Trying to find parking that is accessible to a person with physical limitations is more common than you think. According to BraunAbility, 74% of people have witnessed an accessible parking area being misused. At the same time, 2 out of 3 individuals will avoid visiting a location if they are unsure if it’s accessible.
More facilities across North America need to invest in parking systems to accommodate different drivers while combating the misuse of accessible parking spaces for those who need them most.
The significance of being able to park
Under the Motor Vehicle Act, “accessible parking” refers to individuals with reduced mobility due to a permanent or temporary impairment that affects or challenges their walking ability. Individuals with limited mobility and health issues should be able to securely access buildings and institutions freely without fear of non-accessible parking spaces. These designated spots provide extra space for people to enter and exit their vehicles quickly and safely, with room for mobility aids, including crutches, wheelchairs, canes, and other equipment.
The rules and requirements of accessible parking
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, there are key requirements that public and commercial facilities should adhere to in order to ensure accessibility and functionality for all. For instance, there should be a minimum number of accessible parking spaces required based on the size of a given lot. For example, 1 out of every 6 accessible parking spaces must be van-accessible. Businesses are required to have readily available and accessible parking for drivers. It is essential that lots upkeep, maintain, and repair any infrastructure that may cause damage to the individual or their vehicle. Signage should also be visible to all drivers and enforcement officers.
Enhancing accessibility with smart parking technology
It is essential for parking operators to have systems in place that mitigate the misuse of accessible parking spaces. For example, enforcement officers should keep a watchful eye on drivers without permits, expired permits, and those who illegally use another person’s permit, as this may result in instances where those with legal permits get robbed from accessing accessible parking. Officials need to do more to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities and make sure their voices are heard.
Smart parking technology is a great tool to tackle this issue and enhance accessibility in any parking facility. With smart parking software implemented, parking facilities and enforcement officials can regularly monitor drivers and review key data to gain visibility of any violations taking place and uphold compliance. At the same time, it’s a critical step organizations can take to stand in solidarity with individuals with disabilities and let them know their needs are valid and taken into consideration.
At Roker, our innovative parking platform allows your facilities to create parking strategies that comply with the needs of your lots by offering smart solutions. To learn more about how you can improve the parking experience with smart technology, contact us here.