Parking Lot Layout Expert Article

In this short article, the highway engineering experts at Robson Forensic provide an overview of parking lot design. The graphic provided highlights some of the common design elements we encounter through our casework, with an explanation of how they positively and negatively influence parking lot safety.

Parking Lot Layout

Parking lot safety can be improved by providing drivers and pedestrians reasonable access pathways, and signs and pavement markings similar to those they normally encounter on public roads.

The parking lot featured in this article shows a few of the issues that should be considered in the layout of a parking lot for reasonably safe movement of vehicles and pedestrians. This lot is representative of an actual lot involved in a hit-pedestrian case.

As with many parking lots, there are good features and bad – some add to safety and some create hazards for drivers and pedestrians.

    Download PDF in Details section of this page

    Parking Lot Design Factors that Promote Safety

    • Sidewalks permit pedestrians to cross vehicle lanes at 90º to decrease exposure
    • Raised/curbed end islands provide clear sight lines & pedestrian refuge
    • Curvilinear roadway aids traffic calming (speed control)
    • Cap islands on parking aisles keep high-speed traffic, from entry road, out of aisles
    • Pedestrian aisles provide refuge for pedestrians around the handicap parking spaces
    • Pedestrian signage & crosswalk markings alert drivers

    Parking Lot Design Factors that Create Hazards

    • Speed bumps create pedestrian tripping hazards and shopping cart overturning
    • Two-way aisles with angled parking can result in improper & dangerous vehicle movements
    • Improper parking angles require traffic to cross
    • No divisor between one way aisles permits traffic to cross through and go the wrong way
    • Long aisles encourage speeding
    • Painted end islands encourage illegal parking which can obstruct sight lines

    Download the corresponding PDF for a high resolution view of the parking lot diagram.

    Parking Lot Expert Witness Investigations

    The experts involved in parking lot investigations vary from case to case, but often include civil engineers, architects, premises security professionals, or retail operations experts.

    Call or submit an inquiry to tell us about your case. Once we determine which expert is best qualified to assist, we will put you in direct contact.

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