- May 31, 2023
A parking lot sign should be effective. Before a property can account for people being inside of the building, you have to be sure that they can get there first in an efficient, safe and clear manner. The first and last part of a commute takes place in the parking area, whether it’s a garage or surface lot, and there are many things to consider in regards to keeping your tenants safe, aware and in many cases organized and not confused.
Below are several things to ask yourself in regards to the effectiveness of your parking lot signage:
1. Proper sign retroreflectivity
Whether tenants are early risers or work until midnight, one thing to always keep in mind is how well those who travel through the lot can see any and all signage on the property.
In addition to lighting, which is almost certainly a necessity, sign retroreflectivity is almost just as important.
Whether it’s a sign for vehicles to ‘Stop’ or a pedestrian crossing, all drivers want to be made aware of upcoming traffic obstacles. After installation, a sign’s retroreflectivity does degrade over time due to sunlight and other weather damage, so staying up to date with replacing old signs is a must.
2. Efficient stenciling and using signage to indicate ‘Reserved Parking’
A large number of commercial properties offer ‘reserved’ parking for tenants and many mark these parking spots with a ‘Reserved’ stencil that is painted on the surface.
While a painted stencil works great, these also inflate maintenance costs as years go by. Stenciling is one of the most expensive parts of re-striping a parking garage/lot due to constant cleaning of paint off of the stencil and in some cases constant changing of the stencil (I.E. numbered parking spots that change every spot, different stencil for different company, etc).
C&D recommends hanging a sign in front of the parking spot on a wall if possible, or hanging from a sign from a chain in the ceiling of a parking garage to keep stenciling to a minimum.
3. Maintaining ADA disability-accessible parking
While figuring out exactly how many ADA accessible parking stalls each property needs is important, it isn’t where a property’s responsibility ends in regards to staying up to ADA requirements.
Maintaining the proper traffic markings and stenciling is important, but signage for these parking areas also has requirements.
The bottom of the of the handicap parking sign must be placed at a minimum of 60 inches above the ground to ensure visibility. Van accessible stalls also must be clearly marked ‘Van Accessible’.
As mentioned above, handicap accessible parking area signs also need to be replaced at regular intervals to guarantee clear visibility.
4. Coding parking areas with signage and color
Many individuals, especially visitors, sometimes get lost in a parking garage or lot if the area is big enough. One way to minimize confusion is to color-code lots or garages through signage on the floor and near the elevator.
A couple examples include a colored background with the parking floor on a physical sign that hangs near the elevators on each floor, or perhaps the floor painted on a wall in whatever color represents that floor.
There are many ways to make navigation through these areas easier after someone’s visit is complete.
5. Sign placement
The exact place in which is a sign is posted seems like an easy enough task, but there are several variables to consider when deciding exactly where a ‘Stop’ or ‘One Way’ sign should be placed.
Signs should remain perpendicular to their intended viewer. If a sign is placed or moved into another angle it can confuse drivers and can lead to an accident.
Another likely situation is posting a sign and post near foliage that eventually grows and covers an important sign. It is very important to remember to keep landscaping up-to-date or positioning the sign elsewhere so it’s in clear view to oncoming motorists.