A Mathematician has discovered a simple trick which could revolutionize car parking.
Professor David Percy, of Salford University, was frustrated by the poor geometry of car parks, which generally feature parking spaces arranged at a 90 degree angle to the access lane.
He performed some simple math and found out that one tweak could make it much easier for motorists to maneuver their motor into the space whilst simultaneously allowing more automobiles to fit into a car park.
All planners need to do is place the bays at a 45 degree angle, which cuts down the turning circle required and therefore needs a smaller access lane, freeing up more space for parking.
Professor Percy’s eureka moment came when his university’s car park was repainted, sticking to exactly the same layout.
“This traditional conformity set me thinking,” he wrote in Mathematics Today.
To understand his plan, you need to look at the space required to fit a car into a bay that’s angled at 90 degrees.
Maneuvering a car into traditional bays requires a wide access road, whilst anyone the 45 degree bays will be able to swing in their car without needing as much space.
“Instead of rectangular parking bays I figured if they are diagonal you might save space and fit more cars into a car park,” he added.
If his recommendations are implemented in a car park which can currently fit 500 cars, another 119 should be able to fit into the same space.
“For a 45 degree bay angle it was a 23 percent saving,” he continued,
“For 36 degrees it was 34 percent, but the difference is marginal and it’s easier to draw lines at 45 degrees.”
His plans only work in larger car parks, because the useless space at the edge of bays negates the effects of the space-saving lanes.
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