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10 Mistakes To Avoid In Parking Lot Layout Design

Key Takeaways

  1. Parking lot layout design should consider the property’s size, and what types of vehicles will be using it.
  2. Parking lots should be designed with safety in mind, including good lighting, clearly marked speed limits, and proper road signage.
  3. All parking spaces should be aligned for easy entry and exit, with enough room between cars for people to move around safely.
  4. The design should also include pedestrian-friendly access points like sidewalks, ramps, and handrails.
  5. The parking lot must meet ADA compliance standards to be accessible to all.
  6. Adequate signage is essential to help drivers understand the parking lot layout and find their way around easily.
  7. Walkways throughout the parking lot should be well-defined and illuminated for safety purposes.

As a commercial property owner, it’s essential to understand the significance of a parking lot for your property. The right parking lot design and layout help ensure that your customers can easily find and access your business.

A well-maintained and inviting parking lot is the first thing people see while visiting your commercial property. It’s also one of the most critical factors in their decision to stay or leave. If you get the design wrong, you could face many problems – traffic jams and frustrated customers.

Atkins Paving wants to keep you aware of common mistakes people make in parking lot design and how to avoid them.

Parking Lot Layout Pitfalls- What to Avoid and How to Solve it

1. Not Providing Sufficient Parking Space

Always design your parking lot with customers in mind. There should be plenty of space for them to park without any trouble. Trying to decrease space to add more parking spots can lead to frustration from visitors and possibly cause damage to their vehicles.


Design your parking lot with the types of vehicles in mind that will be using it—for example, cars or pickups. Remember that standard parking spot dimensions should be 9 x 19 ft minimum.

Also, consider future expansion so that if your business grows, you won’t need to revamp the entire layout constantly. Consult with a professional contractor to ensure you build your parking lot correctly.

2. Ignoring Safety

Another mistake property owners make is ignoring safety while designing parking lot layouts. According to reports, approximately 500 people die, and 60,000 more are injured yearly from car crashes in parking lots. It is due to not considering adding safety features like signage and lighting.


Parking lots should be designed with consideration for the safety of drivers and pedestrians. There should be good lighting, clearly marked speed limits, and proper road signage to alert drivers to any potential hazards or changes in direction. Also, make sure there’s enough space between vehicles so that drivers can move around safely without risk of collisions.

3. Not Considering Parking Space Orientation

When laying out a commercial parking lot, it is crucial to consider each space’s orientation. In some cases, even a small amount of misalignment can lead to issues with drivers getting stuck in tight spots or having difficulty backing out of their spaces.


All parking spaces should be aligned for easy entry and exit. It’s also essential to provide enough room between cars so people can move through the spaces without feeling uncomfortable.

4. Ignoring Pedestrian Accessibility

Commercial parking lots are often designed with just vehicles in mind. It means they do not have the necessary walkways or ramps for pedestrians who need access to buildings nearby. It can create dangerous situations when people cross paths with cars trying to navigate the lot.


Consider sidewalks, ramps, and other pedestrian-friendly access points when designing a parking lot. It will help people move around safely and efficiently without having to dodge vehicles.

5. Failing to Meet ADA Compliance

The Americans with Disabilities Act was implemented to ensure everyone can access public spaces and services. Parking lots must also adhere to ADA standards, including providing disabled-accessible parking spots with wider aisles, ramps, and handrails for support. Failing to meet ADA compliance can result in you paying hefty fines.


Consult with local professional contractors on ADA compliance before designing a parking lot. They can help you plan the layout by current regulations and ensure your property is accessible to all.


Related: How Do I Make My Asphalt Parking Lot ADA Compliant On A Budget?

6. Inadequate Signage

Good signage is essential when designing an efficient parking lot layout. It shows drivers where they are allowed to park and how many spaces are available, and it can also be used for directional purposes.


Include plenty of signs in your design plans – from “No Parking” signs to directional arrows that point drivers in the right direction. It will ensure that people understand your parking lot layout and can easily find their way around.

7. Poorly Defined Walkways

It is vital to create clear pathways throughout your commercial parking lot. Not only will this make it easier for drivers to locate their vehicles. But it will also keep pedestrians safe by providing them with a defined path to walk on. Discuss with professional contractors to design efficient pedestrian walkways while designing parking lot layouts.


Pavement marking and signage should designate walkways, so everyone knows where they are allowed to go. Consider adding street lights or other forms of lighting to help illuminate these pathways during nighttime.

8. Poorly Designed Exits and Entrances

Exits and entrances are one of the most important aspects of a parking lot design. Poorly designed or located exits can create traffic jams, leading to customer dissatisfaction and potentially dangerous situations.


Keep exit and entrance points away from busy intersections. Additionally, make sure there is clear signage indicating which direction vehicles should be entering or exiting. It will help reduce driver confusion and ultimately keep traffic flowing smoothly.

9. Inadequate Security Features

Commercial Parking lots with inadequate security features can leave customers feeling vulnerable or uneasy when they visit your store or business. It’s essential to take steps to ensure that everyone feels safe while on your property, even if it’s in an outdoor parking lot.


Many businesses have adopted the installation of security cameras and motion-sensing lighting systems to help improve security in their parking lots. Additionally, adding a guard kiosk or regular patrol around the lot can help customers feel safer while parked.

10. Poor Illumination

Poorly lit parking lots are dangerous for drivers and can also be an invitation for crime within your property. Without adequate illumination, it’s difficult to monitor activities occurring within the area, making it easier for vandalism and other criminal acts to occur without detection.


Improving the lighting in your parking lot is one of the easiest ways to reduce potential security risks. Replace outdated bulbs with high-efficiency LED lighting, as they are more cost-effective and provide superior brightness levels. A well-lit parking lot is also beneficial for customers returning to their vehicles late in the evening or early in the morning.


Designing an adequate parking lot requires careful consideration of various factors. It’s essential to plan the layout carefully, consider your customers’ safety and security needs, and ensure adequate illumination. By avoiding these ten common mistakes, commercial property owners can create a functional and aesthetically-pleasing parking lot that will provide safer and smoother traffic flow.

Atkins Paving is the best company to call for all your parking lot paving needs in Charleston, SC. Our services include parking lot design, implementation, and maintenance. We’re proud to have a team of skilled professionals who use only the highest-quality materials. With us, you can be sure that your parking lot will look aesthetically pleasing and up to code.

Contact us today and get a free quote.