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Thread: Parking space size restrictions in your community

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Parking space size restrictions in your community

    I'm not sure if this thread is posted in the right spot, so if it isn't, please feel free to move it...

    Over the past few years, I've noticed a decrease in the size of parking spots in several cities, particularly in new developments. In the late 90s, I remember Minneapolis shrinking the parking spots in city-owned downtown garages and allowing spots in other lots/garages to be smaller than in the past. While I understand many people on here would like to see an increase of mass transit, even in the most mass transit-oriented cities such as New York City, it's often necessary to drive your car from time to time, whether it's going out of town, going to an area without transit, visiting people, etc., so parking spots will always be a necessity, not a luxury.

    Here in SoCal, many of the new developments have spots so small that an average mid-sized sedan has no more than about a foot to open the doors -- simply not enough for most people, and certainly not for those of us over six feet in height. I've actually been in spots where people park so close on each side that I simply can't leave until someone beside me leaves -- very annoying! Another time, I was starting to crawl in through the trunk before the person to the left of my car returned and pulled out of their space.

    So, my question is... what is the requirement for minimum parking spot size, if there is any, in your community? When I lived in Colorado, county commission meetings for new developments always discussed number and size of parking spots, and those were closely monitored. I wish I could remember the exact specifications, but even the smallest spots were significantly larger than in California.

    Also, do you favor a requirement of parking garages on limited space developments in suburban areas, particularily crowded infill areas (the presumption here is mass transit is not readily available in these areas)? In other words -- areas where the size of the development (square footage) is larger than normal for a plot of land -- should parking garages be required to keep traffic jams from developing onto side roads? (something that is a common problem in SoCal).

    Thanks everyone!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    standard size space is 9' wide by 20' deep. I have seen some standards use 8.5' minimum, but I have never designed them that narrow.

  3. #3
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    9x20 is the stall size we use in our Zoning Ordinance as well.

    Edit:

    A better look at our requirements....


    Last edited by NHPlanner; 18 Jan 2006 at 9:49 AM.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  4. #4
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Our standard is 9ft by 18ft, but the depth can be reduced to 16.5ft (with overhang) and the width could be reduced to 8.5ft for low turnover spaces (such as long term employee parking, but the reduction has to be justified).
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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  5. #5
    Cyburbian IlliniPlanner's avatar
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    Our standard is 9 x 18 as well. However, we do have an allowance for parking for compact cars. Up to 25% of the total number of spaces (if parking lot has over 30 spaces total) can be set aside for compact cars, which allows an 8 x 17 space. But when it comes to parallel parking, 9 x 22 is required, regardless if it's compact or not. Personally, I do not like the allowance for compact cars and we're removing it from our revised Zoning Ordinance during our redraft. Number one, people can't park their cars in the standard-sized parking spaces without being too close to the other car and denting the door with their door. Number two, who's going to police parking lots for average-sized cars who park in the compact spaces? Then you really have problems.
    Last edited by IlliniPlanner; 18 Jan 2006 at 9:44 AM.
    One lot of redevelopment prevents a block of sprawl.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Typical for the towns in my County is 10X20 but most of them give variances for 9X20 or 9X18. I don't think a town should allow any smaller as SUVs have gotten larger and larger. Compact car spots work in theory until you get a pickup who thinks they are a Civic.
    @GigCityPlanner

  7. #7
    maudit anglais
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    Ours are currently under review: http://www.toronto.ca/zoning/parking.htm

  8. #8
    We are 10' x 20' but have granted a few as small as 8.5'x18'. To me, the overall module size is more important than the stall size. An absolute minimum of 60', better at 64', means you can get that oversized SUV backed out in a single movement, as opposed to several stop-start movements.

    We also try to blend size requirements -- using the larger spaces for those stalls likely to have the highest amount of turnover, and allowing the smaller spaces farther out in the parking field or for employee parking where turnover is, theoretically, less frequent.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian mique28's avatar
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    9.5 x 18.5 for us. Flexibility in application to request larger or smaller spaces

  10. #10
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    wow...I'm amazed by all the 10x20 replies. That seems unnecessarily large.

    Why do we make such an effort to accommodate large SUV's? That is certainly a waste of Planning effort.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker
    An absolute minimum of 60', better at 64', means you can get that oversized SUV backed out in a single movement, as opposed to several stop-start movements.
    does this include 2-20' stalls with a 20'-24' aisle between?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally posted by savemattoon
    does this include 2-20' stalls with a 20'-24' aisle between?
    Yes, 20/20/20 or 18/24/18 for 90-degree parking which is our preferred module.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  13. #13
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker
    ...18/24/18 for 90-degree parking which is our preferred module.
    Our's too. I feel that the extra space in the drive aisle is much more useful than in the parking stall.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  14. #14
    Ours is based on ITE's Traffic Engineering handbook. It is massaged from our past planning Dept's code. It is accomodating, 9 x 19 min., which still looks narrow at 90 degree parking. We try to make it wider wherever we can.

