Selected statutory fundamentals, rules and standards
The regional building regulations and the regulations related to garages passed for that purpose serve as the legal basis for parking facilities in Germany. These regulations form the foundation with regards to building-law and commercial-law and thus represent the minimum standard. Whilst below the traffic- and customer-related aspects are explored, compliance with ventilation and fire protection requirements, set out in the regulations related to garages, must not be disregarded; this includes the test cycles for technical equipment.
The recommendations for stationary traffic facilities EAR 05, issued by the FSGV, extensively depict the state of the technology from the traffic-planners’ standpoint and they are significantly more detailed concerning the standard dimensions due to driving geometry, the design suited to traffic conditions and the traffic-related dimensioning.
As a specific tool, the “Dimensioning vehicles and tractrices for testing trafficability of traffic zones” (FGSV, current edition 2001) are available to the traffic planner. These tractrices are the basis for the design of running and stationary motor vehicle traffic facilities. They enable the examination with respect to trafficability of layouts which deviate from the regulation papers. That way, the varied specific conditions of each construction are addressed.
Assessment procedure of the ADAC
The professional appliance of the rules and regulations forms the indispensable basis for the planning of user- and operator-friendly parking facilities, which can be seen as advanced state of the technology. The ADAC has developed and constantly updated criteria for the assessment of the user-friendliness of car parks. The evaluation mode assumes that the entire process of a parking event is assessed by the user. In this respect, the following points are considered:
- Designation in the local parking guidance system and Parkinfo-Service of the ADAC
- Finding the parking system with and without satnav
- Approaching the parking facility
- Entering the parking facility
- Parking handling systems (entrance)
- Traffic routeing and orientation within the parking facility and to the individual parking levels, parking areas and parking spaces
- Approaching the individual parking spaces
- Walkway from the parking spaces to the exit
- Retrieving the car park entrance
- Cashing system
- Walkway from the cash point to the parking spaces
- Guiding to the exit within the parking facility
- Parking handling systems (exit)
Furthermore, general features and special facilities are included and evaluated.
The national "Car Park Test 2010" and "Car Park Test 2011" of the General German Automobile Association ADAC pursue the goal of a stocktaking in contrast to certifying in each case 50 car parks in the centers of 10 German large cities. GIVT mbH carried out these tests.
Since 1987, the ADAC has assigned the label of “user-friendly car park” to more than 200 public car parks. Moreover, more than 10 P+R facilities and 4 automated parking systems have been certified by the ADAC.
Recommendations of the Federal German Parking Association
Especially from the operator’s point of view, the recommendations of the Federal Parking Association give significant suggestions with respect to the planning, construction and running of car parks. The complex location and demand analysis, the planning, the technology, the organization and legal and economic aspects play a prominent role. The paper “The modern car park” is based on the nationwide experiences gained by the car park operators of the Federal German Parking Association.
The requirements for a professional operation are to be considered depending on the usage. Additionally to the below mentioned points, the premises for the car park attendant and corresponding equipment, the linkage to the parking control center of the car park operator and the installation of compatible software for the traffic-related and operational management are also included.
Important criteria for user-friendly parking facilities
The following criteria are based on the EAR 05, the recommendations of the ADAC and the Federal Parking Association, but are not always formulated identically:
- Homogenous, clearly arranged and driving-geometrically accurately designed layout for the individually relevant vehicle dimensions
- Suitability at least for vehicles with a height of 2.00 m, i.e. clear passage heights throughout of 2.05 m (better 2.10 m), above sinks at ramp ends extended clear height of 2.30 m
- Suspension of a moveable bar as height control with rubber lip at the entrance (alternatively a reliably operating electrical height control and warning display or blocking of the entrance barriers as the case may be)
- Parking handling systems that are approached in a straight line or in a left turn
- Generously designed ramps, bends and camber and sink rounding
- Sufficient width of ramps built perpendicular to the track, for example by using transition curves
- Separation of incoming and outgoing traffic
- Good visibility at crossroads, avoidance of confusion when parallel tracks are used in the same direction
- Preferably angle parking at a degree of 45° to 81° (50 to 90 gon) to the track
- Nominal width of 2.50 m and comfortably usable parking spaces, correspondingly wider next to protruding construction parts
- Column-free formats in the track area
- Usage of easily recognizable, sloped or burr-free, 6 - 8 cm high curbs in critical areas, near the parking handling systems and at ramps and bends
- Avoidance of fixtures in the track areas which obstruct the vision, for example staircases and control rooms
- Possibility of driving multiple times through a parking area or on a parking level
- From the view of users and with regards to fire protection, optimal placement of lifts, passenger conveyors and staircases
- Sensible guidance for pedestrian traffic in the car park (short, well signposted connections to lifts, passenger conveyors and staircases, safe walkways etc.)
