TEXARKANA, TEX- Recent citizen concerns have led the City of Texarkana, Texas to a renewed focus on handicap accessible parking requirements for businesses within city limits. The city has organized a task force that will be canvasing the city in the next few weeks to identify parking lots that are not properly marked or that do not have sufficient parking spaces that are accessible for individuals with a disability.
According to Texarkana Texas Police Captain Michael Henry, businesses should refer to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) for regulation and placement specifications.
“Spaces must be marked with a clearly-marked sign that is posted 60 inches off the ground,” Henry said. “Paint on the concrete is helpful, but does not create a sufficient handicap parking space that we can enforce. A sign posted at least 5 feet off the ground is required. Businesses that do not have the required signage are in violation of the Texas Accessibility Standards and may be charged by the TDLR with a Class B violations. Fines can range from $1,000 to $3,000 for the first offense.”
The Texas Accessibility Standards outlines how many spaces a business is required to have, and the requirements for designation and signage. Also of note, small businesses may be exempt. Therefore, business owners are encouraged to visit the Texas Accessibility Standards at http://www.tdlr.texas.gov/ab/abtas.htm. If business owners would like to speak with city officials about needed upgrades or signage to make parking lots compliant, contact (903) 798-3116.
The city’s task force will begin identifying insufficiently marked parking lots within the next two weeks. Businesses found in violation will have an opportunity to correct the issue, but if the problem is not corrected in a timely manner those businesses will be referred to the state of Texas for enforcement.
If residents wish to file a complaint about a business who has inadequate handicap parking, visit https://www.license.state.tx.us/Complaints.
Texarkana Texas Police Department has also increased enforcement of the parking violations that are associated with handicap parking. Officers will continue to patrol parking lots and issue violation citations when appropriate.
A chart taken from the Texas Accessibility Standards is included for easy reference: