(3.5-min read)

So, you have the plans, location, and even interior design elements finished for your new commercial building project. Life is good and you’re ready to break ground. Before you go shopping for a golden shovel, there is one crucial detail you may have overlooked — where customers or workers are going to park! In this piece, we’re going to look at eight aspects to consider when designing and building your parking lot. (There are many more, but we’re keeping it to eight in this post for the sake of brevity.)

1. Is your parking lot ample?

If your parking lot can’t accommodate the customers or workers of your commercial construction project, this will put a bad taste in the mouth of visitors even before they walk through the door.

2. Are you parking spaces large enough?

Not every visitor to your new building will be driving a subcompact car, so it is important to make your spaces large enough to accommodate larger vehicles. If you have the space and are feeling generous, you may even consider providing additional space into each spot for opening doors. If you’ve ever shopped at a newer Costco store, you can attest to the downright-luxurious feel of their parking spaces.

3. Remember to leave space for loading zones.

Being that this is a commercial space, your location will be receiving shipments of assorted items. Remember to include loading zones in your parking lot design as well as a clearly marked path for delivery vehicles.

4. Does your parking lot traffic flow easily?

Even if you built in ample room for each parking space, if the flow of traffic is confined or not clearly directed, this oversight can be annoying or even dangerous for visitors. Consider having a one-way flow of traffic with an angled parking space layout to accommodate the flow of traffic within the lot.

5. Is the parking lot easily accessible to connecting streets?

The ease of access to your parking lot means that much less friction for visitors. Wide entrances and exits that connect to bordering streets can help relieve traffic headaches and make visiting your location a snap.

6. Don’t forget spots for the disabled.

Before you design any other aspect of your parking lot, determine the number of disabled parking spaces you will need. More than simply being in closer proximity to your building, you will also need to allow space for van wheelchair ramps and the like. Consult the required regulations for these spaces, but err on the side of being overly accommodating.

7. Consider the angle of the terrain.

Nobody likes parking on a slant. Not only is this annoying, but it can be dangerous in the case of a car’s parking brake failing or slipping out of gear. Keep the slant of the parking lot in mind during the design stages to make it as level as possible.

8. Consult local regulations concerning commercial parking.

This article is but an exercise in consideration. You will absolutely need to consult local regulations concerning what the required dimensions and accommodations are necessary for a parking lot. When in doubt, consult a commercial construction professional for help in designing your location’s parking lot.

Bonus: For help designing and building your commercial location’s parking lot in the Tulsa area, look no further than the commercial construction professionals at Cowen Construction.