2 Common Parking Lot Design Mistakes: ADA Compliance & Parking Lot Drainage

ADA Compliance & Parking Lot Drainage

Two of the most common parking lot design mistakes can lead to drainage issues, premature potholes, accidents and even lawsuits. The overall design of your parking lot influences convenience, efficiency and how long your parking lot lasts.

A lot of research has gone into uncovering the most efficient and long-lasting design methods for parking lots and parking structures. Parking lot ADA compliance and proper drainage are two of the most important factors you don’t want to overlook.

ADA Compliant Parking Lots 

ADA compliance is a major component to parking lot design. It is often assumed that the building code official will take note of any discrepancies between your parking lot and the official American Disability Association Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). This is not necessarily the case; it’s all too easy for things to get overlooked. The responsibility to adhere all provisions is 100% on you.

A common mistake involves restriping non-compliant parking stalls as opposed to fixing the layout so that it complies with ADAAG. If your parking lot was constructed prior to 1992, there are a number of changes that’ll need to be made in order to fulfill the newest sets of standards. Parking lots built before ’92 do not have enough total van spaces, and parking stalls are not be properly sized and/or striped. 

As of March 2012, there are new regulations included in ADAAG standards. For instance, while there used to be a requirement for 1 van accessible spot for every 8 parking spots, that standard has increased to 1 van accessible spot for every 6 parking spots. Other changes include the standard layout for van stalls and passenger loading zones. 

Precise measurements ensure your parking lot includes enough space for a van to park, and enough space next to the van for another car to park, while also allowing enough room for wheelchair passengers to safely get in and out of a vehicle. On top of that, you need an accessible path that people can safely cross in order to reach their intended destination. Local fire codes can further complicate things, as you’ll need adequate space in front of the building for fire vehicles. Wheelchair ramps and access points are another fundamental addition to any parking lot.

Don’t let common sense get in the way of the rules. You don’t want to try and interpret the rules, but instead follow them exactly as they are recorded. If your parking lot does not meet the proper requirements you could end up with an unexpected lawsuit on your hands.

We are fully knowledgeable regarding all ADA regulations and local building codes. As a result, you can rest assured your new parking lot meets all necessary requirements.

Parking Lot Drainage

There are a number of local drainage regulations such as maintenance of erosion control, best management practices and storm water detention. Drainage issues can create a world of headaches regarding your parking lot, as well as pollution of local eco systems and water sources. Plus, improper drainage leads to rapid deterioration of surfaces, which translates to higher maintenance and repair costs. 

All parking lots require storm water conveyance systems; such as storm drain piping, ditches and channels, pumps, etc. Engineers are hired to develop the most applicable form of drainage to maintain good water runoff dependent upon your location and space.

There are a variety of unique drainage considerations when building a parking structure as opposed to a parking lot.  For one, the design slope should be 2% or ¼ inch per foot, with a minimum design slope of 1-½%. Water should naturally run in a path moving away from exterior walls and columns as well as pedestrian paths. Washes may be necessary in slab corners in order to provide proper drainage slopes. Furthermore, the circulation system, structural system and number of bays determine floor drain locations.

Eco-Friendly Parking Lot Drainage

There are certain drainage practices that are bad for the environment. You don’t want water from your parking lot running off into local waterways or else you contribute to pollution. When water runs over your parking lot it picks up oils, grease and other pollutants that turn our water into waste. Make sure that your water drains to an appropriate and eco-friendly location.

The Future Of Parking Lots

Parking lots of the future are expected to look much differently than they do today. The shift is towards more compact and efficient lots that allow more cars to fit into one structure than previously thought possible. Much of this shift will come with the introduction of self-driving automobiles, which are already being tested in parts of the country. Yet, none of these changes will take away the importance of ADA compliant parking spaces and proper parking lot drainage.

At Kleenco Construction we vow to remain at the forefront of parking lot innovation in order to provide superior results every time. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you create an error-free parking lot that supersedes expectations today and long into the future.