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Guide to the ADA Standards

Multiple Parking Facilities on a Site

Scoping and dispersion requirements ensure access to all parking facilities on a site, including large sites with many lots and garages, such as airports, shopping malls, and campuses. The term “parking facility” encompasses parking lots, as well as garages, decks, and other parking structures. The minimum number of accessible parking spaces must be determined separately for each parking facility.

Parking facilities are to be treated separately for scoping purposes if they are either:

  • structurally different (e.g., surface lot versus parking garage or deck);

  • dedicated to, and separately serve, different facilities on a site;

  • segmented and separated by guard rails, fencing, or barriers, particularly where they serve different users; or

  • separated by streets or roadways (as opposed to drive aisles on a site).

Surface lots that are contiguous or that are segmented by landscaping or drive aisles (i.e., vehicular passageways located within parking areas), but not streets or roadways, typically can be treated as a single parking facility.

Example Site: Shopping Mall

Shopping mall with surface lot parking on all sides with one outer building served by same lot and another outer building with a parking lot separated from the mall parking areas by a raised sidewalk.  Notes:  The parking lot serving the shopping mall (center) and store (lower right) can be treated as one parking facility because the parking area is not divided or separated.  Accessible spaces must be dispersed and located at different facilities and accessible entrances served by the parking lot.  This lot is treated as a separate parking facility because it is divided from the surrounding lot by a raised sidewalk and is dedicated to a specific building.  Parking areas that are labeled (e.g., “Lot A”) to help users locate their vehicles but that are part of the same lot (i.e., not separated) do not have to be treated as separate parking facilities.

design compass

Recommendation:  Where spaces within the same parking facility are assigned or restricted to specific user groups, consider calculating the minimum number of spaces separately for each type of parking or proportionately dispersing accessible spaces based on the overall total across each type of parking to ensure sufficient access for all users.  Note that greater dispersion may be required under the Department of Justice’s ADA regulations governing policies and practices to ensure sufficient access for all users. 


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