The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

29 November 2006

Sing a song of door dings

John Estus notes at the Oklahoman's blog:

City code says parking spaces must be at least 8½ feet wide. That's the standard size for a compact car spot, but city planners recommend all parking spots be at least 10 feet wide. The minimum size of parking spaces changes slightly depending on the angle of the space, but 8½ feet is pretty much the norm.

It seems to me that parking spaces are getting narrower. Gwendolyn insists it's not her fault, that she's less than one inch wider than her predecessor. (I had to look this up twice, because frankly I didn't believe it the first time.) But inasmuch as half the cars sold in this country aren't cars at all — they're SUVs, pickups and vans — I'm guessing our vehicles are getting wider. Then again, so are we.

And none of this matters at Penn Square, where there are no parking spaces anyway. I'll check some time around the 27th of December.

Posted at 1:35 PM to City Scene , Driver's Seat


I'd say the door on our garage probably isn't much more than 17 feet wide.

I say "probably" because in seven years living here we've never driven a vehicle into it. Unless you count the riding lawnmower.

Posted by: McGehee at 2:41 PM on 29 November 2006

Standard garage door width used to be 16 feet, but the trend a few years ago was to go to 18. What I love are the McMansions with the gracefully arched garage door openings that arrived just before SUVs, so now a lot of those behemoths can only get into the garage straight down the middle.

Posted by: Mark at 3:28 PM on 29 November 2006

I'd say we need 12' spaces here in Oklahoma where the wind can whip your door wide open the moment you touch the latch! There have been times when I could barely hold my door tight enough to avoid scratching the car beside me!

Posted by: Jan at 3:33 PM on 29 November 2006

My garage (built, according to the best available evidence, in 1951, three years after the house) is ten feet wide at the entrance — though obviously the door isn't that wide.

The wind usually does me a different unpleasant turn: it holds the door at maximum open, even while I'm trying to close it from inside — and I can't reach it from inside at maximum open. I'm thinking I should sew a strap to the interior door panel or something.

Posted by: CGHill at 5:23 PM on 29 November 2006

I'd say we need 12' spaces here in Oklahoma where the wind can whip your door wide open the moment you touch the latch!

Which reminds me that I've recently decided parking spaces should be as wide as the car would be with both doors wide open. Which would have one (or both) of the following consequences: (a) handicapped parking spaces would go away, because that's basically how much extra space is hashed out on one side or the other of such a spot, or (2) people will simply park one-and-a-half to the parking space, since the tendency on some people's part is to park anyplace the mirrors will fit, and to remember the bit about opening the doors afterward.

Posted by: McGehee at 7:12 PM on 29 November 2006

I'm thinking I should sew a strap to the interior door panel or something.

Attach it at both ends. If it's only attached at one end it will be every bit as out of reach as the door itself. And make it long enough that the wind slamming it all the way open won't overextend the strap and break it loose at one end.

And that question you want to ask? Don't.

Posted by: McGehee at 7:14 PM on 29 November 2006

There are a few spots in Yukon (the Miller Grill comes to mind) where I simply cannot park my truck (a Chevy Avalanche). When we go there, I simply park far enough out where I won't bother other people by taking up > 1 spot.

Our minivan does fit in one spot there, if you don't mind door dings.

Posted by: robohara at 9:56 PM on 29 November 2006