access to your building. And you certainly want to avoid paying unnecessary fines or settlements for failing to update your parking lots.

We hear a lot of questions about ADA-compliant parking in the Bay Area, including this one:

Does a Parking Lot Need to be Paved to be ADA-Compliant?

While the ADA guidelines do not set forth a required material for your parking lot, they do require parking surfaces within your accessible parking spaces must be stable, firm, and slip-resistant.

Although these guidelines do not specifically call for parking surfaces to be asphalt or concrete, these materials are most commonly used for parking lots.

Alternative materials may not quite meet the description of stable, firm, and slip-resistant.

Grass parking lots, for example, can have ruts and washed-out areas, and gravel can lead to slipping. And neither of these materials is easy to stripe, which means you can fall short of ADA striping requirements.

Poured concrete is durable and long-lasting but can be more expensive than other options to install.

Asphalt is the most commonly used material for parking lots. It's less expensive than concrete and stone, durable (lasting 10-20 years), has a high aesthetic value, and remains stable, firm, and slip-resistant -- even when wet.

Another benefit to asphalt or concrete parking lots, as opposed to grass, gravel, or other materials, is the ability to meet standards for ramps and changes in level.

The ADA guidelines specifically include no changes in level. Up to a 1:48-inch slope is acceptable, but the ADA suggests checking the slope of multiple spaces to ensure you meet this requirement.

Accessible curbs and ramps can help your parking lot remain compliant. In most cases, an access aisle connects to a curb ramp that leads to a sidewalk or entranceway to a building.

For ramps, the standard specification to comply with ADA is a slope of 1:12, 36 inches wide, and anti-slip edges.

If you have questions about whether or not your parking lot meets ADA requirements in the California Bay Area, contact JV Lucas Paving.

We've been serving the Bay Area for over 70 years and specialize in ADA-compliant parking lots. Don't leave your parking lot exposed to potential lawsuits and fines. Request a free consultation today.