You’re finally starting to finish off the house. You’ve installed the deck, you painted the exterior, and now you realize that it’s time to put in your concrete driveway. You’ve got a space picked out already. Before you do anything, make sure that what you are about to create is ADA compatible or an accessibility violation could be issued for your new home.
What does ADA stand for?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed by congress in 1990 and became effective on July 26th, 1992. The purpose of this act is “to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities.”
So, what does that mean for you and your concrete driveway? It means that if the accessibility guidelines are not followed, then someone could take legal action against you. This is a major problem considering 17% of the population living in the United States has some type of disability and they want and expect to be treated equally just like everyone else.
Who enforces ADA?
ADA is enforced by state or local government agencies such as Public Works Departments. These groups will inspect properties when complaints arise or when they notice something suspicious while driving around their neighborhoods. Although it can vary from location to location, there are also private organizations such as CARF which can take legal actions as well.
What needs to be ADA compliant?
There are a variety of rules and regulations set in place by the ADA. In general, everything on your property will need to meet these requirements:
Ramps – A ramp or series of ramps should be installed if there is a step or stairs involved which is accessible from public sidewalk areas.
Sidewalks – If possible, sidewalks should be built especially where it directly leads into a home’s driveway entrance. A curb cut-out can also be installed so that wheelchair users have access across the driveway threshold without having to cross over any elevation changes.
Curb Cuts – Make sure you don’t block any of the following installations of your new concrete driveway.
Driveway Thresholds – The driveway threshold should be no higher than ½ inch. If possible, a curb cut-out will make it easier for vehicles to cross over onto the driveway without having to deal with any elevation changes.
Parking Spaces – Parking spaces in your driveway should be at least 18 feet wide and 8 feet long. This is large enough for most vehicle types and may depend on how many cars you have in your house. You can always request extra space if necessary or create multiple parking spots per carport.