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The Honorable Porter Goss Member, U.S.

House of Representatives 2000 Main Street Suite 303 Fort Myers, Florida 33901 Dear Congressman Goss: This letter is in response to your inquiry on behalf of your constituent, (b)(6) XX regarding her inability to find parking spaces large enough to accommodate her lift-equipped van. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA") authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities having rights or obligations under the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist your constituent in understanding the ADA's requirements. However, it does not constitute a legal interpretation, and it is not binding on the Department. (b)(6) XX should be pleased to know that under title III of the ADA, a new commercial facilities must provide accessible parking spaces with adjacent access aisles that are designed to be wide enough to accommodate lift-equipped vans. In general, title III of the ADA requires that any new commercial facility be constructed to commonly with the Standards for Accessible Design, 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A ("the Standards"). A copy of these Standards, which are sometimes referred to as the ADA Accessibility Guidelines, is enclosed. The Standards require that every new facility have a certain number of accessible parking spaces, including what are called "van accessible" spaces. An ordinary accessible parking space includes a demarcated access aisle 60" wide, where no cars can park. Van accessible spaces must have an access aisle 96" wide. The total number of accessible parking spaces and access aisles that must be provided depends on the total number of spaces in cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, McDowney, Breen, Contois, OIA MAF Udd:Contois:CGL:Goss


-2the parking lot, but even in the smallest parking lots, there must be at least one accessible parking space with a 96" wide access aisle, marked by a sign designating it as "van accessible." These same requirements for accessible parking spaces also apply when a commercial facility is renovated, remodeled, or otherwise altered. In addition, many existing facilities may be required to provide accessible parking spaces, including van accessible spaces. Among other things, title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires anyone who owns, operates, or leases a place of public accommodation -- including grocery stores, shopping centers, restaurants, movie theaters, banks, barber and beauty shops, -medical offices and facilities, and so on -- to remove architectural barriers to access for individuals with disabilities wherever it is readily achievable to do so. A lack of accessible parking spaces (and the accompanying access aisles) constitutes a barrier to access that must be removed if it is readily achievable to do so. Title III defines readily achievable to mean "easily accomplishable and able to carried out without much difficulty or expense." For most public accommodations, it is readily achievable to provide accessible parking spaces, with the-accompanying access aisles, including van accessible spaces. If (b)(6) XX believes that particular places of public accommodation in her area have failed to comply with the ADA, she may either file a complaint in federal court to enforce the Act, or file a complaint with the Department of Justice, which is authorized to investigate allegations of violations of title III. If XX(b)(6) wishes to file a complaint with this Department, she should address it to the Public Access Section, Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice, Post Office Box 66738,

Washington, D.C. 20035-6738. She should be aware, however, that due to our limited resources and the great volume of complaints we receive, the Department is not able to investigate every complaint. For your information, I am enclosing a copy of this Department's regulation implementing title III of the ADA and the Technical Assistance Manual that was developed to assist individuals and entities subject to the ADA to understand the requirements of title III. The requirements for new construction and alterations to commercial facilities can be found in sections 36.401 through 36.403 of the Department's title III regulation (pages 35599 through 35601), and are discussed in the preamble to the regulation on pages 35574 through 35583. Section 4.1.2(5) and 4.6 of the Standards contain the specific provisions governing provision of accessible parking spaces and access aisles. 01-03063

-3The requirement to remove barriers to access in existing facilities can be found in section 36.304 of the regulation (page 35597), and is discussed on pages 35568 through 35570 of the preamble. The Technical Assistance Manual for title III contains sections on the requirements for new construction (pages 45-50); alterations (51-56); the Standards for Accessible Design (referred to in the TA Manual as the ADA Accessibility Guidelines), including their requirements for accessible parking (pages 60-61); and the requirements for removal of barriers in existing facilities (pages 30-37). I hope this information is useful to you in responding to XX (b)(6). Sincerely,

Deval L. Patrick Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosures 01-03064