What You May Not Know About Parking Lot Striping

Jun 09, 2015

Michigan Pavement Striping Company

Parking lots are easily and commonly taken for granted. After all, they’re just flat stretches of concrete found all over any city, right? Little do most people know, however, just how much planning and effort goes into these parking lots. How well a parking lot is designed and executed also has far reaching consequences ranging from people’s safety and convenience, to the establishment’s accessibility and aesthetics.

While there are some part-time stripers working out of their garage who can handle minimal touch ups or small jobs, any project involving the planning, design, and execution of striping for a lot no matter how small or big should be done by professionals.

There are many things to factor in when planning the layout of parking stripes, some of them not so obvious. Generally, the foremost considerations have to do with maximizing parking capacity alongside convenience and safety.

Maximizing Space, Convenience and Safety

For example, certain recommendations for optimizing parking space include using rectangular areas, designing the lot parallel to the long sides, and having the traffic drive between two rows of parking spaces. Keeping these lanes one-way will leave more space for parking, but again have to be designed for optimal traffic flow and safety. One-way lanes also usually mean diagonal parking slots based on the direction of traffic for added convenience and utilization of space.

Complying With Standards and Regulations

There may be local, state and federal regulations that apply to your parking lot as well, covering anything from the spacing and number of parking slots, designating areas for emergency services, and the minimum amount of parking for the disabled.

Generally though, the recommended number of parking slots depends on the type and size of the establishment. For multi-family residential buildings at an average of 1-2 bedrooms per unit, there should be around 1.5 slots per dwelling. Hospitals should have 1.2 parking slots per bed. Theaters and restaurants should have around 0.3 per seat. Offices and shopping centers should have from 3.3 to 5.5 slots per 1000 square feet of floor area.


Dimensions may also be subject to local laws, but a parking lot should typically be 9 feet wide by 18 feet long. Handicapped parking is usually at least 8 feet wide with an adjacent 96” wide aisle. For Michigan, these special aisles are required by law to be painted blue with diagonal stripes. Two-way traffic lanes should typically be at least 24 feet wide, half that for one-way lanes and 45 degree diagonal slots.

The Actual Striping

After the tedious planning to make sure you get the best layout and stick to government regulations, there’s the actual task of laying down the stripes. It’s not as simple as you may think. Striping machines are highly sophisticated devices but still basically operate like a lawnmower. The person driving it will ultimately be responsible for keeping the lines straight. Just looking to the side or sneezing can leave you with crooked lines.

The Bottom Line (Excuse the Pun)

As you can see, the parking lot actually requires quite a bit of planning and expertise to execute properly to be safe, convenient, pleasing to the eye, and adhering to government regulations as well. At Industrial Commercial Striping, we have over 30 years of expertise carrying out parking lot striping in Michigan. This includes everything from design, layout, code compliance, and execution. We invest in only the best and latest equipment and coating materials. Most of all, we take pride in our core values of honesty, integrity, and professionalism. Contact us today at 1-877-361-4400 or use the form on our website for a free quote!

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