Creating parking lots offers unique challenges for businesses of all sizes. Some might think it’s as simple as marking a wide space with lines and calling it a day. However, designing parking lots calls for more work and planning.
If you’re looking for tips on how to design and build the perfect parking lot for your establishment, this article is for you. Read on as we cover the different aspects of parking lot design that you should consider, from the basics like the layout to the more complex aspects like safety and convenience.
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Your parking lot’s purpose will be critical in designing the space. How customers intend to use the lot will influence parking size, thickness, and angles. For instance, convenience store parking lots will differ from those intended for logistics establishments, which require long lines and thicker pavements than normal that can accommodate oversized vehicles like trucks and forklifts.
Parking angles or positions will also vary depending on use. Perpendicular parking (90-degree angle) is where drivers can enter and exit directly from the aisle. This type of parking is commonly used in parking lots with significantly vast spaces, like supermarkets and office complexes. Meanwhile, angled parking (30 to 60-degree angles) allows drivers to efficiently use the area by offering better visibility when they enter or exit the lot. This type of parking is best for smaller spaces like convenience stores and restaurants.
Moreover, you must familiarize yourself with the local regulations and guidelines of the city where you’ll establish your business. These regulations will dictate your requirements to ensure your parking lot’s compliance with local laws.
Ensure drivers won’t have difficulty navigating through your parking lot. Include signage to protect the right-of-way and pedestrians and to systematize your parking lot’s traffic flow. These vital traffic signs include stop and yield, pedestrian crossings, and direction signs.
It’s also important to include safety markings on the pavement to improve traffic flow and establish parking slots. One of the best options for pavement markings is rubber traffic paint. It offers durability, resistance to UV rays, and a quick set time. Besides marking lanes and parking slots, you must also mark handicapped or disabled parking spaces and pedestrian crossing lines.
Installing wheel barriers ensures vehicles are properly situated in the parking slots. These curb stops help protect cars, landscapes, pedestrians, and building parts adjacent to the parking lot. Concrete curbs also offer the same effect.
Some parking lots, especially big ones, have speed bumps to slow down cars once they’re inside the building’s premises. Including all these elements will ensure safety for pedestrians walking around the space and other vehicles.
Proper drainage is crucial for maintaining your parking lot. Without it, your pavement will deteriorate quickly and require frequent repairs, especially if you cater to heavy traffic.
Consider implementing a bioswale system. This system is an environmentally-friendly solution that can help manage stormwater runoff in parking lots and other paved areas. It consists of shallow, vegetated channels that collect and filter rain and excess water to help them infiltrate the ground gradually.
Enhance your parking lot’s aesthetics by incorporating greenery like flowers and trees. These elements will add beauty and breathability to your space. Plus, they will also provide practical benefits to your visitors. For instance, trees offer shade to parked vehicles during the day and lessen glare from lighting at night.
Of course, when you add these elements, maintain them well to avoid obstructing vehicles. Don’t let flowering plants go over the curb to avoid blocking pedestrians and leaving tiny scratches on the car’s paint. Plus, avoid growing fruit-bearing trees on the premises. Fruits will drop and damage parked vehicles. Some will drip sap, which can be a headache during cleaning.
Regarding lighting, including fixtures or lamp posts is excellent for providing adequate vision and comfortable travel through the parking lot, especially at night. Remove glare by facing the lights downward or close to zero degrees. Adding proper lighting will also help customers feel more secure in the area. Since they have excellent vision of the parking lot, they can detect suspicious individuals.
A well-designed parking lot brings many benefits to businesses and their customers. By considering and including factors like purpose, size, markings, and other elements, you can create a parking lot that guarantees convenience and accessibility. Always invest time and effort into the design process so you and your customers can reap the rewards of a functional and user-friendly parking space.