Pedestrian access and legibility Print

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


  1. The car park layout ensures pedestrians are safe from moving vehicles
  2. The pedestrian route between parked vehicles and the car park entry/exit is direct and intuitive
  3. The car park layout ensures personal safety and does not encourage crime
  4.  Universal Design has been integrated into the project to accommodate users of all levels


Whilst the design of a car park is based primarily around the movement of vehicles, for every car parked there is at least one pedestrian that needs to exit and renter the car park. Good quality car park design ensures the safety of pedestrians and provides them with a clear and easy route to and from their car. 

For mixed use developments with retail uses, the ease of use of a car park for pedestrians is important to foster repeat visits - if a patron knows they can easily park and access shops or services they will be more inclined to return.​​

Better Design Practice

Provide clear and efficient pedestrian access to parked vehicles​​.
  • Provide universal access along routes that link up key destinations - for instance, from the parking space or exit lobby to the front door.
  • Anticipate that people will find the shortest route, so make this the safest and most accommodating of pedestrian routes.
  • Do not configure parking layouts that create long or circuitous routes from car parking spaces to building entrances.​​

Consider all potential users.

When preparing detailed designs, imagine using the proposed spaces from every conceivable approach and user’s perspective. For example, imagine needing to access the building entry via a wheelchair in the rain. Picture crossing the car park while pushing a pram. Is it safe? Is it convenient? Is it attractive?​

Separate pedestrian and vehicle routes.
  • Create pedestrian walking routes that are distinct from vehicle aisles. In car park buildings, use paint finishes, or outdoors use a surface texture change to highlight this difference.
  • Avoid requiring pedestrians to share a route with vehicles in order to access the car park exit.
  • Consider pedestrian crossings where vehicle and pedestrian paths cross, especially at or near building entrances.
  • Create pedestrian 'safe havens' where people may need to congregate, for instance around ticketing machines or lift lobbies. Raise these areas on kerbed footpaths and protect with bollards if necessary.
  • Where pedestrian routes include a footpath level raised above the vehicle aisle, provide pram ramps at crossing points to improve accessibility.​

Prioritise pedestrian safety​.
  • Make walking routes clear, direct and intuitive. Routes to and from car parking areas should arrive in a safe, well-lit area.
  • Avoid designing layouts that result in dead-ends or create points of entrapment.
  • Highlight pedestrian routes with special lighting or surface treatments that clearly indicate the way out.
  • Locate pedestrian access into parking buildings in a prominent, visible and well-lit part of the building.
  • Pedestrians should not need to venture through a side or rear entrance to access parking​.

Rules of Thumb

The width of a pedestrian path should increase with the anticipated number of users. A minimum width of 1800mm allows two people to walk side by side or pass one another comfortably.
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