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Parking lot much space

ponytl's picture

try'n to do some layouts... searched the web... but didn't find any rule of thumb

how much space to pave behind a parking spot that people will have to back into so that they can back out/pull in to a normal parking space....  and... if it's all one way if you angle the spaces how much less space does it require.... and how wide & deep is the most common parking space....  (i know there are huge suvs  but they'll have to park somewhere else) :)

thanks in advance as always... this is where i go for info that matters


(post #76386, reply #1 of 14)

I don't have an answer, but I know where to find it - the Architectural standards book has data on this type of thing.  I don't have a copy with me.


Treat every person you meet like you will know them the rest of your life - you just might!
Treat every person you meet like you will know them the rest of your life - you just might!

(post #76386, reply #2 of 14)

For the width, paint the line just outside of plumb down from my 3/4 ton van mirrors, and you'll be right up there with the others in spacious parking.

A great place for Information, Comraderie, and a sucker punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


(post #76386, reply #3 of 14)

If I remember right  standard spot was 9x18 or 9x20. But it seems most spots are smaller now to fit all cars but my F250.




Headstrong, I'll take on anyone!

(post #76386, reply #4 of 14)

First, check your local zoning code, because the size of the space and turn arounds is always dictated for commercial properties, sometimes for residential. It varied between municipalities

For most zoning codes, a space is between 8'-6 and 9' wide, and usually 18' long. (handicap spaces are bigger, obviously.)  Some older codes, the space is 10' wide by 20' long. The space you need to back straight out and turn is 40' total from the front of the space. So if the space is 20', you need a 20' aisle, if it is 18',you need a 22' aisle.

If the space is angled, you need less space, but unless you are doing multiple rows of parking, there is no savings because of the diagonal of the space being longer.

We usually plan on 35' minimum for a person to back out of a garage. That's from te garage door.  This allows you to pull out and then back up a drive.

(post #76386, reply #5 of 14)

Second the Architectural Graphic Standards.  Also Landscape/Site Planning Time Saver Standards.  The reference section of your local library might have one/both of these.

Check with your local zoning code also.  They'll have the final say for dimensions, # of spaces per unit, etc..

For rough estimates 9'-0"x 18'-0" per space is a minimum.  I usually use 10'-0" wide road lanes just to make things easy.  If you're backing straight out, 20'-0" is a good distance.  Once you get into angled parking, loading zones, handicapped spaces, etc., it helps to have one of the above references.


(post #76386, reply #6 of 14)

Architectural Graphic Standards... almost any edition.. has some great  information on parking lot layout and turning radii

makes you wonder how most parking lots really got designed...

Mike Smith Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

Mike Smith Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore


(post #76386, reply #7 of 14)

Around here, local minimums are 9'x20' (10'X20' preferred) with 20' aisles. I won't do a parking lot with 9'X20' unless I'm planning some compact spots. I have enough problems with my F350 in 10'X20'.


J.R. Lazaro Builders, Inc.

Indianapolis, In.



J.R. Lazaro Builders, Inc.

Indianapolis, In.

“You can either wait for the storm to pass, or you can learn to dance in the rain.”

"I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office."—Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

(post #76386, reply #8 of 14)

thanks all....  i did use 20ft for the space and 20ft  to back out....  i have a 40ft x 100 ft metal parking building i took down a few years ago...  so that will eat up 80 x 120 min.... and i should get  20-22 covered spaces out of it... depending on how the post lay out...

thanks again



(post #76386, reply #9 of 14)

Check with the city, they may have rules you don't want to hear about.

I was designing a building with parking & landscaping in Costa Mesa CA.

Size of building dictates number of spaces, a % of the size of lot dictates square feet of landscaping required.

Number of parking spaces, something like 1 for 8 is handicapped space that is almost 2 spaces.

This gets into Rocket Science as you try to juggle the spaces vs handicapped vs landscape vs building size.

Building keeps shrinking as parking demands more space.

What a load of crap with land in the $100,000s per acre.

Joe H

(post #76386, reply #10 of 14)

i'm lucky in that i'm in a historic area... i'm required to have zero parking... all i have to show is that their is parking in the area... i can even count the space for rent in the mini storage that near me...  my next issue to face will be in just about all the condo conversions around me if you want a covered or any space for that matter it's an extra that you purchase with a seperate deed...


(post #76386, reply #11 of 14)

Check with the local AHJ.  Around here, spaces have to be 180 sq. ft.  which equates to 9 x 20 or 10 x 18.  One town wants 10 x 20.  Minimum drive (aisle) width for two-way traffic is 24'.  It starts getting complicated when you go to angled parking.

The other things to consider are local landscape ordinances (strictly enforced in parking lots in this area), lighting, and snow removal.



(post #76386, reply #12 of 14)

Those SUV's are gonna cause you no end of grief, then. 

One of the most dangerous places you can be in is between a parking place near a door (probably marked Compact) and a soccer mom in a fully tricked out Expedition.  Add in another soccer mom in a Chevy Tahoe and you've set the stage for a scene like yesterday's Daytona 500 finish - lol

Those SUV's (and my standard size pickup) aren't going to tolerate being relegated to the far reaches of the parking lot.  Do yourself a favor and look up the turning radius of a standard size sedan.  They're gonna park there anyway, so you'll do everyone a favor if they can get out of the parking space without a lot of back and forth. - lol

(post #76386, reply #13 of 14)

I agree that you should check with the city. Around here the size of the lot depends on the size of the building. The bigger the building the bigger the lot. Also be concerned about snow removal. Not just big enough to get equipment in but think about where snow will be piled. You don't want to be piling your snow on the grass for example. Blades tend to rip up sod like a knife through butter. Also if snow needs to be removed think about where a dump truck will need to be parked. If my trucked needs to be parked on the street to do removal I charge more.

(post #76386, reply #14 of 14)

Pony, this may or not help, but there is a very good FHB article on residential driveway design, with turning radius info/drawings.

Sept. 1998 FHB#118, pp.60-67.