Best Practices for Asphalt Parking Lot Design

Best Practices for Asphalt Parking Lot Design

Best Practices for Asphalt Parking Lot Design, cape cod pavingThe design of your parking lot can help or hurt your business. Customers, tenants or employees who must navigate a poorly designed lot may become frustrated and annoyed. A bad design can also affect the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, lead to an increase in the number of vehicles suffering minor damages or negatively impact the pavement’s life. Furthermore, a poor design could inadvertently violate the laws covering accessible parking for the disabled. Although you can correct many issues when it is time to apply new pavement markings and stripes, you and your paving contractor may need to address other problems before the installation of the pavement.

Best Practices for Asphalt Parking Lot Design

Who Will Your Parking Lot Serve?

Vehicle weight is a critical factor in the design of a parking lot. If tractor-trailers will drive across or park on your pavement, the asphalt will need to be thicker than you would need to install if the lot will serve only passenger vehicles. If the pavement is too thin to support heavy vehicles, it will require frequent repairs and have a shorter life. However, if you install pavement that is thicker than you need, you could be wasting your money.

The purpose of the parking lot also affects its overall layout and striping. Factors you should consider include the expected length of time that a driver will need to park in your lot, the location of accessible entrances to your building and regulations that cover certain establishments. For example, parking spaces in front of a convenience store will typically have a high turnover rate, so angled parking is often an excellent option. Head-in or perpendicular parking spaces are more challenging for drivers, so they may be more suitable for employees or others who will be unlikely to move their vehicles for several hours. Regulations for accessible parking spaces require that you locate them as close as possible to an accessible entrance. Local codes may dictate the number and type of parking spaces that certain businesses must provide.

How Can You Maximize the Number of Parking Spaces in Your Lot?

As a rule, you can fit more perpendicular than angled parking spaces into the same area. However, perpendicular parking spaces require a greater turning radius for the vehicles, so the traffic lanes will need to be wider. Most lots that utilize perpendicular parking spaces have lanes that allow two-way traffic. One-way traffic lanes take less space, but they are typically unsuitable for parking spaces that have a parking angle of less than 45 degrees. Many experts claim that parking lots with spaces angled at 45 degrees are safer and more efficient. Before you decide on the parking angle, however, you might want to subtract the area that you will need to devote to accessible parking spaces, landscaping, cart corrals, lighting poles, fire lanes or other amenities.

How Should Traffic Flow Through a Parking Lot?

The flow of traffic will depend primarily on the parking angle and the available space as well as the location of accessible spaces and building entrances. You should also consider the location of the driveways that connect your parking lot to public streets. Visualize the paths that you expect most drivers will follow. For example, many drivers will look for the shortest route between the driveway and the building’s main entrance, so the location of this entrance relative to the position of the driveway can determine whether more drivers will turn left or right. Visualizing the flow of traffic can also help you choose the traffic signs and pavement markings you will need to create a safe, orderly environment.

How Can Dirtworks Help?

Dirtworks is an asphalt contractor, and we have been paving in Cape Cod and Southwestern Massachusetts for more than 20 years. Dirtworks specializes in asphalt driveway and commercial paving and provides quality work at competitive prices. We offer asphalt paving, site work, asphalt repairs, parking lot striping, sealcoating, asphalt milling and various other services to homeowners, subdivisions, office parks, municipalities, religious institutions, restaurants, hotels, apartment complexes, health care facilities and schools. To request a free quote, call 508-240-5541 or submit our online form.

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