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You might think that changing the design of your parking lot simply means altering the striping pattern for the stalls. However, there are several things that you need to consider.
- Do you want to make all of the spaces the same size? This is the common choice, but you could also set aside some spaces for subcompact cars, motorcycles or SUVs. Before choosing this option, make sure that you have a good idea of how many of each vehicle type your lot must handle; when the spaces in one area are full, drivers will likely park wherever they can — even if it requires taking two small spaces to accommodate their SUV or using only a portion of a space to park their subcompact.
- Do you want to angle the parking spaces or provide straight-in parking? Straight-in parking and parking spaces angled at 60 degrees offer the best utilization of space. However, straight-in parking requires a larger turning radius and is slightly more difficult for drivers.
- Do you want the traffic lanes to accommodate one-way or two-way traffic? Traffic lanes need to be a bit wider for two-way traffic than for one-way traffic. If you plan to use straight-in parking, you may find that the increased turning radius requires allowing more space for the traffic lanes.
- Do you have a problem with drainage? Standing water presents challenges to drivers and pedestrians, but it can also endanger the health of your pavement. When redesigning your parking lot, you might want to consider adding more storm drains or incorporating landscape islands to help collect and channel water.
- Do you know where your spaces for handicapped parking should be located? The ADA is very specific about the location, size and markings for accessible parking. The regulations specify the route between the space and the entrance to your building, including the lack of any obstructions and the width of the access path. If you hire an experienced contractor, he will advise on the best way to make your lot ADA-compliant, but do not be surprised if the new design requires adjustments to your handicapped parking.
- Do you know which type of stripes and pavement markings you want? The stripes for parking stalls can be double or single lines, open-ended or boxed. Pavement markings can be used to direct the flow of traffic, mark the areas where parking is not allowed, identify crosswalks or provide other valuable information to drivers and pedestrians.