Parking Lot Contractor “Marks” Best Ways to Maximize Square Footage

How and how well your parking lot is marked or striped factors in to how well your lot’s square footage is maximized. Your parking lot contractor should include a marking strategy from the beginning rather than an as an afterthought. That marking plan should consider three factors.

1. Does the stripe pattern indicate thoughtfulness?
Parking lot contractors walk a fine line between maximizing the number of parking spaces available compared to the occupancy number of the property. Each state has its own laws that dictate the lot to tenant ratio. Your parking lot contractor should be familiar with local zoning laws to avoid fines and the expense of re-striping for compliance.

The formula used to determine the number of parking spots available in a lot to the square footage of building space is called parking ratio. Cities and municipalities have ratio requirements to ensure adequate parking space and safety for workers and guests. The requirements vary by property type. Thus, a retail building will generally have a higher parking ratio than a commercial office. For example, a general manufacturing plant may require only two or three spaces per 1,000 square feet, but an office building could require five or six spaces.

As an example calculation: a 40,000 square foot office building with 180 parking spaces has a parking ratio of 4.5 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft.

For residential properties, requirements are based on the number of staff and visitors they need to accommodate at the building. In some cases or areas, more parking is desirable in order to charge a higher rent.

Also, just because the law states a number, the driver’s experience must be kept in mind. Maximizing space isn’t the same as cramming as many spots in a parking lot as possible. Drivers appreciate a “buffer zone” around their cars, which makes lots easier to navigate and could reduce the number of accidents.

2. Do the spaces help, not hinder, traffic flow?
Parking lot space layout affects traffic flow.

  • Straight-in and 90-degree angled parking spaces result in the greatest number of stalls.
  • Drivers consider angled spots to be more manageable in terms of ease of use, as well as allowing for one-way (narrower) traffic lanes.
  • Loading and unloading, pickup zones, crosswalks and handicap spaces or areas affect your total number of spaces available, but are important to include whenever called for.

McConnell & Associates’ parking lot contractors keep the above in mind, using this knowledge to enhance traffic flow and increase drivers’ visibility to help prevent frustration and fender benders.

3. Are the correct number of handicap spaces in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act?
The Americans with Disabilities Act specifies the appropriate number of handicapped-accessible parking stalls and van parking spaces. The measurements for these spots are precise and important to follow to avoid compliance issues. If precision striping is important anywhere, it’s in these areas to keep them open and available to those who need them most. Our parking lot contractors know the ADA regulations and plan for these spots first.

4. Re-striping should be done every other year at minimum.
Scheduled re-striping not only helps direct and manage traffic flow, minimizes risk of accidents and injuries, and keeps you in compliance with ADA, it also creates a better experience for those using your parking lot. Well defined stripes improve your lot’s appearance and the impression your business makes. Our parking lot contractors recommend that re-striping your lot at least every two years. It should be done annually for even better curb appeal, since Midwest weather and heavy use can take their toll on appearance.

One of the first things customers and visitors notice about a facility is the parking lot. The color contrast of a newly striped lot is attractive and a good indication that the property owner emphasizes maintenance. Our parking lot contractors can tailor your parking lot to your business’ needs and make sure you’re maximizing the available space, striping for efficient traffic flow and more. Striping is just one part of our overall maintenance program.

Is your parking lot is up to par with these standards? Contact us today to schedule a free estimate.