On January 1st 2017, Connecticut passed into law Public Act 16-78 to replace the international symbol of accessibility. The new, modernized symbol illustrates a more active and independent wheelchair user. The original international symbol of accessibility “was developed at a different time, when our own ideas as a culture and a society were much more about concentrating on that which held people back, as opposed to that which moves people forward,” said Governor Dannel Malloy, “It was time.”
The International Symbol Of Accessibility Law Broken Down
The law states that the new wheelchair symbol of access “shall be used for all buildings and structures constructed, substantially renovated, or expanded on or after January 1, 2017”. In addition to the new symbol painted on the asphalt, the law also requires a significant update to the above ground signage. The new signage must state the words “reserved parking permit required” and “violators will be fined”. The signs must also have a blue background with white lettering, and show the new international symbol of accessibility. Note that any alteration or repair to existing signage will also trigger the adoption of the new law.
This new law echoes the efforts of the Accessible Icon Project which is a Boston activist group backing the need for a new logo that illustrates wheelchair users as more active. This new CT law is officially in effect. Signs and symbols that receive updating need to on all new constructions sites. This is also necessary on older construction sites as additions and renovations take place.
How It Affects Your Parking Lots
When making additions or alterations to your property, they must comply with current ADA regulations. They must meet proper building codes in all aspects. Defining “addition” states any expansion, extension, or increase in the gross floor area or height of a building or facility. Alterations include remodeling, renovation, rehabilitation, reconstruction, historic restoration, resurfacing of circulation paths or vehicular ways. As well as, changes or rearrangement of the structural parts or elements, and changes or rearrangement in the plan configuration of walls and full-height partitions.
As paving contractors, we are required to bring your property up to code when repainting or sealing your lot. This would include using the new law-mandated international symbol of accessibility.
Other ADA Requirements To Meet:
- Each addition to an existing building must comply with requirements for new construction.
- Each addition that affects the usability of, or access to an area serving a primary function must comply.
- When altering existing spaces they need to comply.
- When elements or spaces alter, but the path does not change, an accessible route is not a requirement.
According To A State Building Code Interpretation:
When the code uses terms such as “substantially renovated” or “substantially rehabilitated” it is meant to describe work. It not only replaces previously existing structural elements, wall and ceiling finishes, flooring, doors, windows and perhaps cabinetry, but also rearranges walls and partitions to reconfigure existing spaces. Essentially, ANY alteration to your building will trigger the code, including alterations to your existing parking lot.
So, what does this all mean? Well, for starters it means that any alterations to your parking lot, including a re-painting of the lines, a sealcoating treatment, or parking addition project will require you to update to the new symbol, as well as update your signage to be within compliance. Secondly, this means that it is important that your contractor is well-verse in and up-to-date on ADA regulations. They need to understand not only what these new requirements are, but also when enforcement is necessary. If your parking lot is not up to code, this can result in ADA lawsuits.
CT & EastCoat Pavement
When considering an addition, renovation, or alteration to your CT parking lot, make sure you are hiring ADA compliant contractors. Be sure they are aware of the new symbol of access, signage requirements, and all other current ADA regulations. Hiring a contractor whose knowledge on ADA compliance is out of date could lead to fines, lawsuits, and wasted money (damages and having to do the job twice). Contact EastCoat Pavement Services today for your free consultation, and feel confident in our up-to-date training and knowledge.