What Are ADA Accommodations Violations? | Asphalt Parking Lots

What Are ADA Accommodations Violations? | Asphalt Parking Lots

What Are ADA Accommodations Violations? | Asphalt Parking Lots, asphalt paving cape codThe Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is an important milestone in the struggle to ensure that handicapped individuals have equal access to opportunities for shopping, employment, entertainment and government services. Prior to the ADA, many disabled people found that physical barriers prevented them from entering a building or even utilizing the adjoining parking lot. Although some cities and states have enacted supplemental requirements, the ADA and its amendments constitute the benchmark for measuring whether a property owner has taken appropriate actions to accommodate the disabled. An ADA accommodations violation is the term used to describe the failure to ensure that the property meets the federal requirements for accessibility that are included in the ADA.

What Are ADA Accommodations Violations? | Asphalt Parking Lots

What Are Some Typical Accessibility Issues Under the ADA?

Typically, an ADA accommodations violation involves the failure to remove any barriers that might hinder a legally handicapped individual’s ability to use the parking facilities or access the building. Listed below are some common violations related to accessibility.

• The number, location or design of handicapped parking spaces may not comply with the ADA requirements. You must provide the minimum number of van-accessible and car-accessible parking spaces required for the size of your property’s parking lot. Accessible spaces must be located so that the path to your entrance is as direct as possible. The ADA also specifies the size of accessible spaces and their adjoining access aisles, the signage required and the amount of slope that can be present. If slope is an issue, you will need to hire a credible paving contractor to make the corrections. The other issues can be handled by many asphalt companies that offer routine paving maintenance. However, you will probably save money if you choose a paving contractor who offers all of the services you need.
• The accessible route between the entrance and the handicapped parking spaces should not contain barriers or obstacles that would prove cumbersome to those with mobility issues. For example, the route cannot cross medians or curbs unless ADA-compliant ramps are present.
• Accessible spaces and routes should be kept available for use. You cannot use a handicapped space as a depository for the snow you removed from another area, for example, or block the accessible route with pallets of your products or building materials.
• The layout of the parking lot should be reviewed when alterations are made. You may know that asphalt resurfacing is considered an alteration. However, you might be unaware that the ADA views repainting your parking spaces and pavement markings as an alteration. Because of revisions to the ADA, your old layout may no longer be in compliance, so always hire a knowledgeable, experienced commercial paving contractor to review your layout and apply fresh paint.

What Is the Cost of an ADA Accommodations Violation?

Your first violation could result in a fine of up to $75,000, and the maximum fine doubles for a second violation. You could be faced with legal fees for defending yourself in a lawsuit, and if someone suffers an injury due to your failure to meet ADA requirements, your legal struggles can be even more burdensome. You can also expect the lawsuit to be costlier if the plaintiff was legally disabled at the time the injury was incurred.

At another level, your failure to ensure compliance with the ADA could have some costs that are difficult to quantify. You might be losing sales to the competition, for example, if disabled customers find it difficult or impossible to find accessible parking or to enter your building. It is also possible that you could undermine the community goodwill that you have worked so hard to establish.

What Is the Best Way to Prevent ADA Accommodations Violations?

The wording of the ADA and the results of various court cases leave little doubt that the property owner bears the responsibility for ensuring compliance. The first step in preventing an ADA violation is to be proactive about accessibility. If you have taken the initiative to make sure that your property is fully complaint, the following tips may help you avoid violations.

• Always hire a paving maintenance company with an excellent understanding of the ADA as well as any supplemental requirements mandated by your local government.
• It is always a good idea to watch for potential safety hazards in your parking lot, but it is essential to ensure that your accessible spaces and routes are safe. For example, accumulations of snow, sheets of ice, potholes, cracks and overgrown shrubs could all pose a hazard to visitors with mobility issues. Since the ADA states that accessible routes and spaces should be clear of impediments, such issues could be viewed as violations.
• If you need to hire a contractor to perform an asphalt resurfacing project or extensive repairs, make sure that you select an experienced, reputable commercial asphalt paving company. Asphalt companies that specialize in residential driveways may not know how to perform the work without making your property inaccessible for the duration of the project.

When you need help with your commercial pavement, contact us. For more than 20 years,  Dirtworks we have been serving customers in Cape Cod and Southeastern Massachusetts with their ADA compliance, asphalt paving, parking lot striping, sealcoating, asphalt repair, snow removal and asphalt milling needs. Our customers include health care facilities and hospitals, hotels, educational facilities, religious institutions, local governments, subdivisions, office buildings, apartment complexes, retailers, property management firms, HOAs and restaurants. We also serve residential customers and offer an extensive line of site work and excavation services. If you need outstanding results at competitive rates, call 508-240-5541 or complete the online form to request a free quote.

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