Car park approach and entrance Print

Design Outcome

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Design Checklist​

  1. The car park entrance is clearly recognisable and visible to approaching vehicles
  2. The car park entrance offers a positive contribution to the streetscape and maximises active use of street fro​ntages
  3. The vehicle crossing uses traffic calming measures to minimise danger and disruption to pedestrians and cyclists
  4. The car park entrance allows traffic to flow freely on the street​


The entrance to a car park needs to be a clearly legible, without dominating a building or the streetscape. ​

The appearance of the entrance should be designed to complement the building facade. Entrances that are poorly designed will confuse or deter patrons which can contribute to safety issues.​

Better Design Practice

Provide adequate signage to signal the car park entry.​
  • Locate signage at a high level and make it of a sufficient size to be seen from a distance - approaching drivers need plenty of time to identify the car park entrance and manoeuvre towards it, especially if a lane change is needed.
  • A good balance needs to be achieved between creating a visible car park entrance without causing an eyesore. Consider creative design solutions that might incorporate architectural design elements into the signage.​

Long or circuitous routes to parking entrances should be avoided.​​​​

Ensure car parking entrances are designed to a high standard.
  • Avoid designing oversized vehicle entrances which form large holes in building facades.
  • Recess car park entrances from the main facade line.
  • Disguise garage security grilles to complement the building façade.

  • Where doors are not provided, ensure that the visible interior of the car park is incorporated into the façade design, and that the visual impact of building services (eg. downpipes and ducts) are integrated or minimised.​

Consider pedestrian movement.
  • Where vehicles cross footpaths, minimise the width and number of vehicle access points to minimise conflict between pedestrians and vehicles.
  • Where possible, locate vehicle entrances off quieter side streets or service lanes to avoid disrupting high volume footpaths.
  • Ensure clear sight lines at pedestrian and vehicle crossings - this can be achieved by drawing back the walls adjacent to the driveway or ramp, or providing glazing or vision slots in these walls.
  • Provide speed humps or other traffic management measures to slow vehicles before they cross into pedestrian areas, especially at the end of long ramps where drivers could gain speed before emerging from basements or garages.

Anticipate vehicle queuing and streamline traffic flows.​​​
  • Consider peak traffic demand and calculate whether vehicle queuing is likely. Provide for this queuing space internally (within the building or the site boundary) to avoid causing on street traffic problems.
  • Left turns into parking entrances as the main approach are preferable to streamline traffic flows on adjacent roads.​

On narrow sites or frontages, the accessway itself will form a significant part of the landscaping at the street edge.​
  • The de​​sign should use a range of high quali​ty, low maintenance materials that integrate with the design of the street and the overall landscape plan for the development.

Where a ‘shared space’ accessway is proposed (i.e. the driveway is shared by pedestrians and cars), pedestrian safety and amenity should take priority over cars.​
  • The space should read as a place for people first, and cars second by:
  • Using landscaping and surface treatment to reduce car speeds.
  • Using measures such as changes of direction, cobbles, rumble strips or raised speed tables to keep speed low.

Rules of Thumb

Locate vehicle entrances away from main pedestrian movement areas and on secondary frontages.​

Vehicle accessway widths should be made as narrow as possible.​​

Minimum recommended width dimensions for a typical passenger car are as follows:
  • 1 lane: 3.6m (3m+300mm kerb either side)
  • 2 lane: 6.1m (5.5m+300mm kerb either side)

Minimum recommended height clearance dimensions for vehicle access are as follows:
  • Typical Passenger Car: 2.2m
  • Typical Truck (i.e. rubbish truck): 3.4m - 3.7m

Note also, that private contractors may be able to offer specially designed rubbish trucks to achieve lower head height clearances, for example down to 2.3m.​
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