Having lot striping performed either on a new lot or as part of a redesign is more than simply laying down some paint. It takes time and care, designing the layout of your parking lot to maximize available space while providing your customers with a safe and comfortable environment. You’ll also have to decide: should you have angled or straight parking spots? What are the pros and cons of each and what should you consider when choosing which layout is right for you?

Straight Parking: Simplicity, Accessibility, and Ease of Use

Perpendicular 90 degree parking, otherwise known as straight parking, is the standard option for a parking lot. Choosing a 90 degree layout ensures that your customers will most likely be familiar with the flow of your lot. These layouts are also simple to design for maximum accessibility. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards, accessible parking spaces must be at least 96 inches wide, and include an access aisle at least 60 inches wide, which is at least as long as the parking space. These requirements are easy to meet when all parking spaces are straight, as opposed to losing valuable space when spaces are situated at an angle. However, straight parking necessitates a bigger lot, since vehicles will be traveling in both directions and will need more space to maneuver.

Angled Parking: An Appealing Alternative

Angled parking lots provide an appealing alternative to 90 degree straight lots. Common parking angles are 45 degrees and 60 degrees, which may actually save space. According to David Percy, a professor of mathematics at the University of Salford, these angled parking lots are a better use of space than straight lots. He argues that situating parking spots at a 45 degree angle leads to an efficiency savings of 23%, because cars need to change their angle much less than in a straight lot. Percy also recommends that lots have as many entrances and exits as possible to alleviate any traffic delays during busy times. Additionally, in angled parking lots, vehicles generally only travel in one direction, creating a one-way traffic flow which may minimize the possibility of head-on collisions.

Of course, make sure to consider the size of your lot when coming to a decision. An angled layout may be perfect for a small lot, or a business where customers may only stay for a short period of time and leave quickly, such as a pharmacy, convenience store, or fast food restaurant. However, angled parking isn’t perfect. Drivers who aren’t used to parking on an angle may take more time to pull into or back out of the spot, or struggle with parking their car between the lines.

No matter which lot layout you choose, A1 Professional Asphalt is here for you. We provide new pavement striping and re-striping on asphalt and concrete lots with our top-of-the-line striping equipment, including Graco Stripers. We are proud to be a family-owned business serving the greater St. Louis area. Contact us today for an estimate.