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Siteplanman (Civil/Environmental) (OP)
12 Mar 03 15:34
Is anyone aware of specific codes or standards for the maximum height of a concrete curb in a parking lot?  Specifically, a concrete curb that surrounds a landscaped island.  I know there are ADA requirements for handrails along sidewalks or platforms when they exceed a certain height (I believe 24" or 30"), but I haven't seen anything related to curbing in non-accessibility areas.  Has anyone?  
jimbo (Staff)
12 Mar 03 15:47
Michigan people usually follow the Dept. of Transportation
height of 7". I assume you mean straight curb.
elminer (Civil/Environmental)
12 Mar 03 16:06
I usually figure a maximum of 8", although 5 to 7 inches is more common.  If a car door can open over the curb, and the drainage is adaquately controlled I generally feel that it is ok.
dicksewerrat (Civil/Environmental)
12 Mar 03 21:47
Minnesota used to use 6" for curbs.
jheidt2543 (Civil/Environmental)
13 Mar 03 9:25
Has anyone in snow country ever tried to plow snow from a parking lot filled with concrete curbed planting islands?  I like "trees and plants and things", but in snow country island curbs are a real equipment breaker.

Back to your question.  The curb height I see most often is 6".  However, many municipalities have zoning requirements or standard city details that specify curb design.  Check out your local department of public works.
cvg (Civil/Environmental)
13 Mar 03 16:30
Don't know of a maximum height.  Curb height is related to two things:

1. Must safely stop/prevent a car from passing - prevents cars from leaving the roadway or crossing to the other side.  This is a safety issue.  Higher speeds or larger trucks require higher curbs.  In parking lots, it mainly prevents bumper to bumper contacts.

2. Allows water to flow at depth in the gutter.  This is a drainage channel and depth also controls the amount of water able to enter the catch basins.  Taller curbs will allow more water to flow in the street.

Typically, pedestrian safety becomes a concern with drops of 30 inches or more.  However, for ADA you must have a ramp available.


dicksewerrat (Civil/Environmental)
13 Mar 03 21:33
Those planters, etc are the place to put the snow.
trafficPro (Civil/Environmental)
17 Mar 03 7:58
Curb height also is determined by other factors. Such as need for curb side drainage enclosure after repaving. In some specific cases, I eliminate the use of wheel stops (a tripping hazard) on parking adjacent to wide islands, by adding two feet to the island and reducing the parking space length  by two feet. Put in 4" curb and permit overhang. Set back the shrubs, trees, etc. This permits less paved area, adequate parking space, no trip hazards, less problem at snow removal time, less replacement costs for wheel stops.

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