Your Handicap Parking Space Painting Questions Answered

Got hired to stripe lines in a massive parking lot recently? Then sit tight because we've got your handicap parking space painting questions answered.

Judson Burdon
Posted by Judson Burdon on April 13

Is this your first time painting a handicap parking space, and you want to make sure that you're doing it right? Do you want to know more about ADA parking requirements? Then read on because we have all your handicap parking space questions answered right here.

1. What are handicapped parking spaces?

Handicapped parking spots are spaces reserved in residential, commercial, or publicly owned building parking lots for people with disabilities.


2. Who is considered handicapped or a person with a disability?

People who have physical or mental impairments are considered persons with disability or handicapped. The terms persons with disability are also applicable to people who have sensory or intellectual impairments. These disabilities are long-term and limit or affect their daily activities.

3. I just started my line striping business. Where can I find comprehensive information about painting handicap parking spaces and ADA parking space requirements?

You can find information on accessible parking spaces here at the Asphalt Kingdom blog or on the ADA website. If you want to check your local accessibility regulations, simply check your state or municipality's building code. All 50 states, as well as United States territories, use or have adopted The International Building Code.

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4. Are handicapped parking lots limited to commercial establishments only?

No. Handicap parking spaces are not limited to commercial buildings. The Americans with Disabilities Act states that handicapped parking spaces are required to be set up in all public and publicly funded housing. Parking accommodations for persons with disability are also required in federal, state, and municipal facilities. These include courthouses, hospitals, schools, prisons, and more.

Owners of bars, shops, theaters, hotels, recreational facilities, rehabilitation centers, museums, and other similar establishments are also required to follow ADA regulations on handicap parking spaces. These regulations also apply to transportation facilities such as train stations, port parking lots, and bus stations.

But a few establishments are exempted from these regulations. ADA regulations on handicapped parking spots do not apply to buildings owned by churches and private clubs. The same goes for private residential housing, such as apartments and condominiums. They are, however, subject to the Fair Housing Act.

5. Where should handicapped parking spaces be located?

Handicap parking spaces – whether they are outdoors, in multi-level parking garages, or underground – should be located in an area nearest to the entrance or exit of an establishment. It should offer the shortest route to the door or elevator of the building.

If the building has multiple entrances, then handicapped parking spots should be located next to or near the entrances, too.

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6. How many handicapped parking spots are required for each building?

The answer depends on the number of parking spaces the facility has. Check out the Asphalt Kingdom ADA cheat sheet for more information.

7. What is the pavement marking on the handicapped parking space called?

asphalt kingdom international symbol of access-1Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

This blue and white pavement marking is called the International Symbol of Accessibility.

8. Is the blue background of the International Symbol of Accessibility necessary for handicap pavement markings?

The International Symbol of Access usually consists of a white outline of a person sitting on a wheelchair on a blue background. California, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Washington are the only states that explicitly state that the blue background is required when painting the pavement marking. The blue background is optional for pavement markings in handicapped parking spaces in Oregon.

Other states and territories are using or have adopted different editions of the International Building Code and use its accessibility guidelines to ensure buildings are up to code. 

While many local building codes do not explicitly state that the blue box is necessary, they still require property owners to paint handicapped parking spots with the International Symbol of Accessibility (that is white wheelchair outline on the blue box).

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9. Can I use standard paint that can be purchased from hardware and big box stores for painting handicapped pavement markings?

No. Paints used for homes and buildings do not adhere properly to asphalt. Stripers have to use water-based or oil-based parking line paints that are made especially for asphalt and concrete. Traffic paints are more durable, and are available in yellow, red, white, blue, and black.

You can read more about it in this Asphalt Kingdom blog.


10. How do you paint the International Symbol of Accessibility?

Painting the International Symbol of Accessibility on asphalt is easy. 

You'll need

Step1: Prep the surface by removing dirt, dust, and leaves using a street broom and/or a leaf blower.



Step 2: Place the stencil background on the asphalt and spray some blue paint inside the border.



Step 3: Remove the border and place the handicap stencil on the blue background. Make sure the stencil is centered. Use white paint to create the outline of the handicap symbol. Let it dry.



Ready to paint handicap parking spaces and stripe your way to success? Then order traffic paint and stencils here at Asphalt Kingdom. We also have other line striping resources that you can use to jumpstart or catapult your business to the next level.

Have additional questions about ADA parking space requirements or line striping in general? Contact us with your questions or comment below. 


Topics: Line Striping

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