- Integration of all parking spaces into a pedestrian guidance system, in case finding characteristic destinations is not easily done (e.g. clearly recognizable entrances of a shopping center)
- Easily recognizable, sufficiently large, comprehensible and StVO compliant signposting and marking (VzKat, RMS, RWB 2000), obvious exit signposting; the signposting should include destinations that are comprehensible for people familiar with the area, in case several exits exist
- Avoidance of overloading the ceilings with installations (applies in particular to the first lower ground level in underground car parks underneath high buildings)
- Opening up necessary staircase areas outward and towards the parking levels with fire-protective glazing in doors and walls, usage of glass for lifts
- Puddle-free parking levels (minimum gradient at each point >2 %)
- Adequate light intensity in the entire parking facility, lighting settings suited to traffic conditions, avoidance of extreme bright-to-dark transitions, energy-saving operation of the lighting system.
The different user groups make varying demands on parking facilities and put different emphasis on the individual quality features. This is to be taken into account during the planning process:
- Public use / restricted public use (e.g. via a reception) / non-public use (at the workplace / resident parking etc.)
- Type of management and access security
- Special user groups with particular service and safety/security needs, e.g. special parking spaces for
families with small children
in reasonable numbers and at obvious places
- Shopping centers and DIY stores with certain shopping carts
- Parking spaces for cars with trailers and vans
- Valet-parking and other parking with a car park supervisor.
In particular for public parking facilities the following points should be considered:
- Integration into a static or dynamic external parking guidance system and into the ADAC’s Park-Info system
- Free/full display at the entrance
- Internal parking guidance system, individual parking space occupancy display if applicable
- Possibility to pay cashless at the pay machines
- Checking in and checking out and paying with a credit card, maestro card or pay card
- Video controlling at all sensitive spots, hence the parking handling system and the special parking spaces as well as their integration into a car park control or a FM-center
- Emergency alarms or alternatively mobile-phone reception of all networks within the parking facility
- (Handicapped accessible) WC, as long as there is no other one accessible to the users nearby.
In addition, the user-friendliness can be improved with further features, such as the locally adequate background-music, additional services (umbrella rental service, bicycle rental service etc.) and upgraded presentation and advertising systems.
Requirements that differ from these criteria are applied to non-public parking systems, especially in connection with long-term parking. Although certain reductions in user friendliness are thereby accepted for economic or constructional reasons, the fundamentally safe trafficability must be provided.
Requirements with regards to user friendliness of automated parking systems
For the certification of automated parking systems, the ADAC’s traffic engineering division closely collaborates with the GIVT mbH. We have designed the criteria concerning this matter and support their updating. This catalogue, which orientates itself towards user-friendliness and sustainability issues, strives for an evaluation of the quality of automated parking systems, which is impartial as much as possible, and that demonstrates itself to the user and the operator especially with a maximum availability and a minimal breakdown frequency over a long operational time period.
For our planning and advisory services we generally apply the above mentioned rules and regulations and the criteria for user-friendly parking facilities. Insofar as variations to this are desired or necessary due to economic or constructional reasons, we explicitly indicate these issues. For projects outside of Germany, bearing in mind the relevant laws and regulations, we look for possibilities to optimally implement and adapt the philosophy of user-friendliness according to your wishes.
Specific services that we offer relating to the subject of “user-friendly parking” are:
Testing of plans and objects
with respect to regulatory compliance and user-friendliness
Derivation of recommendations