Myth #2: Accessible route versus ADA parking stall

Hi, welcome to ACR Design and Builds educational short videos on some of the most common myths that are out there. Today I’m going to introduce Jason, who is our CASp inspector on part of our team. Jason has CASp numbers down in the four hundreds, which means he’s been doing this for a considerable amount of time. In addition to that, that gives him and the additional credential, is Jason is a DSA inspector. HE inspects site work, concrete ramps, things of that nature on a daily basis and for a number of years, where most CASp inspectors may have been working behind the scenes and as plan checkers, things of that nature, Jason has field experience, plan checking experience, and CASp inspection, which makes him again at the top of our list, which is why he is part of our team.

In addition to that, we have legal counsel in the event you get caught up, which is also a separate company. Jason is not an employee of ACR. That way, there is no conflict. Example, if we jump into something and we perform the work, Jason inspects our work. If there’s something wrong with it, then it’s on us and Jason follows and stands up behind that. But today we have another random question. Gigi Guichard with ACR is our CFO, and she’s going to be posing this random question. Once again, we’re ready.

Okay. Under the subject matter of accessible route versus ADA parking stall, the question is often we hear clients insist all they need is just an ADA parking stall, but what does the law actually require? Federal and California laws?

Well, I’ll take this first. Thank you, Gigi. What I’m going to dive into here is the reason that I believe that the owner comes to us and states all they need is an ADA parking stall, is because they’ve been caught up in a lawsuit. That’s one of the most common myths or allegations within the lawsuit, is you don’t have an ADA van accessible parking stall. They concentrate on that and again, the attorney is wanting to settle just those allegations.

The law actually requires a complete accessible route. What I’m saying, here’s an example. Let’s say 65% of disabled people actually operate motor vehicles. The other 35% are actually running or operating on the city pathways or navigating from public transportation. The law requires that they too from a public sidewalk have a path of travel free of barriers to all the door entries of the shopping center.

In addition to that, to the ADA parking stall. If you would, just kind of visualize a dotted line from the city sidewalk, up the sidewalk, possibly a ramp, curb ramps with railings, detectable warning domes, free of barriers that are outlined in federal and California. They give you the specific elimination of barriers on how these things are supposed to be constructed within the accessible route. My opinion, never pay attention to simply the ADA parking stall, pay attention to the accessible route and most cases, in order to create a legal accessible route, you have to tweak the design.

The ADA parking may be in the wrong place. The design has to be tweaked and not a lot of contractors, or even architects have that capability of doing it correctly. That’s my opinion, is don’t pay attention to just the parking stall, pay attention to the complete accessible route. When you’re in a field, I don’t know, Jason, are you finding the same thing, or?

I find it a lot. Some of the things I find if all you have is one ADA stall, if that’s all that’s required, has to be van accessible. It’s going to be the width of two parking stalls. You’re going to lose two, not just one. The other thing that I find, is the path of travel, if you have a ramp going, extending up to the sidewalk, the walkway, it may not protrude into your loading aisle next to the parking stall. When you get into what you were talking about with design and redoing a path of travel, what happens a lot of times is you’ve got to pour a flat and you’ve got to create a flat parking space. None of it can slope more than 2%. Then the walkway in front of it has to come down to meet that parking stall. This is where a lot of contractors get wrong in my experience, is they leave that ramp there and then that’s the number one lawsuit that I see. We call it the built-up program.

Right. Yes, I see the same thing and I think back in the day, there weren’t any CASp inspectors when some of these buildings were designed in the city where the most common type of ramp was the built up ramp.

Unfortunately they designed the whole parking lot around that. When I come in to change or alter the design, according to what you just illustrated, then I have a terror, I have a task and you don’t have to be very creative and work within the law. Sometimes we just can’t get things to physically fit. We’re going to talk about readily achievable and technically and feasible in another video, but those are all the tasks that burden me and the design and making sure that it’s correct.

Again, the path of travel, as Jason said, is critical and it’s not just the ADA parking stalls. Be mindful on who’s doing your design, especially with contractors and architects. Give us a call, send me an email if you have any information and we’ll get back to you. Again, we operate getting back to our clients on seven days a week. Feel free to give us a call. Thank you.

Tony (Anthony) Guichard

As the CEO & Founder of ACR Concrete & Asphalt Construction, Inc., Anthony personally holds A, B, C-12, C-8 & C-32 licenses with over 35 years experience in the design and construction industry.