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5 Steps to Optimize for the Most Efficient Parking Lot Layout with AI

written by
Joann Lui

Finding the most efficient parking lot layout is crucial for maximizing land value, ensuring smooth traffic flow, and enhancing user experience.

In every development type, there are set requirements for parking. Typically, the more parking spaces you can fit in a lot, the more building square footage you can get out of your site.

In multi-family buildings, efficient parking design allows you to sell more units; in retail, it lets you build more store square footage for higher retail land value.

Let’s dive into how AI technology can help you optimize your parking lot design efficiently.

Understanding the Basics of Parking Lot Design

Before diving into the optimization process, it’s essential to understand the fundamental principles of parking lot design. An efficient parking lot layout should:

  1. Maximize space utilization: Fit as many parking stalls as possible in the available land to get the most square footage for the building.
  2. Ensure safety and accessibility: Provide safe and accessible routes for both vehicles and pedestrians.
  3. Facilitate smooth traffic flow: Minimize congestion and ease navigation.
  4. Comply with regulations: Adhere to local zoning and accessibility laws.

Challenges in Parking Lot Design

Designing a parking lot is not a small task, particularly when using traditional methods.

  1. Manual drawing and counting: Traditional methods require manually drawing each parking space and counting them, which is time-consuming and prone to errors.
  2. Dealing with changes: Revisions are bound to happen in our design, but any changes to the parking layout require a huge amount of time for redrawing and recalculating.
  3. Finding the optimal layout: How do you know if you’ve got the most efficient layout? Balancing space utilization and smooth traffic flow can be challenging and it takes hours if not weeks to get to an optimal layout that works for your site.

The biggest challenge in parking lot design? It’s time. The time it takes to draw a parking layout can be better spent on other more meaningful tasks.

This is where technology can come into play. With real-time AI, you can generate a parking layout with user input parameters and make revisions on the fly without spending hours or weeks counting parking stalls.

5 Steps to Optimize for the Most Efficient Parking Lot Layout with AI

1 - Define Your Site

Begin by inputting your site parameters into TestFit. This includes the dimensions of your site, any existing structures, and the surrounding road network.

Define a site with road layout

Be mindful of the setback requirements. You can use TestFit Data Map to see real-time zoning data to determine the front, back, and rear setback for the parking lot.

See real-time zoning data for parking setback requirements

2 - Create Your Parking Lot

You can then select one of the presets to generate an initial layout. For this example, we will create a surface parking lot.

Create a parking lot in TestFit

The ideal parking lot should be rectangular with aisles and rows located parallel to the long side of the site—this increases lot capacity by 20%.

Aisle orientation

For the most efficient layout in two-way traffic flow, parking spaces should be arranged perpendicular (90 degrees) to the aisles.

3 - Set Parking Requirements

Next, determine your parking requirements. This includes:

  • Number of parking stalls needed based on your required parking ratio
  • Type of parking stalls (standard, compact, handicapped)
  • Any additional features like EV charging stations or trailer parking
Customize parking types on the parking stalls panel

TestFit lets you set these parameters including multi-size parking easily, ensuring that your design meets all necessary criteria.

Note: Compact parking stalls are a great way to maximize efficiency on a parking layout, but they should be provided only if there will be a consistent number of compact-size vehicles accessing the building on a regular basis.

4 - Optimize for Accessibility

The Architectural Barriers Act sets the minimum number of accessible parking spaces, based on the total number of spaces in the parking facility.

TestFit has a built-in ADA table that automatically calculates the number of accessible car and van spaces you need.

You can also set the number of stalls by a percentage, ADA car, and/or ADA van requirements with the ability to customize the size and location of each of them.

Moving ADA stalls in TestFit

5 - Iterate and Refine

One of the strengths of real-time AI is its ability to facilitate rapid concept iteration. You can make changes to your layout like building location and instantly see the impact on space utilization and traffic flow without re-drawing and re-counting parking stalls one by one.

Automatic parking adjustments with real-time AI

You can also manually adjust each element of a parking lot like drag and move aisle location or turning radius.

Manually adjust parking lot design

Experiment with different configurations to find the most efficient parking lot layout for your site.

Optimizing for Parking Efficiency with Real-Time AI

Finding the most efficient parking lot layout is a complex task that requires careful consideration of various factors. TestFit simplifies this process by using real-time AI to generate, optimize, and refine parking lot designs.

By leveraging TestFit’s capabilities, you can create efficient, safe, and compliant parking solutions that enhance the value of your property and improve user experience.

Book a demo with our team to maximize your parking efficiency with TestFit.

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