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Car Park Ramp Design: Most Common Problems and Solutions

Updated: Mar 20, 2020

Have you ever scraped your Ferrari on a car park ramp because it was too low?

From ensuring sports cars get the necessary low clearance, preventing flooding by providing flood apex’s at ramp entry points and headroom clearance for relevant design vehicles (waste trucks), these are the most common queries we get from architects, building designers and developers around designing car parks and ramps.

The following also outlines some potential and suggested solutions:

1. Vehicle Scraping

One of the major issues is vehicle scraping and making sure your car doesn't ‘bottom out’. That's about designing appropriate transitions at either end of the main ramp to ensure that doesn't happen.

2. Addressing potential flooding issues

During extreme weather events, you do not want your basement to fill with water due to overland flow – Quite often there is a requirement of an upwards grade from the property boundary to provide a ‘hump’ (flood apex) at the start of the ramp. This will mitigate against flood events in your basement/development as a whole.

3. Understanding the maximum ramp grades allowable

It all depends on the type of development you are proposing and whether it's a private or public car park. Different car park types have different requirements. For example a shopping centre car park would be subject to higher volumes and vehicle build up than a residential apartment building car park.

4. Achieving enough headroom clearance

A key consideration in ramp design is designing for enough headroom clearance above. You want to make sure you can get all the vehicles in you need to. This includes waste collection vehicles which often access basement car parks nowadays.

Knowing the minimum headroom clearance can save a lot of headaches from the get go.

5. Ground clearance checks

Ground clearance checks are essential to ensure all vehicles types can traverse the ramp. Within the industry, this simple check has identified that a 2m grade @ 1:8 after a 1:4 grade is insufficient and should be lengthened to 2.6m long.

Do your ramp grades need a quick check by Quantum Traffic's expert engineers?

6. Getting curved ramps to work

This includes both the radius of the curve to allow for all vehicles that will access the basement and the total fall in the ramp. To that end, when you are designing curve ramps, it's the side of the curve that is the most critical length and how we assess it.

Do you have the right design based on the level of traffic too?

7. Entry and exit strategy

Does your ramp allow for simultaneous entry and exit, do you need a vehicle priority system (stop/go mechanism) or passing area at the top of the ramp?

Sometimes none of the above is required.

Contact us today if you have any questions or need advice around ramp designs of any type.

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