    Thread for a .pdf of our city standards for parking:

    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showt...king+resources
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 20 Jan 2006 at 8:53 AM.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
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    Thank you for all the replies. It seems there isn't a huge variance between most cities, although I was surprised at some of the small sizes in some parts of Toronto -- York, I think it was, was 2.5 meters width, which is just 8.2 feet.

    As far as the person who asked about oversized SUVs -- to me, whether or not you're in favor of huge vehicles, everyone has to understand they are out there and seemingly popular right now. Even if you drive a Honda Civic, if an H1 parks beside you in a space that's too small for the H1, it's your Civic doors that will get dented and you'll have just as much trouble getting in and out of your Civic as he/she does getting in and out of the H1.

    As far as compact spots.. I have actually seen Expeditions and H1s in compact spots out here. Apparently they are compact when compared to a space shuttle, but that's about the only vehicle that makes them appear compact. I don't think I've ever seen a ticket on one of these oversized vehicles in compact spots -- as someone said, who is going to police this?

    I'm a little curious -- the places that require larger spots, are they newer communities, more suburban in nature (lots of kids getting in and out of cars, which requires a little more room), etc.? To me, it seems the communities that boomed in the 60s and 70s are generally laid out with wider streets, larger parking spots, while in the last 10-15 years, especially in areas with high land costs, the standards have eased somewhat (or they aren't followed as closely).

  16. #16
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    we require 8.5x18.5 w/ a 24ft aisle for 90 degree parking

    my city is a mix of old, semi-dense city and low-density suburbia.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  17. #17
          quink's avatar
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    Here in Australia, I'm seeing lengths of 4.5 to 5.5 metres, with the average varying with city/country/state. Widths are mostly 2.3 to 2.7 metres, with 3m common for areas with "SUV"s. Average would be around 2.5 at shopping centres, with bigger spots common in other places.

    We've got special size spots for marinas. (Trailers) And disabled parking would be around 3.5 to 4m. This is all for 90 degrees.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blue
    So, my question is... what is the requirement for minimum parking spot size, if there is any, in your community?
    There should be NO government-mandated parking space size, nor government-mandated parking requirements, period. If one does not like the size of the parking spaces, one should not shop, work, and/or live there.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian CDT's avatar
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    Parking stall sizes

    A planning commissioner wants to change the standard size of our parking stall from 9 by 18 to 10 by 18 or 10 by 20.

    What's standard in your community?

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Jess's avatar
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    Ours is even smaller; Typical for Residential or commercial.
    1. Perpendicular of diagonal parking: 2.5Mts. (8.2') x 5Mts. (16.4')
    2. Parallel parking: 2Mts.(6.5') x 6 Mts.(19.7')

  21. #21

    See This Link

    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showt...=parking+stall
    Several cyburbians weighed in on this same question.
    Also check:
    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showt...king+resources
    for all things parking.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Go for smaller, less imprevious.

    9x18 is more than enough.

    I've seen alot of places that use 9x16 if parking is at 90 w/ grass overhang.

  23. #23
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CDT View post
    A planning commissioner wants to change the standard size of our parking stall from 9 by 18 to 10 by 18 or 10 by 20.

    What's standard in your community?
    Moderator note:
    Thread merged with older thread dealing with the same topic.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  24. #24
    Cyburbian CDT's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    We are 10' x 20' but have granted a few as small as 8.5'x18'. To me, the overall module size is more important than the stall size. An absolute minimum of 60', better at 64', means you can get that oversized SUV backed out in a single movement, as opposed to several stop-start movements.

    We also try to blend size requirements -- using the larger spaces for those stalls likely to have the highest amount of turnover, and allowing the smaller spaces farther out in the parking field or for employee parking where turnover is, theoretically, less frequent.
    What state/city is your "third cul-de-sac from the right" ??

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
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    Ours was originally 8 x 18, then went to 10 x 20 then went to 10 x 18.

    We are very satisfied with the 10 foot width, especially at grocery store lots where carts are unloaded along side of the cars. SUV's usually load at back. Angle parking provides some protection for rear loading, however I am not aware of any incidents or complaints regarding rear loading.

    There is talk about allowing the length to be reduced to 16 where there can be overhang over grass.

    Our aisles are 24 feet.

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