Tag Archives: ADA

Which Accessibility Icon to Use

Accessible parking symbolBy Helen Sullivan

IPMI members have asked me which symbol to use to mark an accessible parking spot.

Good question! I strongly recommend—without hesitation—using the traditional, upright icon to mark accessible parking spots.

There is a movement to switch from the traditional accessibility icon for parking signs to one that features the icon angled forward. Several states and a few cities have adopted the forward leaning symbol, however, parking and mobility professionals should be aware that to meet federal guidelines, the traditional accessibility icon must be used.

I understand that to some, the forward leaning symbol connotes action, ability, and empowerment for people with disabilities, but there are other advocates for individuals who disagree. I understand the pros and cons. At the Accessible Parking Coalition, we originally incorporated the forward leaning icon into our logo, only to be advised by APC founding member and friend David Capozzi, executive director of the U.S. Access Board, that we needed to change that—and fast—to avoid confusion within the industry! In fact, the U.S. Access Board issued a news release in 2017 to clear up the issue definitively.

At this time, based on the current U.S. Access Board guidelines, the traditional icon of the International Symbol of Accessibility (ISA) is the one to use to ensure accessible spaces meet federal regulations, including those issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, this presents complications in cities and states that require use of the other symbol. Should anything change, I promise to let you know!

Helen Sullivan is director of the IPMI-led Accessible Parking Coalition.

NEPC & NYSPA Charity Golf Tournament


Annual Golf Tournament

Thursday October 8th, 2020 8:00 AM -3:00 PM

Wayland Country Club – Wayland, MA

Join your fellow NEPC & NYSPTA  charity supporters on Thursday, October 8th, 2020  to support the Annual Charity Golf Tournament.

8:00 AM – Registration, Lunch and Driving Range
9:00 PM – Tournament Play Begins
3:00 PM – Late Charity Awards Lunch

Individual Player: $150 (Includes lunch and cocktail hour)

Inconsiderate Defined

car parked on handicap space hashmarksBy Michelle W. Jones, CAE, CMP

Merriam-Webster provides a definition of “inconsiderate” as “heedless, thoughtless,” and “careless of the rights or feelings of others.”

On Sunday, my 22-year-old niece posted this photo with a poignant message on Facebook:

“Just because it is Super Bowl Sunday doesn’t mean it gives you the right to park on the lines in between handicap spaces. Those lines are for people who have medical equipment, so they can the room to get in and out of their cars. Not to mention that this car doesn’t have a handicap placard/license plate. Please be considerate of people with disabilities.”

She knows this well because she has Arthrogryposis and uses a motorized wheelchair herself. I was so proud of her for sharing her observation and for being concise and accurate, without being (justifiably) nasty.

I couldn’t help but think of the work the Accessible Parking Coalition (APC) is doing, and I shared the website with her. It is a powerful statement that, “Assuring independence is everyone’s fight.” If only everyone could and would read and heed the message that, “…using an accessible parking spot ‘for just five minutes’ or blocking the designated, cross-hatched loading zone for wheelchair accessible parking spots, can deny a person with disabilities the ability to shop,” as the violator in the photo has done.
We all should be vigilant and become citizen activists.

Michelle W. Jones, CAE, CMP, is IPMI’s director of convention and meeting services.

*Photo provided by Ciana Dassonville

The California City Embracing the Future of EVs

By Taylor Kim, AIA, LEED AP

HOME TO ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) PIONEER TESLA, it is no surprise that the city of Palo Alto, Calif., leads the nation in electric vehicle sales at nearly 30 percent of new cars sold. As the city has embraced this technology and its role as an EV am­bassador, it has enacted some of the most robust EV parking requirements in the country.

In 2014, Palo Alto established itself as a pioneer of EV legislation when it passed a first-of-its-kind law that required new homes, apartments, office buildings, and hotels to be wired for EV charging. To encour­age adoption, the city offered a variety of incentives such as free EV charging; a $30,000 rebate to offices and residential complexes that install chargers; and a streamlined permit process for residential EV parking. The city’s current goal is to have 6,000 residential EVs by 2020 and 19,000 by 2030. This proactive legisla­tion has proven remarkably successful; Palo Alto’s EV charging spaces are currently at around 40 percent occupancy.

The Cost
Providing this much EV infrastructure comes at a high cost. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a single level 2 charging station—Palo Alto’s standard—can cost up to $65,000 with an additional $12,700 for installation. EV charging points also lead to an in­crease in electricity demand; Palo Alto projects a 6 to 7 percent increase when EVs dominate the automobile market. However, when this infrastructure is includ­ed during initial construction verses a future retrofit, much of the cost can be mitigated.

