There are two major internal maneuvers that the parking lot designer must considervehicles searching for an open stall and vehicles searching for an exit. These internal maneuvers require space, which is space that cannot be used for parking.
Off-street parking facilities normally operate in one of two ways. The first and most common operation is self-parking, in which the driver maneuvers the vehicle through the parking lot. The second operation is attendant parking, in which parking attendants maneuver the vehicle through the parking lot. Parking facilities that use self-parking must normally include larger aisles, as individuals unfamiliar with the parking facility may require extra room to maneuver. Attendant parking is normally more expensive to operate than self-parking.
Tollbooths and other restrictions at entrances or exits also affect the internal operation of parking facilities. Tollbooths require reservoir space within the parking facility for vehicles that are waiting. In general, 2-3 spaces per lane are required at entrances to self-parking lots where a ticket needs to be acquired. At exits, a much larger reservoir should be provided, because toll collection requires extra time.
Finally, in areas where winter snowfall is common, consideration of the snowfall removal operation should be included in the design process. Adequate space must be provided for snow removal equipment to maneuver.