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Thread: Pop quiz: one-way drive aisle width along drive thru

  1. #1
    Cyburbian rosierivets's avatar
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    Pop quiz: one-way drive aisle width along drive thru

    What does your code require?

    We have a situation where a fast food restaurant operator that leases space in an end unit in a strip mall wants to put a pick up window and menu board out. The pick up window would be adjacent to an 18' wide one way drive aisle and with angled parking spaces on the far side of it.



    X
    X_____/ /


    X
    X is the building wall/window location
    _____ is the 18' aisle
    / / is the angled parking bank

    Thanks!
    How about you take a gander at making an executive decision for once, huh?

  2. #2
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Our code has no standards for drive-thru design, but since all drive-thrus require special use review, we just deal with the design standards on a case-by-case basis.

    It generally works pretty good.

    As for your situation, I would make sure that the drive-thru lane does not obstruct any required drive aisle width. If it will they need to either redesign the parking/aisle module to one that accommodates the drive-thru (such as parallel, etc.) or remove the parking altogether.
    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!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    18 should be okay.

    I actually had to tangle with an FD that wanted the ability to drive a fire truck through...
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  4. #4
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    We would also regulate with design review, but our drive aisle width for angled parking is 18'. We would end up requiring 20' to ensure a fire lane since it's next to the building, but we would also push for alternative design.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    I'm still a little confused about the configuration -- is there a curb between the drive aisle and the angled parking? Is the drive aisle intended for the parking lot, too?

    We get several of these requests -- mostly from a chain with the initials DD who is interested in converting strip malls into drive-throughs. We've been somewhat succesful is saying "no" due to necessary aisle widths and stacking requirements. Ironically, we don't have any of these requirements in ordinance form...the petitioner usually tells us what is standard industry practice and our fire department won't allow less than a 12' drive aisle. We are also pretty careful not to disrupt the existing routes of circulation through a parking lot. Like Mendelman...all drive throughs are special uses, so we can beat on them to give us something acceptable.

    I call this ten pounds of sh*t in a five pound bag.

  6. #6
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Looking at your diagram again it appears that the drive aisle is not the turning aisle to/from the parking spaces, but probably a circulation drive aisle for the overall site.

    If this drive aisle is necessarily for access to the spaces, I think the drive-thru may be more acceptable, but if the use of the drive aisle for the drive-thru, which realistically/functionally would make the drive solely the drive-thru and cannot used for both.

    If the rest of the circulation system for the site could accommodate the loss of this drive aisle without adverse effects on the overall system, then the drive-thru using the drive aisle may not be a bad thing.
    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!

  7. #7
         
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    I'm concerned about the width of the driveway in relation to the angled spaces on the right. Cars in the drive-through lane could eat up as much as ten feet of that 18 feet. Add to that the guy with the Caddy who parks in an angled space and leaves his back bumper hanging one to two feet over the line, and you could end up with a situation where someone parked in an angled space has only six or seven feet clear to back out of the space.

    Strangely enough, there's a Taco Bueno here in town that has a similar arrangement, and just a few days ago, I saw a pickup truck trying to back out of a space facing that exact scenario. I watched him plow forward over the curb and shrubbery and drive through a muddy, vacant lot next door to the Bueno lot to get back to the access drive. He killed the shrubs -- probably $100 or so of damage. It's all because the drive width was entirely too narrow to accommodate parked vehicles such as his -- and, of course, his own impatience.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
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    Most standards require stacking space as well as drive-thru space for those windows, verdad?

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