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Fairfax County seeks community feedback on supply of accessible parking

Spaces reserved for people with disabilities in a Centreville parking lot (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

After updating its parking standards last fall, Fairfax County is conducting an online survey seeking feedback from the community on its current supply of accessible/ADA parking spaces.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted new parking standards last September for the first time in 35 years through its Parking Reimagined initiative. Among other changes, the amendment created a tiered system for parking requirements based on a development’s density and proximity to transit.

A spokesperson with the county’s Land Development Services (LDS) says discussions about the potential impacts of the updated requirements on the supply of accessible parking prompted the board to approve a review of the standards.

“The county is analyzing whether a higher requirement to compensate for the change in baseline parking rates is appropriate and implementable,” the spokesperson told FFXnow.

Currently, accessible parking requirements are based on the overall number of spaces provided for a use, such as an apartment building, retail store or restaurant. The rates are based on federal Americans with Disabilities Act requirements as well as Virginia’s state requirements.

“Text was already added to the new requirements to preserve a stable amount of accessible parking even when general parking supply is reduced either with new parking rates or parking adjustments,” the LDS spokesperson said. “However, there was some concern that our new baseline rates would create a gap that requires less accessible parking.”

Potential changes could be broadly applied or targeted to certain circumstances. Additionally, there could be recommendations on the management of accessible spaces, such as standards for additional signage.

The online survey will be “essential in helping the department develop recommendations,” the LDS spokesperson said.

“The survey was created to get a better understanding of accessible parking experiences from those who need and use it,” they said. “From that, we can determine how we should look at potential changes to parking requirements.”

The survey is available until April 15.

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