• Prototypical Parking Lot Dimensional Data!

    I'm currently building a parking lot for my passenger station. Just so I don't mess up drawing the parking stall lines on my precious custom-shaped styrene sheet parking lot, I'm practicing on a piece of cardboard, which allows me to make mistakes without ruining my layout.

    If you're making a modern-era parking lot, and want to be prototypical, you need to follow common standards for building parking lots. These can vary by municipality or state, but there's general standards. I found this page that gives great dimensional data on parking lot stalls and especially ADA (handicapped) parking spaces:


    Make sure you have a 1:160 scale ruler handy!

    For example:


    For handicapped spaces (one handicapped space for every 25 parking spaces your lot provides; thus a 50-car lot requires 2 handicapped spaces):


    Also, here's the County of San Diego, CA's parking standards guide, which has several different parking angles:

    Comments 9 Comments
    1. warnerj01's Avatar
      warnerj01 -
      Great find
    1. BN1970's Avatar
      BN1970 -
      Very useful, Thanks.
    1. zosimas's Avatar
      zosimas -
      Sweet, ill be needing this
    1. CHUCKGEO's Avatar
      CHUCKGEO -
      I guess you could always find a comparable parking lot layout on Google Maps or Bing Maps (just zoom in on any city), then blow it up to N Scale. That way you would have an exact template to model the area you had in mind.
    1. Jodie Hall's Avatar
      Jodie Hall -
      The zoom in on Sat imagery is a great idea. You will need to do some careful measurements to achieve any sort of accuracy. Truth is that it's not a perfect dimension. I designed parking lots when I worked as an under aged teen for my uncles' paving company and painted the lines. Today you find all kinds of slots. For the average
      lot 8 to 10 feet of width and about 18 feet in length would be about right. The biggest problem will be making the lines narrow enough.
    1. FPM_Michael's Avatar
      FPM_Michael -
      Awesome find! Saving for later. I will be needing this.
    1. kje3429's Avatar
      kje3429 -
      San Diego guide fantastic! Thanks!
    1. ryansh100's Avatar
      ryansh100 -
      Does anyone know if these dimensions hold up historically as well?
    1. jimil's Avatar
      jimil -
      Quote Originally Posted by ryansh100 View Post
      Does anyone know if these dimensions hold up historically as well?
      They don't even hold up for today in every location. Dallas apparently uses an 8.5' parking spot as standard. I suspect that's based on their impression on average (I'm guessing they have more full size SUVs and trucks) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkin...and_space_size

      We have some scale variation depending on the source of your models (non North American sources are actually 1:150 in most cases). I'd suggest measuring the cars that you use on your layout and sizing to average width plus about 3/32" for perpendicular parking. You can also cheat on empty spots a little by compressing them to create an impression of more parking.