Steps To Parking Lot Design

Steps To Parking Lot Design

A lot of planning and considerations go into parking lot paving design. The best parking lot should have a smart design that makes the best use of space, meets your business’s needs, and fulfill all legal and ADA guidelines.

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If you want to know all that goes into parking lot design, then keep reading.

Identifying The Lot’s Purpose

The purpose it will serve heavily influences the design strategy of the parking lot, for example:

Parking lot size: Different facilities have different requirements – some industries have code requirements where the facility’s size determines parking. Hotels have parking spaces based on the number of rooms. Universities have more spaces than restaurants.

Pavement thickness: The thickness is influenced by the weight the asphalt will hold on a daily basis. Heavy-duty vehicles like trucks carrying shipping loads require a thicker and more stable parking lot. The traffic class and subgrade soil class, that is, the soil quality beneath the pavement, determines how thick the pavement should be to offer the highest durability.

Parking angles: The purpose of the lot also influences the angles at which the parking spaces are aligned with the driving aisles. Convenience store parking lots have a high turnover, so they require parking spots to be at angles of 45 to 60 degrees. Since parking in ninety-degree angled spaces is the most challenging, they are mostly reserved for employee or overnight parking.

Sizing And Spacing

The dimension standards for commercial parking facilities vary significantly between industries, cities, and building types.

  • Figure out the number of spaces required according to the industry or building code requirements. If you know precisely how many spaces you need to fit into the designated parking area, you will get a clearer picture of what other amenities you can accommodate and where. For example, two-way barrier gates require a lot of space, so you cannot accommodate them if you do not have ample extra space. Whatever you do, do not compromise on the number and dimensions of the parking spots.
  • Consider the reason why people are using the parking space to determine the size each space should be. For example, a grocery store parking lot needs to have wider spaces to make it easier for people carrying groceries or with trollies. The standard size for public parking spaces is nine by 19 feet, but some parking spots are reserved for particular purposes, like accessibility parking spaces.
  • Fulfill ADA parking lot guidelines set forth for accessibility spots and van-accessible spots and other parking lot features like ramps, walkways, curbs, extra access aisles between spaces, and room for additional parking barriers.
  • Consider additional functions that are required, for example, a drive-through lane, truck-loading, or special accommodations in school parking lots for drop-offs and buses.

Creating A Flow In The Layout

Various factors need to be considered to ensure optimum functionality in the parking lot design layout.

  • When it comes to space efficiency, the best option is 90 degree angled spaces, so consider designing a rectangular parking lot instead of one with an irregularly shaped one. Consider making the long sides of the parking lot parallel, with spaces lining the perimeter. Also, integrate two-way traffic lanes to make parking stalls on either side of the driving aisle more accessible.
  • Integrate helpful and lawful signage like stop signs, reserved parking, handicapped parking, speed limit markers, and pedestrian crossings in your parking lot design to reduce liability, accidents, and protect pedestrians and right-of-way. The placement of traffic signs should perfectly align with the traffic flow in the design, so they are visible to both pedestrians and drivers.
  • Aside from the necessary line striping to highlight your parking spaces, paint safety markings and indications on the pavement like access aisles and pedestrian zones. These asphalt markings need to be visible, of a different color than other markings, and of the appropriate dimensions.
  • Integrate wheelstop barriers or concrete parking barriers along the front end of parking slots to ensure that cars are situated within the spaces to prevent damage to the buildings or landscaping elements that are adjacent to the lot. Concrete perimeter curbs with appropriate ramps can be constructed around parking lots.

Markers, barriers, signs, and other features help establish boundaries to define and contain the parking lot layout. And ensure safety.

Adding Safety & Security Provisions

Apart from traffic flow, there are other things that you need to control. Make sure to address the following in your parking lot design:

Drainage provisions: An efficient drainage system should be integrated to prevent water from pooling on the pavement or in the drains and catch basins to protect the asphalt surface against water damage.

Access ramps: Elevation changes should be taken into account in the parking lot specifications to offer safety like ramps leading from the pedestrian access, lot, and shared handicapped access aisles. Ramps leading to elevated sidewalks from the pavement should be integrated into the perimeter curb design.

Lighting design: Sufficient lighting is necessary to ensure safety and functionality in the parking lot at all times. The function of lighting is to enhance visibility without causing glare or visual interference to buildings and areas adjacent to the property. Heavier lighting should be added to high traffic areas in the lot, like exits, entrances, and loading zones. To minimize glare and light pollution, use light fixtures that face downwards or angle the light’s stream as close to zero degrees as possible.

Considering Other Design Elements

Apart from the safety measures discussed above, a parking lot can feature a range of additional elements that offer functionality and aesthetic appeal.

Landscaping elements: Landscape design, for example, improve the look of the lot, define boundaries and protect the neighboring buildings from the glare of the lot’s lighting at night. However, the landscaping features like trees and plants need regular trimming and maintenance to ensure that they do not obstruct visibility or overtake the space.

Emergency call stations: When designing a lot for an institution like a university campus, add emergency call boxes in well-lit areas of the lot for improved security surveillance and quick access to authorities.

Barrier gates: Barrier gates enhance security by cutting off unauthorized access and only allowing designated people with access cards to park in that lot. They can be situated at the lot’s entrance if you have a separate exit or can be a two-way gate.

Planning For Long Run Asphalt Maintenance Solutions

An essential aspect of a parking lot design is the provision of long-term care and maintenance. Over time, a parking lot’s pavement can exhibit signs of wear, damage, and deterioration due to several factors, including extensive use, weather damage, and drainage issues.

Consult with an expert before finalizing your parking lot design for greater functionality, appeal, and aesthetics.

DG Pavement Solutions offers cost-effective, quick, and long-wearing solutions to renew commercial, residential, and industrial surfaces in Sanibel Island. Click here to get your free estimate for your parking lot.