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Super Smart Mathematician's parking idea

Super Smart Mathematician's parking idea

RE: Super Smart Mathematician's parking idea

Interesting....yes. Practical....maybe. I guess it depends how desperate owners/planners/engineers are for space at the expense of patrons getting their car dinged up. We have all witnessed poor parking jobs and parking lot blunders. Seems like the likelihood of such mishaps would increase since the aisles are narrower (or at least appear to be from the photos). Also, don't we have slanted spaces already (maybe not at 45 degrees)? It does not really strike me as a new concept as the article seems to imply, just tweaking angles and dimensions. Of course any new concept that involves drivers will take getting used to before its accepted and fully embraced (read: roundabouts)

RE: Super Smart Mathematician's parking idea

mostly unpractical
couple problems
first, the angled approach requires one way access down the lane. this requires more circling around. the layout in the photo does not allow access from either end so it would be very difficult to actually find and drive to an open parking spot. So for something like a sporting event, this would be a traffic nightmare.

second, what about trucks? tailgate would hang out in the lane and block it completely.

third, emergency access would be quite difficult. I am not convinced a fire truck could make it through here

fourth, how would you ever park down the center? this seems totally unworkable

RE: Super Smart Mathematician's parking idea

I don't see an big Suburbans and pick-up trucks in the layout. I have has all sorts of grief with too small parking spaces as well as small aisles with my Suburban and pick-up. In my area, near country living, many big cars and trucks are common. In some shopping areas it is 80 percent pick-ups.

RE: Super Smart Mathematician's parking idea

I've actually done this exercise with a huge parking lot design.
Angled parking doesn't save any space, but it can help with circulation in some circumstances.
When you make the spaces 45 (or 36) degrees the stalls still need to be 9 feet wide, so the length along the front parking line ends up being 9*1.414 feet, so you lose in length what you gain in width.
There could be certain site geometries that one way or the other works out better, but not in a general sense.

RE: Super Smart Mathematician's parking idea

The space saving doesn't come from the space required to park the cars, but what he's saying is that the roadway accessing the spaces can be narrower ( basically not much more than one car width).

In terms of access, especially for big events, it actually makes life easier - you basically have one Header road with multiple roads going off it. When you arrive attendants fill up one road from the far end and when its full direct cars to the next one in line. Because spaces are at an angle it is faster to fill up compared to turning in at 90 degrees.

A theme park close to me does exactly this and I'm pretty sure they've experimented on how to pack the punters into as small a space as possible...

Better if, like my example, you drive cars in one after another. At least one car can exit forward (much safer) and can deal with the over sized truck / suburban issue. If you look closely you can see how the access road is pretty narrow (basically not much more than one car wide - I know I've drive in enough times). Saves on the amount of tarmac used as well - parking areas is gravel.

All in all it can work I think for car parks where loads of people arrive, stay for a long period (like them park, car park for an office etc), but wouldn't work so well for something like a supermarket where cars are coming and going all the time and where a lot of them would need to reverse out of the spot leading to many more scrapes and fender benders.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Super Smart Mathematician's parking idea


I'd missed the sentence above "any new concept that involves drivers will take getting used to before its accepted and fully embraced (read: roundabouts)"

Only applies the USA I think - the rest of the world has used roundabouts very successfully for several decades.

If you don't like roundabouts then avoid the one or two "magic roundabouts" that we have over here...

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Super Smart Mathematician's parking idea

How about the angled parking in Austin TX where you back into spaces, then you can see traffic while you are pulling out.
I was laying out a parking lot for a company doing an expansion, and I couldn't get the correct number of spaces. I tried different patterns and angles, but I kept coming up short. I went to the lot and measured that the existing spaces were only 8'9". The owner had to add more parking area.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, Plymouth Tube

RE: Super Smart Mathematician's parking idea

Insurance companies will hate his solution...

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)

RE: Super Smart Mathematician's parking idea

The biggest problem I see is that the drive land is too narrow. I could foresee any of the following:
1. It would be a safety issue for anyone walking to/from their vehicle.
2. One car that is not totally in the space would block all traffic.
3. Questionable amount of space for entering/exiting parking space.
4. Problems associated with wider or longer vehicles considered?
5. Problems due to inclement weather conditions (e.g., snow, ice)

Nowadays, most big parking lots are designed with the 45 degree angular parking spaces. Most of them have at least 1 lane with additional space for pedestrian/shopping cart access. To be honest, I don't know how this can be stated as an innovated design because I'm certain some CE/transportation engineer rejected this design over 50 years ago because of these and other problems.

RE: Super Smart Mathematician's parking idea

So, it appears that it was a slow news day; the column was published a year ago, and is not much more than musings of a math professor about the car park he uses at work. It's apparently a regular column with musings about car parks and puzzles.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Super Smart Mathematician's parking idea

I worked briefly for the American arm of a German company.
They had a nice photo on the wall of the Home Office showing the building and the long, narrow parking lot.
The parking lot was equipped with parallel stripes along its entire length, and all of the employees' cars were parked front to back bumper to bumper in four-ish rows.
Of course that works for a company lot in Germany, where everyone leaves at the exact same time.
In the USA, there would be hostilities.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

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