Aussies react as simple but 'excellent' idea transforms shopping centre car park

The double lines means there's more space between each car which could help avoid unnecessary scratches or dents. So why isn't this the norm?

A lot can go wrong in a busy parking lot, and scratching or denting your vehicle is likely high on the list of things you don’t want to happen.

So it’s no surprise a simple yet “excellent” solution to the standard car park design has won over the masses on social media – and it might very well be the perfect alternative to the tight and tiny spaces we’re used to.

It’s a familiar picture. You find a park and line up your car to ensure you’re in the lines. Then, after turning off the engine, you open the door and attempt to squeeze through the tiny gap between cars ensuring you don’t hit the vehicle next to you with your door.

Tasmania shopping centre car park.
A shopping centre in Tasmania uses double lines between spaces to allow extra room. Source: Facebook

Game-changing car park design

That’s the reality for Aussies across the country who are used to the Australian car bays which are usually 2.4m wide by 5.5 m long, which doesn’t leave much space between your car and the one next to you. A shopping centre car park in Tasmania however “allows a door to be fully open without hitting the adjacent car” by using double lines approximately 80 centimetres apart, instead of a single white line — and it's a game-changer.

Scott Spanton owner and developer of Glebe Hill shopping centre confirmed to Yahoo News the width inside the lines is 1.9m, compared to the standard 2.4m. The total width from the middle of one dividing column to the next is 2.7m. So given the more space required for each bay there are slightly fewer spaces in the car park. "We would rather have 300 great parking bays than 320 average ones," Glebe Hill Village management said.

Photos shared on social media show a decent space between each space at the shopping centre parking lot giving customers “more confidence” when parking, some argued. With one man saying "all car parks should adopt this method for line markings."

Two cars parked in Tasmania shopping centre car park, one with door open.
The extra space means you can open the door without worrying about scratching the car next to you. Source: Facebook

"[It’s] the only place that I know of in Tasmania that has this,” the local man wrote on Facebook. “It gives you a level of confidence when parking here that it is fairly unlikely that you will get a ding in your door whilst shopping

“I realise that it doesn’t absolutely guarantee that damage won’t occur, but it is most likely 95 per cent effective.”

Aussies rave about 'sensible' idea

He pointed out that “supermarket car parks are renowned for a high degree of car damage” but argued that is likely not the case here. Others on Facebook agreed it’s “such a great idea” with one saying they’ve “seen these in the suburbs surrounding Brisbane” too.

“About time someone had common sense and created a safe zone for our cars. Congratulations to the those who created the idea and made it happen," one said, impressed by the clever idea. Others thought it was “very sensible”.

Empty shopping centre car park in Tasmania with double lines.
Aussies have argued this design should be adopted across the country. Source: facebook

Push for bigger car spaces

Meanwhile, someone else said that with the "ridiculously" huge cars people have nowadays this would be good. "Car parks aren't big enough for them”, they said.

And it’s true. More and more Aussies are buying bigger cars like SUVs or large utes. In 2022, close to 8,000 American pick-up trucks or utes were sold in Australia, which is set to increase, according to Shell Australia. And in 2021, more than 50 per cent of cars sold in Australia were SUVs in 2021, according to Budget Direct.

To keep up with the boom in large car purchases Standards Australia previously proposed the length of a standard car park space be increased by 20 centimetres. This would mean the required length of car park spaces in public car parks and streets would go up to 5.6 metres long, with the width remaining between 2.4 to 2.6 metres. But critics have pushed back on the idea saying an increased size would mean there are fewer spots available — and that might be the case if we adopt Tassie's parking design too.

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