Also known as wheel stops or parking blocks, parking stops are parking devices that define the perimeter of a parking area and assist drivers in parking their vehicles. These are small barriers that help in preventing potential damages to a parking facility and vehicles by safeguarding against encroachment. Parking stops effectively help position and direct vehicles as they park by providing visual cues, and also by creating a barrier that helps prevent damage to the vehicle and its surroundings.
Parking stops should be used to prevent accidents and keep a parking space safe and streamlined. These traffic safety markers prevent slow moving vehicles from rolling and/or bumping into other vehicles or into structures such as posts, bollards, curbs, and even walls. These also help prevent potential injuries to pedestrians by curbing car overhangs.
Additionally, the use of wheel stops is recommended by ADA to keep accessible parking spaces safe for the disabled. These may also be a requirement under different state laws and/or local ordinances.
Since parking regulations differ across states, requirements and recommendations around parking stops also vary. However, the use of parking stops is recommended by ADA as a feature of accessible parking spaces. The ADA requires the installation of wheel stops to maintain the width of accessible routes, at aleast 36 inches, when the accessible route is situated in front of the parking space.
While parking stops are meant to enhance the safety of parking spaces, they can prove risky for pedestrians and lead to trips and falls in the parking space. However, the risk can be mitigated by taking certain precautions such as ensuring the wheel stops are properly maintained and damaged stops are repaired without delay.
Wheel stops should be placed conspicuously, marked clearly to be visible sans difficulty, and placed such that there is sufficient distance between adjacent wheel stops. It is also a good idea to secure wheel stops so they cannot be moved and cause pathway obstruction.
Parking stops should be painted in contrasting colors to be easily visible, and their width should not be more than six-feet. These should be placed right at the center of parking stalls, with three-feet of the minimum pedestrian passage left between wheel stops to allow for a convenient pathway for pedestrians.