Parking Lot 3
By Thomas Hilly
3 Sep 2009
In most countries where cars are the dominant mode of transportation, parking lots are a feature of every city and suburban area.
The usual parking lot is paved with asphalt. Some are paved with concrete. Many are gravel lots. A few of the newer lots are surfaced with permeable paving materials.
Most spaces in normal parking lots available to the public are sized for vehicles about the size of a car. The spaces are usually arranged assuming the vehicle can back out of the parking space.
The area in parking lots is organized into parking spaces, which are generally marked with paint lines for each vehicle and driving lanes in between so that vehicles can drive into and out of the spaces. The arrangement of the parking spaces relative to the driving lanes can feature perpendicular parking spaces, angle parking, or parallel parking.
Parking lots can be small, with just parking spaces for a few vehicles, very large with spaces for thousands of vehicles, or any size in between. Small parking lots are usually near buildings for small businesses or a few apartments, although many other locations are possible. Larger parking lots can be for larger businesses or those with many customers, institutions such as offices, hospitals, museums or other tourist attractions, rest areas, strip malls, or larger apartment buildings.
At places where most visitors and employees use their car to access place, the parking lot usually takes up more land area than the buildings. This is at least true for shopping centres and office buildings, unless a multi-storey park is used.