How to Build a Good Parking Lot, Part 2: Design Principles

As described in our previous post, many aspects of building a parking lot circles back to its design, including choice of aggregate and equipment. In today’s post, we share insight on the key design principles of parking lots.


Parking lots can serve different purposes. Some cater to mostly family vehicles while others cater to large cargo trucks. The parking lot’s purpose inform three critical aspects of its design:

Size – A university parking lot will require more parking spaces than a restaurant or a strip mall because of the higher traffic and shorter average parking times on the latter.

Thickness – Parking lots that serve heavy vehicles like load-bearing trucks require thicker pavement.

Parking space angles – Angled parking spaces (45 to 60 degrees) are best for parking lots with high turnover like at convenience stores. For example, 90-degree spaces are more difficult to get in and out of, and are ideal for employee parking.


You have to consider the parking layout. Keeping both vehicle and pedestrian traffic in mind, it has to be balanced with space efficiency. As described above, 90-degree parking spaces are more suitable for long-term parking, but it is more space-efficient. Signage, striping and parking barriers can help ensure safety and proper parking.

Safety and Utilities

In addition to traffic flow, the following has to be controlled:

Drainage – A parking lot that lacks drainage can be prone to standing water or flooding. Therefore, proper drainage components need to be present in the parking lot design as early as possible.

Access ramps – Changes in elevation have to be accounted for in the parking lot design. Access ramps need to be placed from pedestrian access to the lot.

Lighting – Lighting fixtures in the parking lot need to provide excellent coverage with minimal glare and light pollution. Electrical lines will have to be laid under the pavement, so lighting design has to be chosen before construction begins.

Call Bonness at (239) 597-6221 for all your parking lot needs. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.