Armed with this knowledge, when Palo Alto needed more public parking to support a new public safety building planned for downtown, the city saw an opportunity to invest in the electrical future they wished to achieve. When the new California Avenue parking structure opens in 2020, 25 percent of the 630 parking spaces will be wired for EV charging, with 5 percent, or 32 spaces, accessible on its first day of operation. The remaining 125 spaces will have wiring in place so that charging stations can be installed in the future.

Such ambitious EV requirements pose unique design challenges to accommodate the increase in both electrical capacity and load. The transformer at the California Avenue Garage had to be upsized to be able to accommodate chargers for 125 future EV spaces. To lessen the overall power demand, 95 percent of the EV spaces in the facility will use power-sharing dual chargers. When two cars are plugged into a dual charger, each will receive 50 percent power, which will decrease the electrical requirements by almost half of that used by single chargers.

Providing sufficient EV accessibility requires careful consideration as well. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not provide a national standard when it comes to EV, but the state of California has stringent requirements when it comes to EV accessibility. For the California Avenue Garage, this means the number of required EV accessible charging spaces is calcu­lated based on the facility’s total number of charging stations rather than the total number of accessible spaces, increasing the number of accessible spaces re­quired. Providing the additional spaces and clearances to accommodate this can in turn affect the overall stall count and efficiency.

When the new California Avenue parking structure opens in 2020, 25 percent of the 630 parking spaces will be wired for EV charging, with 5 percent, or 32 spaces, accessible on its first day of operation. The remaining 125 spaces will have wiring in place so that charging stations can be installed in the future.

Looking Ahead
As demand for EV charging continues to increase, effi­cient utilization of charging infrastructure will become more and more important. Cars that monopolize spaces long after they are done charging mean less charging for others who need it. For example, when someone parks in an EV charging space on an office campus, that person isn’t likely to move his or her car when it is finished charging so someone else can use the space. That means a single space may only charge one car throughout the workday. To address this, some Palo Alto office campuses, such as Facebook, use EV valets who unplug a car once it is fully charged and move the cable to the next car.

Such adaptations are critical to the development of EV infrastructure and important to bear in mind when consider­ing the projected future of EVs in the United States. While EV sales currently make up only 2 percent of the national market share, by 2025 that number is expected to increase to 7 per­cent, with around 1.1 million EVs sold. Other automakers are also hopping on the EV bandwagon. According to Bloomberg, the number of EV models on the market is predicted to dou­ble by 2022. Palo Alto’s accomplishments and dedication to promoting EVs and providing EV infrastructure can help us better understand how to prepare for an electrified future.

Read the article here.

TAYLOR KIM, AIA, LEED AP, is a project manager at Watry Design and a member of IPMI’s Sustainability Committee.. She can be reached at tkim@watrydesign.com.


TV Crew Follows Investigators Cracking Down on Disabled Placard Abuse

California has embarked on a wide-ranging program to catch drivers illegally using disabled parking placards. The effort comes on the heels of an estimate that one in 10 placards in the state is misused, either with drivers parking in ADA-reserved spaces when they’re not driving a person to whom a placard was issued, or by using a placard obtained illegally. They’ve found placards being sold on eBay for  about $60.

A television news crew recently followed DMV investigators through Oakland on a crackdown, where they talked with people using placards illegally and people with disabilities who voiced frustration at the actions of other drivers. See the video here.

For more information and resources about disabled placard abuse–and to share your own experiences or data–visit accessibleparkingcoalition.org.

Camera Crew in ADA Parking Space Sparks Furor

An MSNBC camera crew who blocked a parking space reserved for the disabled at an early voting polling place even after a disabled military veteran needed it sparked fury earlier this week. And in a sure indication that people around the world were talking about it, the facts about it have now been dissected on snopes.com.

The Houston man, who has multiple sclerosis, posted online that when he arrived to vote, the only space for the disabled at the polling place was taken up by the news crew, who refused to move so he could park. The post went viral almost immediately, leading to an apology from the reporter. This week, even snopes.com, which sets out to prove or debunks viral stories, investigated and posted its findings across social media in one of its popular fact checks.

Read the Snopes post here. And get information and resources to share about accessible parking here.


Pennsylvania Toughens Up ADA Parking Regulations

In a move designed to improve access to parking spaces for those with disabilities, the Pennsylvania Senate passed legislation that levies penalties on those who park in a way that blocks curb ramps and access aisles next to them.

Senate Bill 888 now goes to Governor Tom Wolf for his signature. It was passed unanimously by the senate, whose members said they hoped to open access to areas and features that are vital for wheelchair users and others legitimately using parking permits for the disabled.

Read the whole story here.