4 Considerations Before You Create a Parking Lot

Planning to create a parking lot may seem like a straightforward task, but the reality is that it involves careful thought and consideration. If you want to build a parking lot for a commercial establishment, making informed decisions during the planning phase will significantly impact its functionality, efficiency, and overall success. Here are four key factors you must contemplate before you settle on a parking lot design.

  1. Purpose

Planning a parking lot requires contemplation of who will use the lot and for how long. The users could be customers, overnight guests, or employees. The width and depth of the asphalt, as well as the slants of the parking spaces, are additional factors to think about.

The International Building Code provides some baseline standards for the minimum number of parking spots required for each business. Your lot should have at least three parking spots for every 1,000 square feet of retail space, at least one spot for every guest room, and at least five spots for staff. All parking spots for people with physical disabilities should be near the building.

The most efficient design for a parking lot includes long, parallel sides, stalls along the edges, and traffic lanes between the rows of stalls. For convenience and security, you should also consider how people enter and leave the parking lot.

The thickness of a parking lot’s pavement will depend on its load-bearing capacity and the soil type beneath it. Meanwhile, lots with significant turnover, like those at convenience stores or retail outlets, should have parking slot angles between 45 and 60 degrees. Late-night parking and employee parking can use right-angle slots.

  1. Layout

You must prioritize security and efficiency when planning a parking lot’s layout. Position the lot’s right-angle parking spots on the interior to facilitate two-way traffic. Additional pedestrian walkways connecting the lot’s perimeter to the parking space are also helpful in separating vehicles from walkers.

You can keep parking lot traffic moving smoothly and safely with the help of well-placed and well-marked traffic lanes. You can also include speed limit indicators, yield signs, and stop signs.

Remember that accessible parking spots, van parking spots, and other designated parking zones require clear demarcation. You can clearly define parking spaces and pedestrian walkways with white lines painted on the ground.

Wheelstop barriers in front of every slot and concrete curbs around the lot’s perimeter can help keep vehicles safely parked in their designated areas. The curbs should feature the appropriate ramps to make them wheelchair accessible.

  1. Drainage and Lighting

The longevity of the parking lot or another paved surface depends largely on its drainage system. Proper drainage can prevent water from seeping through the pavement and weakening the soil and foundation below.

Your contractor can slope the pavement surface, place inlets and catch basins where necessary, and consider the underlying soil type and groundwater conditions to avoid water pooling at the pavement’s edge.

A parking lot must also have adequate illumination. It must be bright enough to see your way around the parking lot safely but not so bright that it shines into neighboring businesses or homes. Areas with a lot of foot activity, like entrances, exits, and loading docks, require brighter lighting.

  1. Future Maintenance

Your parking lot will require regular maintenance to stay pristine throughout its lifespan. Apply sealcoating to your parking lot every two to three years to keep it pristine and protect the surface. To prevent additional damage from water infiltration, seal fractures in the asphalt surface with a suitable sealant as soon as they appear.

Mill the edges of curb and gutter parking lots for optimal surface drainage. Also, constantly restripe the parking lot lines to ensure the lot remains regulated and safe for drivers. This repainting will give drivers a solid standard by which to navigate and park.

Contact us at Pinnacle Paving & Sealing for asphalt pavement and other asphalt construction needs.

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