Section 11B-502 Parking Spaces
Code excerpt regarding technical requirements for parking spaces: general, vehicle spaces, access aisle, floor or ground surfaces, vertical clearance, identification, relationship to accessible routes, and additional signs.
Exception: Where parking spaces or access aisles are not adjacent to another parking space or access aisle, measurements shall be permitted to include the full width of the line defining the parking space or access aisle.
Exception: Van parking spaces shall be permitted to be 108 inches (2743 mm) wide minimum where the access aisle is 96 inches (2438 mm) wide minimum.
Advisory 11B-502.3 Access aisle. Accessible routes must connect parking spaces to accessible entrances. In parking facilities where the accessible route must cross vehicular traffic lanes, marked crossings enhance pedestrian safety, particularly for people using wheelchairs and other mobility aids. Where possible, it is preferable that the accessible route not pass behind parked vehicles.
Advisory 11B-502.3.3 Marking. The requirement that the hatching at the loading and unloading access aisle be a suitable contrasting color to the parking space is intended to ensure that the hatching is visually distinct from the background to which it is applied, and thus can be more easily seen. As hatching is generally recognized as a no-parking area, this difference in contrast assists drivers by providing a conspicuous visual deterrent to parking in the loading and unloading access aisle. ¶ Asphalt is often the parking surface material used at accessible parking spaces. Asphalt is generally considered to be fairly dark in appearance. In order to provide a suitable contrasting color at the hatched area of the loading and unloading access aisle, a light color hatching should be used at locations where asphalt is the parking surface material. Although white paint is preferred (and traditionally the color most often used), its use is not mandatory under the California Building Code (CBC). ¶ In order to provide a suitable contrast at the hatched area of the loading and unloading access aisle in locations where light concrete is used as the parking surface material (such as at concrete parking garages), a dark color hatching should be used. Although blue paint is preferred, its use is not mandatory under the California Building Code (CBC).
Advisory 11B-502.3.4 Location. Wheelchair lifts typically are installed on the passenger side of vans. Many drivers, especially those who operate vans, find it more difficult to back into parking spaces than to back out into comparatively unrestricted vehicular lanes. Where a van and car share an access aisle, the van space must be located with the access aisle on the passenger side of the van space.
Exception: Slopes not steeper than 1:48 shall be permitted.
Advisory 11B-502.4 Floor or ground surfaces. Access aisles are required to be nearly level in all directions to provide a surface for wheelchair transfer to and from vehicles. The exception allows sufficient slope for drainage. Built-up curb ramps are not permitted to project into access aisles and parking spaces because they would create slopes greater than 1:48.
Advisory 11B-502.4 Floor or ground surfaces. Accessible parking spaces and access aisles are required to be level (maximum 1:48 slope) in all directions to provide a surface for wheelchair transfer to and from vehicles. The access aisle needs to be adjacent to, and the same required length as the accessible space it serves. Where two parking stalls share the same access aisle, a full depth aisle is required; in diagonal parking, the geometric layout will require additional access aisle depth to satisfy the loading area for both of the adjacent parking stalls as indicated in Figure 11B-502.3.3.
Advisory 11B-502.5 Vertical clearance. Signs provided at entrances to parking facilities informing drivers of clearances and the location of van accessible parking spaces can provide useful customer assistance.
Exception: Signs located within a circulation path shall be a minimum of 80 inches (2032 mm) above the finish floor or ground surface measured to the bottom of the sign.
Advisory 11B-502.6 Identification. The required “van accessible” designation is intended to be informative, not restrictive, in identifying those spaces that are better suited for van use. Enforcement of motor vehicle laws, including parking privileges, is a local matter.
Advisory 11B-502.6 Identification. This section requires that an additional “van accessible” sign or additional language be posted below the International Symbol of Accessibility when designating an accessible parking space that will accommodate a van. A single parking sign incorporating both the International Symbol of Accessibility and the language “van accessible” may be used.
The two options for markings are subtly different. Option 1 is to provide a 36″ square ISA “block” with the symbol in white against a square blue background that is aligned with the bottom center of the parking space; no other markings are required, including outlines or color fills. Option 2 is to provide a blue outline (stripe) or color fill (across entire extent of parking space) with a white or “suitably contrasting” ISA (only the symbol though an outline is acceptable) that is aligned with the bottom center of the parking space.
Advisory 11B-502.7 Relationship to accessible routes. Wheel stops are an effective way to prevent vehicle overhangs from reducing the clear width of accessible routes.
Advisory 11B-502.7.1 Arrangement. Accessible parking spaces located so that the accessible route passes behind parked vehicles create a safety hazard, especially for wheelchair users. Wheelchair users traveling behind parked vehicles may be obscured from the view of drivers backing out of parking spaces, especially when passing behind high-profile vehicles. This section requires that persons with disabilities not be required to travel behind parking spaces other than the one in which they have parked.
Design drawings should include the appropriate information to fill in the blank spaces of the additional sign required by Section 11B-502.8. Local ordinances or codes (e.g., LADBS Information Bulletin P/BC 2020-084) may require the appropriate information to be provided in the design drawings subject to their jurisdiction. See below for reference excerpts from LADBS Information Bulletin P/BC 2020-084 and Caltrans 2018 Standard Plan A90A, respectively.
Note the differences in overall (proportional) sizes. The baseline regulations establish content (wording) and minimum size, but they do not specify a maximum size or mandate a particular pattern of word flow or line breaks. Nor do the baseline regulations prohibit the inclusion of the “additional sign” content in other signs (such as general parking enforcement signs), or the inclusion of other information on the “additional sign” itself.
For example, as a matter of legal authorization to tow offending vehicles, it has been suggested to include reference to the appropriate California Vehicle Code (i.e., “C.V.C. §22511.8” or similar) at the bottom of the “additional sign” or as an additional sign with similar formatting that is placed immediately below it. This is not required by statute, but neither is it prohibited.
Also note that the CBC requirement merely require the blank spaces to be “filled in with appropriate information” whereas the actual text of CVC §22511.8 requires the telephone number to be that of the “local law enforcement agency.” Contrast this with the LADBS requirement that the information correspond to the “towing company’s name* and telephone nos.*” (the asterisks are referenced to the sign graphic). This distinction may be irrelevant for Title II entities (based on other statutory authority), but for Title III entities it is recommended (and for Title II entities it is suggested) that telephone numbers for both the local law enforcement agency and the towing company or agency (if separate) be provided.
For completeness of reference, the collection of accessible parking signs defined by the 2014 California edition (Revision 2) of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) are shown below. These signs can be specified by number (e.g., “R100B (CA)”).