In an earlier post, we discussed accessibility requirements for off-street parking. Now, this post will address the provision of accessible on-street parking. While the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (MAAB) and the 1991 and 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design (1991/2010 ADA Standards) have very specific regulations regarding off-street accessible parking, these regulations do not extend their jurisdiction to on-street accessible parking spaces.
Does accessible on-street parking have to be provided?
Yes. Since we cannot look to the MAAB or the 1991/2010 ADA Standards for the technical requirements, we must look to the overarching obligations of a Title II entity (State or Local Government) covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Title II of the ADA requires that covered entities must ensure that their programs and services are accessible to, and usable by, persons with disabilities. On-street parking is a service offered to everyone; therefore it must be ensured that there is accessible on-street parking provided as well. Currently, a minimum of 5% of the on-street parking should be accessible.
What does accessible on-street parking look like?
Currently, accessible on-street parking spaces don’t look much different than your standard on-street parking spaces. The difference is subtle; however, the placement of accessible on-street parking spaces is crucial. First, signage must be provided at the head of the parking space to reserve it for people using HP plates or Placards; much like you would find in a parking lot. Second, if there is a sidewalk adjacent to the location of the accessible on-street parking space, it should be located close to a curb cut so someone exiting on the driver’s side of the vehicle can travel the shortest distance to get onto the sidewalk. Third, if there is a sidewalk adjacent to the space, there should be enough space for a lift to lower onto the sidewalk without hitting an obstruction, like a tree, waste barrel, sign or other piece of street furniture. That’s it. Simple right?
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Public Rights of Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) that are currently being considered for adoption by the Department of Justice. These regulations (currently unenforceable but regarded as a best practice), provide standards for how streetscapes will look when renovated and incorporate a lot of great accessible design features including accessible on-street parking. PROWAG, with some exceptions, would require a set number of accessible on-street parking spaces based on the number of on-street parking spaces provided in a block radius—roughly 5%. It also discusses the look, location and design of said spaces.
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Requirements for Ramp Dimensions under the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board Regulations and the Americans with Disabilities Act Design Standards posted on Apr 25
This post is a follow–up to our recent post on ramp slope requirements. This post will guide you through additional obligations for width, handrails, length and landings under the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board’s (MAAB) rules and regulations and the Americans with Disabilities Act Design Standards (ADA Design Standards).
April is Autism Awareness Month in Massachusetts posted on Apr 21
April is Autism Awareness Month under Massachusetts General law. The prevalence of Autism today in the United States is one in every 68 children, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). That is more than double the prevalence in 2002, of one in every 150 children. April is dedicated to raising awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which is estimated to be the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States by both CDC and Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM).
Municipal Americans with Disabilities Act Grant Program Now Accepting Applications posted on Apr 18
The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) is pleased to announce the opening of the Municipal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Improvement Grant Program application and selection process. These grants will support capital improvements specifically dedicated to improving programmatic access for persons with disabilities.
Eligible applicants include any Massachusetts city, town, special purpose district and/or regional governmental organization. Grants of up to $250,000 will be awarded to successful applicants to remove barriers and to create and improve accessible features in cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth. Examples of eligible projects include the addition of features such as ramps, elevators, power lifts, signage, communication access devices, and curb cuts.