Parking Lot Design Considerations

Parking Lot DesignAre you considering the development of a new parking lot or remodeling an existing parking space?  The primary objective of parking lot design is to provide safe and efficient vehicle access to parking stalls that serve businesses, commuter lots and residential facilities.  For commuter and business lots, the design must consider the use of the pavement by buses, trucks and other heavy vehicles. There are different configurations for parking lot layouts.

The primary consideration should be providing the maximum convenient parking capacity with the best use of available space. The following guidelines should provide optimum use of available parking area:

  • Use rectangular areas.
  • Make the parking area’s long sides parallel.
  • Use parking stalls along the perimeter.
  • Use traffic lanes that serve two rows of stalls.

Consideration should be given to the flow of traffic into and out of the area as well as within it. For safety and convenience, pedestrian traffic must also be taken into account when planning. It should be noted that handicapped parking areas must also be provided at a location closest to the facility. For specific requirements related to handicapped parking areas, visit your state resources.

Depending on the dimensions, it may be most efficient to incorporate angled parking. There are three basic parking angles used for the rows of parking area stalls. Sixty degrees (60°) is the most common stall angle because it permits reasonable traffic lane widths and is easy to enter and back out of. In tight places, the forty-five degree (45°) stall is sometimes preferred. The small change in angle permits the use of narrower aisles. On the other hand, the ninety degree (90°) angle achieves the highest car capacity. This type parking is more suited to all-day parking (such as employee parking) because it has the highest degree of difficulty for entering and leaving parking stalls. It is generally not preferred for “in and out” lots such as fast food restaurants and banks.

Are parking lot wheel stops or parking blocks needed?

Parking wheel blocks allow cars to safely pull into a parking spot without advancing too far forward.  The wheel stop will gently let the driver know they have reached the maximum depth of the parking space. It helps prevent fender benders or drive through accidents. They are often used against the side of buildings to prevent a vehicle from inadvertently hitting the gas and ramming into the building.

Are drop-off locations necessary?

Will there be a bus lane or drop-off point for passengers? If so you may need speed bumps and traffic signs. You may want to consider portable traffic signs which can be moved and changed easily. Pedestrian walkways may also require proper signage and crossing areas. Speed bumps are an effective way to reduce the speed of through-traffic.

No matter what type of parking lot you are designing, Parking Lot Safety Products has all the proper equipment and signage you need. All of our products are American-made of recycled rubber.