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Thread: Parking dimensions for micro-cars

  1. #1

    Parking dimensions for micro-cars

    I've looked around and couldn't find much on parking stall dimensions for micro-cars (Smarts, and other similar vehicles).

    I have a fast food joint that's going to whack a bunch of existing spaces as a result of some site work. I'm thinking there might be an opportunity to accommodate micros, motorcycles/scooters, but haven't seen anything.

    What you got, throbbing brain?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I would probably stay away from it, only because I have seen too many SUV's parked in "compact car" stalls to trust that they would not be abused.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Tobinn's avatar
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    I've seen compact car space requirements but, as mentioned, who enforces who parks in them? Nowadays it seems that "compact" is in the eye of the beholder.

    Gee, my H3 is smaller than a standard Hummer so I must have the "compact" version so that "compact" space must be for me. Now, where's my shoehorn?
    At times like this, you have to ask yourself, "WWJDD?"
    (What Would Jimmy Durante Do?)

  4. #4
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    I would probably stay away from it, only because I have seen too many SUV's parked in "compact car" stalls to trust that they would not be abused.
    This. Compact car spaces were a product of the 1970s, and as others mentioned, there was nothing stopping someone with a larger car from squeezing into one of them.

    The number of parking stall categories seems to grow every year; handicap spaces, employee of the month spaces, police-only spaces, pregnant/mommy spaces, elderly spaces, valet spaces, and so on. Why make it even more confusing?
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Gedunker, you're too far ahead of your time. Neighborhood Electric Vehicles need to be a part of our future, especially because of their limited range. So, I would use bollards of some sort to control access, myself.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Ultimately cars will not be micro sized. Smarts and Minis get no better gas mileage than a Prius. Next to bat is the Volt which will blow the Prius out of the water when it comes to efficiency.

    In about seven years the technology will place these hybrid cars where they will compete dollar for dollar with the diesels.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    9 x 18. Period.

    I've designed parking lots before, including ones for stalls much bigger than the standard space for vehicles. You have to account for a myriad of factors including drive aisles, gutter pans, turn radii, aisle widths, parking lot islands, intersection visibility. Yes, smaller parking spaces are feasible, but it would take some getting used to. LEED-NC awards points on project certifications for giving HOVs preferred parking spaces closest to buildings (as well as on-site charging stations for electronic cars) but it's an incentive not a design standard.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

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  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    I suggest looking at Celebration, Florida.

    They have parking spots designed for NEVs and other small cars, ONLY.

    Picture:
    http://66.230.220.70/images/post/celebration/09.jpg

    Motorcycle spaces are much more common, and found in cities like Boston and San Francisco.

    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    Ultimately cars will not be micro sized. Smarts and Minis get no better gas mileage than a Prius. Next to bat is the Volt which will blow the Prius out of the water when it comes to efficiency.

    In about seven years the technology will place these hybrid cars where they will compete dollar for dollar with the diesels.

    You know what would be more efficient than a Volt?

    A Volt the size of a Smart.

    Don't pretent that size and weight have nothing to do with efficiency.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jass View post
    IYou know what would be more efficient than a Volt?

    A Volt the size of a Smart.

    Don't pretent that size and weight have nothing to do with efficiency.
    NEVs are toys for rich senior citizens who live in places like Phoenix's walled off subdivisions and only have to go a block to the grocery store or to thier buddy's trailer on the other side of the senior's only development. Something like that would not sell well in Chicago where it is cold and car theft occurs.

    Don't pretend that a large percentage of the population are going to actually want to drive cars the size of a Smart. These are cars for commuting, I'd rather live closer to work and take the bus. A Smart-sized car would never be able to fit the batteries, electric engine, gasoline engine, fuel tank and AC/DC converters without becomming the size of a Volt. Remember how tiny and fuel efficient Honda Civics used to be? The market segment for B-sized cars is not large.

    The reason why the market segment is so small is because the laws of physics make them unsafe and a person with a child to carry cannot use one without breaking child safety laws in most states.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  10. #10
    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    Don't pretend that a large percentage of the population are going to actually want to drive cars the size of a Smart. These are cars for commuting, I'd rather live closer to work and take the bus.
    I see Smart cars every once in a while, and I can't believe people bothered to buy them, seeing as a basic Smart ForTwo costs about $14,500 with normal-person options (like air conditioning and a radio) and a twice-the-size Ford Fiesta costs about $16,000 with similar/better options plus it gets similar gas mileage (EPA 41 Highway for the Smart vs. 38 for the Festiva) without requiring the premium gas that the Smart needs.

    Smart cars are flash-in-the-pan accessories for people who want to present a certain face to the world. They will go the way of the Messerschmitt Kabinenroller and the Nash Metropolitan. Small cars are more efficient than large ones, but there is a lower bound for efficiency. Once you cross that line, making a car smaller doesn't make it more efficient, just smaller.

    So, short answer, I don't see the need to cater to a niche product like a microcar. I don't think they'll have much effect on our parking habits.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    NEVs are toys for rich senior citizens who live in places like Phoenix's walled off subdivisions and only have to go a block to the grocery store or to thier buddy's trailer on the other side of the senior's only development. Something like that would not sell well in Chicago where it is cold and car theft occurs.

    Don't pretend that a large percentage of the population are going to actually want to drive cars the size of a Smart. These are cars for commuting, I'd rather live closer to work and take the bus. A Smart-sized car would never be able to fit the batteries, electric engine, gasoline engine, fuel tank and AC/DC converters without becomming the size of a Volt. Remember how tiny and fuel efficient Honda Civics used to be? The market segment for B-sized cars is not large.

    The reason why the market segment is so small is because the laws of physics make them unsafe and a person with a child to carry cannot use one without breaking child safety laws in most states.
    An N.E.V. can only be operated on thoroughfares with speed limits lower than 35 m.p.h., which is ideal for urban environments. But, the vehicles can also be operated on bikeways.









    N.E.V.'s have the best application in expanding pedestrian-sheds around transit stations. If pedestrians live within a half-mile radius and cyclists live within a mile radius, N.E.V. users can live within a three-mile radius.


  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by JimPlans View post
    I see Smart cars every once in a while, and I can't believe people bothered to buy them, seeing as a basic Smart ForTwo costs about $14,500 with normal-person options (like air conditioning and a radio) and a twice-the-size Ford Fiesta costs about $16,000 with similar/better options plus it gets similar gas mileage (EPA 41 Highway for the Smart vs. 38 for the Festiva) without requiring the premium gas that the Smart needs.
    I see LEXUS cars every once in a while, and I can't believe people bothered to buy them, seeing as a basic Toyota costs about $14,500 with normal-person options (like air conditioning and a radio) and a similar size Lexus costs about $36,000 with similar/better options plus it gets similar gas mileage


    People purchase their automobile for a variety of reasons. I have no idea why anyone would buy a lexus, which is a toyota with more leather, but people spend twice as much to do so.

    And I don't buy the argument that people don't like small cars. They have people in europe and asian and south america too, and they buy small cars. "But we're america, we're different". Except no, we're really not. The argument that "we're x not y" is extremely cheap.


    Anyway, the original question was about how to design a parking lot for motorcycles and small vehicles. It is entirely possible that the location of this fast food restaurant is in a community where NEVs are all the rage.

    So instead of offering opinions on what people will and will not purchase, why not answer the question posted? The fact is, parking spaces for NEVs exist (as I linked above) and spots for motorcycles are common.

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