Parking Blues

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The white diagonal-lined areas adjacent to, or between, accessible parking spaces for drivers with disabilities are there for a number of important reasons.

The Mayor's Committee for People with Disabilities urges summer vacation travelers to steer clear of these "access aisles" because parking unlawfully in them can compromise safe use of accessible parking spaces.

Since enactment of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, accessible parking spaces must have access aisles, and two accessible parking spaces can share a common access aisle. In many cases, the access aisle is 60 inches wide minimum, not nearly enough space to squeeze in an additional vehicle.

However, the Americans with Disabilities Act added a provision that one in every eight accessible spaces, but not less than one, must be served by an access aisle that is 96 inches wide minimum, so that drivers with disabilities using vans or minivans equipped with side-loading lifts or ramps would have enough space to exit/enter their vehicle safely.

A blocked access aisle of any size can make it unsafe for a wheelchair user, a scooter user, or anyone with impaired mobility to transfer to and from their vehicle. The parking access aisle is also part of the disabled driver's accessible "path of travel" to the building or facility served by the parking area.

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