Making Public Accommodations At Gas Stations Accessible
The ADA’s regulations and the ADA Accessible Design Standards, originally published in 1991, set the standard for what makes a facility accessible. While the updated 2010 ADA Accessible Design Standards retain many of the original provisions in the 1991 Standards, they do contain some significant differences. These standards are the key for determining if a small business’s facilities are accessible under the ADA. However, they are used differently depending on whether a small business is altering an existing building, building a brand new facility, or removing architectural barriers that have existed for years. Which ADA Accessibility Design Standards Apply?
Existing Facilities - If your business was in operation before January 26, 1993 then you need only remove existing barriers. If you are in compliance with 1991 ADA Accessible Design Standards before March 15, 2012 then you need do nothing. If you alter an element after March 15, 2012, you must comply with 2010 ADA Accessible Design Standards to the maximum extent feasible for any element undergoing alternation. New Construction – All new construction commenced after September 15, 2010 may meet either 1991 ADA Design Standards or 2010 ADA Accessibility Design Standards.
New Construction – All new construction commenced after March 15, 2012 must comply with 2010 ADA Accessibility Design Standards. Accessibility Design Standards for Existing Facilities If your business facility was built or altered in the past 20 years in compliance with the 1991 Standards, or you removed barriers to specific elements in compliance with those Standards, you do not have to make further modifications to those elements—even if the new standards have different requirements for them—to comply with the 2010 Standards. This is called the "safe harbor" provision and it applies on an element-by-element basis . The following examples illustrate how the safe harbor applies: Dispenser Nozzles - The 2010 Standards lower the mounting height for dispenser nozzles from 54 inches to 48 inches. If your nozzles are already installed at 54 inches in compliance with the 1991 Standards, you are not required to lower them to 48 inches.
ATM Machines - The 2010 Standards contain new requirements for the input, numeric, and function keys (e.g. "enter," "clear," and "correct") on automatic teller machine (ATM) keypads. If an existing ATM complies with the 1991 Standards, no further modifications are required to the keypad. Alterations Require Compliance with 2010 Design Standards Whenever a business chooses to alter an element that was in compliance with the 1991 Standard, the safe harbor protection no longer applies to that specific element and must now meet 2010 Standard. All other elements not altered remain protected under the safe harbor provision and need only comply with the 1991 Standard.