When it comes to your business, just how important is your commercial parking lot? Since it’s the first thing your customers see when they approach your business, your curb appeal can make or break a good first impression. Check out our helpful Commercial Parking Lot Checklist to make sure your parking lot is making the right impression.
Perhaps the most important item on our Commercial Parking Lot Checklist is safety. Creating a safe, welcoming parking lot is essential to encouraging returning customers. First, let’s shed some light on the topic. Lighting is essential to a safe commercial parking lot by helping deter potential break-ins or criminal activity. Proper lighting can also help your customers locate their car and load their purchases after leaving your business.Another important safety factor is the use of appropriate parking lot signs. Does your parking lot include signs to alert customers of the speed limit and when to stop or yield? You may also need signs to alert customers which way to enter or exit and which way they may or may not turn when exiting. In addition to posting speed limit signs, speed bumps can also help you take control of the vehicle speed in your parking lot. Ensure that speed bumps are also painted for visibility, along with warning signs to prepare drivers for what’s to come.
When factoring in how many parking spots your commercial parking lot requires, it’s important to also take the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations into account. Typically, the number of required accessible spaces will depend on the type of business you operate, and the total spaces in your lot. As for stall size, be sure to check for the mandated sizing required by the ADA.
In terms of the layout, does your commercial parking lot make logistical sense? Think about how your parking lot is being used, and the types of vehicles that will be using it. To ensure you’re offering an adequate number of parking spaces, think about the needs of your business. For example, if you operate a hotel, you’ll need to offer at least one parking space per room, in addition to parking for employees.Depending on the type of business you’re operating, you’ll also want to consider the best parking angle for your customers. If your parking lot has a high turnover, angles of 45 degrees or 60 degrees are most driver-friendly. However, if your parking lot provides long-term or overnight parking, consider head-in parking stalls, which have a 90-degree angle, and are perpendicular to the traffic aisles. This layout allows you to offer more spaces, but it’s not as easy for drivers to get in and out of.
When you think about the features of your commercial parking lot, do they fit the needs of your business? For example, if your business provides shopping carts to customers, do you offer cart corrals to prevent stray carts and dented vehicles? What about landscaping islands or barrier gates? Keep in mind that features like these will take away from the overall square footage of your parking lot, so make sure you’re using your space wisely and in ways that will benefit your business.In addition, when considering stall sizing, we recommend thinking about the needs of your customers first and foremost. For example, if your customers will be maneuvering a cart to their car, you’ll want to allow additional room for safe loading. Also, keep in mind that stalls for compact cars can be slightly smaller than the standard measurement of 9 feet by 19 feet.
Traffic flow is another important consideration when evaluating your commercial parking lot. We recommend designing a traffic pattern that allows vehicles to flow efficiently through your parking lot. Think about whether you prefer one-way or two-way travel aisles, or perhaps a combination of both. Just remember that one-way aisles can be narrower, especially if you choose angled parking stalls.Planning travel routes ahead of time will help alleviate unnecessary traffic jams and congestion later on, especially during the holidays or your busiest time of the year. Customers will be much more inclined to return to a parking lot that doesn’t leave them frustrated from long back-ups!
Last, but certainly not least, is ensuring your commercial parking lot is well-maintained. From the moment the new asphalt is installed in your parking lot, we recommend establishing a proper maintenance plan. From asphalt patching to sealcoating, proper maintenance will help your parking lot remain both safe and easy on the eyes. It’s important to wait a minimum of six to 12 months after your asphalt has undergone large surface-area repairs before sealcoating. For best results, sealcoating should be applied on a regular basis, approximately every 36 to 48 months. We also recommend applying two coats of sealcoat to provide longer asphalt protection. Check out this video of a recent GuardTop project in Aliso Viejo, California to see the impressive difference two coats of sealcoat can make in a commercial parking lot!Parking lot sealcoating protects your asphalt and even improves traction for pedestrians and vehicles. Plus, regular sealcoating also improves the aesthetics of your parking lot, which in turn makes your business more appealing to customers. Let the team at GuardTop help you check maintaining and beautifying your asphalt off the list. GuardTop – CAJeff Luzar(949) 573-0445Ryan Strzalka(949) 324-5386GuardTop – AZ / Southwest RegionBrian Barnum(602) 469-0172Thomas Mucenski(602) 296-7110CoolSealDavis Koleas(310) 970-4271