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Guide to the ADA Standards

Van Accessible Parking Spaces [§502.1 - 502.5]

Person using wheelchair exiting van with ramp parking in accessible van space.

At least one space for every 6 or fraction of 6 accessible spaces must be van accessible. Van spaces provide an additional 3 feet of width to accommodate vehicles equipped with ramps or lifts. This extra space can be added to either the parking space or to the access aisle. A wider access aisle saves space since two spaces can share one aisle, but wider spaces can help prevent misuse of the access aisle as a parking space.

Van Space: Wider Parking Space

Van accessible parking space 132” wide min. and access aisle 60” wide min.

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Recommendation:  Sizing all accessible spaces (or access aisles) for van accessibility provides greater convenience and helps ensure that van spaces remain available for those who need them.  Where a van space and regular accessible space share an aisle, it is advisable to have the access aisle serve the van space on the passenger side (as is required where van spaces are angled) since backing into spaces can be more difficult with vans.

Van Space: Wider Access Aisle

Van accessible parking space 96” wide min. and access aisle 96” wide min.

Angled Van Spaces

Angled van accessible parking spaces with an access aisle on the passenger side of each space

As with regular accessible spaces, van accessible spaces can share a common access aisle. However, where van spaces are angled, an access aisle is required for each space on the passenger side (§502.3.4). This is the side from which ramps and lifts typically deploy.

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Recommendation:  Where standard (non-van) accessible spaces are angled or otherwise restrict entry to one direction only, providing one access aisle for each accessible space (or on both sides where only one accessible space is provided) will offer greater usability by accommodating access on either side.  Otherwise, consider designing accessible spaces to permit both front-in and back-in parking.

Plan view of garage with the following highlighted: vehicular route from entrance to van space, van space and access aisle, and vehicular route from van space to exit.

Vertical Clearance [§502.5]

A 98” minimum vertical clearance is required for van parking spaces/ access aisles and the vehicle route to these spaces from an entrance and from these spaces to an exit. Van spaces can be grouped on one level of parking structures.


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Recommendation:  Signs at garage entrances that indicate vertical clearances and the location of van spaces are advisable.


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