Advisory 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 502.3.3 Marking. The method and color of marking are not specified by these requirements but may be addressed by State or local laws or regulations. Because these requirements permit the van access aisle to be as wide as a parking space, it is important that the aisle be clearly marked.
Advisory 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. For this reason, where a van and car share an access aisle, consider locating the van space so that the access aisle is on the passenger side of the van space.
Advisory 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 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.
Advisory 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 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 504.4 Tread Surface. Consider providing visual contrast on tread nosings, or at the leading edges of treads without nosings, so that stair treads are more visible for people with low vision.
Advisory 505.1 General. Handrails are required on ramp runs with a rise greater than 6 inches (150 mm) (see 405.8) and on certain stairways (see 504). Handrails are not required on walking surfaces with running slopes less than 1:20. However, handrails are required to comply with 505 when they are provided on walking surfaces with running slopes less than 1:20 (see 403.6). Sections 505.2, 505.3, and 505.10 do not apply to handrails provided on walking surfaces with running slopes less than 1:20 as these sections only reference requirements for ramps and stairs.
Advisory 505.4 Height. The requirements for stair and ramp handrails in this document are for adults. When children are the principal users in a building or facility (e.g., elementary schools), a second set of handrails at an appropriate height can assist them and aid in preventing accidents. A maximum height of 28 inches (710 mm) measured to the top of the gripping surface from the ramp surface or stair nosing is recommended for handrails designed for children. Sufficient vertical clearance between upper and lower handrails, 9 inches (230 mm) minimum, should be provided to help prevent entrapment.
- Where handrails are provided along walking surfaces with slopes not steeper than 1:20, the bottoms of handrail gripping surfaces shall be permitted to be obstructed along their entire length where they are integral to crash rails or bumper guards.
- The distance between horizontal projections and the bottom of the gripping surface shall be permitted to be reduced by ⅛ inch (3.2 mm) for each ½ inch (13 mm) of additional handrail perimeter dimension that exceeds 4 inches (100 mm).
Advisory 505.6 Gripping Surface. People with disabilities, older people, and others benefit from continuous gripping surfaces that permit users to reach the fingers outward or downward to grasp the handrail, particularly as the user senses a loss of equilibrium or begins to fall.
- Extensions shall not be required for continuous handrails at the inside turn of switchback or dogleg stairs and ramps.
- In assembly areas, extensions shall not be required for ramp handrails in aisles serving seating where the handrails are discontinuous to provide access to seating and to permit crossovers within aisles.
- In alterations, full extensions of handrails shall not be required where such extensions would be hazardous due to plan configuration.