If you own a commercial or multi-residence property with a connected parking area, you may be considering saving money by not having your parking lot striped. This is especially common with small businesses or small apartment complexes where only a small number of vehicles can park. However, there may be more risk than reward involved with this strategy, so if you’re considering letting your customers or residents dictate the parking terms, we want to share five reasons why parking lot line striping is necessary.
Parking Lot Striping Is the Law
While state and city ordinances differ, one universal rule regarding parking is that you have to provide accessible parking spaces in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. ADA standards for parking lots regulate that spaces must be a specific width as well as have a 60-inch access area beside the space, and there is a ratio to follow regarding the amount of accessible car and van spaces. For example, a parking lot with 26 spaces must include two clearly designated, accessible car spaces and one accessible van space.
Additionally, property owners are tasked with maintaining property to ensure safety. While we go into more detail below, it is your legal responsibility to provide a safe area for visitors, employees, customers, or residents of the property to drive, walk, and park.
Parking Lot Markings Improve Safety
Having clearly defined parking spaces as well as directional arrows and crosswalks in larger parking lots keep customers, employees, or residents safe. When a lot is bare or the lines aren’t visible, the following problems tend to occur:
- Drivers don’t know how far up to pull their vehicles, reducing the space in the driving lane.
- Customers won’t have a designated spot to cross, leading to potential injury if they step in front of a car or a driver backing out doesn’t see a pedestrian.
- Drivers don’t know which direction the traffic flows, causing confusion and even traffic jams.
Clearly marked parking lots direct traffic and provide clear spaces to park. This is essential to keeping drivers and pedestrians safe and reducing accidents on your property.
Avoid Liability Problems in Your Parking Lot
One out of every five automobile accidents occurs in a parking lot. While some of these are caused by inattentive drivers and pedestrians, many can be attributed to poor conditions in a parking lot, and if it’s determined that the accident or injury is caused by the parking lot itself, you can be held liable. While common causes of owner liability in a parking lot include vehicle damage because of a pothole or a pedestrian tripping over damaged asphalt, lack of present or visible markings are also considered the fault of the property owner. If a driver parks over a space and hits another car or a similar issue takes place, you may be footing the bill.
Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Business
While safety and legal compliance are necessary, you don’t want to overlook the aesthetic appeal of your parking lot. After all, your lot is one of the most visible aspects of your property, and a poorly marked or unmarked lot can cause a location to look rundown. Hard Money Property explains that on the other hand, fresh, clean parking lot stripes give a refreshed appearance to your parking area, especially if the lines are laid over fresh sealcoating or newly laid asphalt.
Increase the Amount of Vehicle Spaces
Having clearly marked parking spaces is one of the best ways you can ensure proper capacity of your parking lot. If there are no parking space lines striped in your lot, drivers will either park carelessly, meaning they will pull in at an angle, taking up much more space, or they will park over cautiously, giving ample room to the vehicles beside them just in case.
Proper line striping allows drivers to know how to pull in to the space, how much room they have, and where to pull up. This increases your space efficiency and allows your property to serve the maximum amount of people. For a small business with only a few spaces, even one or two spaces can make the difference!