ADA Compliant Parking Lot

Parking facilities need to be ADA compliant.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides specific guidelines and rules regarding accessible parking in any facility.  When you are not in compliance with accessibility rules, it can lead to hefty fines and lawsuits.  Do you know if your parking facility is in compliance?

The first thing you must do to be ADA compliant is to provide an adequate number of accessible parking spaces.  This is dependent upon the size of your lot.  For example, if you have 1-25 spaces in your facility, you must have one accessible parking lot. 

 Guidelines vary slightly for medical facilities and in some places, accessible parking spaces are required to meet specific parameters--the width must be 8 ft for a car and 11 feet for a van and the access aisle must be 5 feet wide and be as long as the parking space.

When it comes to signage, handicap parking signs must contain the International Symbol of Accessibility and be located in front of the parking space.  They must be installed 5 feet about the ground so they have high visibility.  If the facility contains fewer than 4 spaces are not required to have signage for accessible spaces.

Pavement Markings--while accessible parking spaces are not required to be painted with blue lines or have the International Symbol for Accessibility marked on the pavement, this is a common practice and it should be highly considered.

WePark

San Francisco has the highest proportion of coworking spaces relative to its population, according to a recent article published in Fast Company.  Coworking spaces have become a popular option for freelancers, remote employees, and entrepreneurs.  But in many major cities, coworking spaces bring with them extremely high costs.

 On April 29, San Francisco based coder Victor Pontis, a San-Francisco based coder, decided to prove a point while launching the initiative called WePark.  The point is that space dedicated to on-street parking in major cities could be put to more human-centric use.  This is not the first time that someone has thought of using parking spaces for co-working. In fact, every September, activists all over the world participate in PARK(ing) Day--which encourages people to put parking spaces to use (other than for parking.)

 While WePark is a pop-up style event, its creator, Pontis believes that it is a movement that is taking on speed and isn’t going to go away. He believes that one of the best ways for it to work is in collaboration with established brick and mortar businesses, which will give the co-working parking space users access to Wi-Fi, restrooms and water, and electricity in case charging of laptops and other devices is necessary. While this is just the beginning of a movement, there are plans for organizing it in a more sophisticated way. 

 You can read more about WePark here

Adequate Lighting in Parking Facilities

Most experts agree that lighting is the most important safety feature in a garage/lot to minimize the risk of theft, accidents and violent crimes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 1 in 10 property crimes—including motor vehicle theft and property theft—occur in parking lots or garages.

 One of the most effective ways to deter crime in parking lots/garages is by making sure that the lighting in the facility is adequate.  According to a DOJ report, “one the few facility features that has been documented to reduce crimes in parking facilities.” Lighting design plays a very important role in creating a secure parking lot/garage.

First, consider the design features that actually invite crime into a parking lot/garage:

●     Vague and Unclear Signage. Because large parking facilities can often become confusing and difficult to navigate, poor signage can distract people from what’s happening around them as they try to search for their cars--making them susceptible to crime.

●     Failure to Control Access. When parking lots are unsecure, they provide criminals with easy access. Entrances and exits should monitor access and control traffic flow.

●     Poor Lighting. When a facility is well-lit, it eliminates the potential for hiding spaces and helps to increase awareness of parker’s surroundings.

●     Lack of Surveillance. By making sure a facility is properly monitored with security guards and camera systems, it can be a major component to deter crime. 

●     Lack of Maintenance. When criminals see that a facility is rundown, it alerts them that security is not tight and actually invites criminals into the facility.

 

If you think that you might need to make improvements in your lighting, here are a few things to consider:

●     If your parking facility is over ten years old, updating your lighting to more modern fixtures will provide ongoing savings with reduced energy costs.

●      Lighting plays a critical role in how well camera systems work in an outdoor environment. In order to get the most out of your CCTV security system, having uniform lighting is important..

●      Be informed about the ordinances that your city or town has enacted regarding “light pollution.”  Ordinances set limits on the amount and type of lighting that you can use in your facility.

●      Lighting requires regular maintenance.  If the lighting in your facility is older or dirty, you will get less output.  It is important to have lighting cleaned and maintained on a regular basis.

Parking Lot Safety Tips

The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires business and facility owners to provide a safe and healthy workplace.  Often facility owners don’t understand the complexity of this law--it extends beyond the building and includes safety in your parking garage or lot. It’s basic premises law, employers are responsible for any area that they own.

It is important to understand ways in which employers can keep their parking facilities safe because if not properly maintained it can lead to accidents.  Workplace accidents cost business owners, lower employee morale, decrease productivity and workers’ compensation claims.

By following these safety tips, not only can employers keep their employees safe, but avoid the unnecessary negative impacts that it can have on a business.

1.    Install clear and proper signage.  In order to keep traffic flowing smoothly, signage and directional signs should be easy to understand to guide vehicles in the correct direction. In a parking lot, drivers may be backing up or driving the wrong direction and not focused on pedestrians. Lots and/or garages should also use visible striping and paint so that people can identify, parking spaces, handicapped spaces and crosswalks.

2.  Maintain cement and pavement.  Make sure that all walkways and roadways are maintained so that they are know potholes and walkways do not have areas where someone could slip, trip or fall.  When inclement weather occurs, it is important because wintry weather or rain can create slick, icy or wet patches that can lead to injury. 

3. Provide ample lighting.  By making sure the lighting in the parking facility is adequate, it will help decrease the possibility of accidents, property damage, theft or violence.  Performing quarterly maintenance checks is important to replace burned-out or non-functioning lights. Also, make sure that trees and shrubbery do not block light fixtures.

Are you ready to create a safer workplace for your facility? Let the experts at HF Planners help.  HF Planners, LLC provides Facility Planning, Management, and Design services to help you manage resources and meet your organization’s goals for its facilities. We have a proven record of successfully completing projects of all sizes for well-known companies across major industries. We would like the opportunity to work with you!

Co-Working In Parking Areas

San Francisco has the highest proportion of coworking spaces relative to its population, according to a recent article published in Fast Company.  Coworking spaces have become a popular option for freelancers, remote employees, and entrepreneurs.  But in many major cities, coworking spaces bring with them extremely high costs.

 On April 29, San Francisco based coder Victor Pontis, a San-Francisco based coder, decided to prove a point while launching the initiative called WePark.  The point is that space dedicated to on-street parking in major cities could be put to more human-centric use.  This is not the first time that someone has thought of using parking spaces for co-working. In fact, every September, activists all over the world participate in PARK(ing) Day--which encourages people to put parking spaces to use (other than for parking.)

 While WePark is a pop-up style event, its creator, Pontis believes that it is a movement that is taking on speed and isn’t going to go away. He believes that one of the best ways for it to work is in collaboration with established brick and mortar businesses, which will give the co-working parking space users access to Wi-Fi, restrooms and water, and electricity in case charging of laptops and other devices is necessary. While this is just the beginning of a movement, there are plans for organizing it in a more sophisticated way. 

 You can read more about WePark here

 HF Planners, LLC provides Facility Planning, Management, and Design services to help you manage resources and meet your organization’s goals for its facilities. We have a proven record of successfully completing projects of all sizes for well-known companies across major industries. We would like the opportunity to work with you!