Driveway turn-around radius

misslucindaMay 4, 2007

I am trying to pare down and define my overly-huge driveway turn-around. We have a long, long drive edged by a stone-wall and then towards the garage and house, by high retaining walls.

I understand the concept of taking a 17 foot string and creating an arc for the turning radius into the dogs-leg or turn-around (you can see some markings I made in white to this effect)--but I don't know how to determine where the nail or center of the circle or radius line should be located...and this important issue is not covered in my landscaping books. Help most appreciated.

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saypoint(6b CT)

I use a 10 ft. radius on the inside of the curve. The parking space should be about 20 feet deep, and about 10 feet wide for each car you expect to park there.

Different towns or states have different minimums for the radius of the turn from the drive into the public street, you might be able to find out what the standard is in your area and use that as a guide. I've seen standards for passenger cars and small trucks showing a minimum of 5 to a max of 15 ft. radius, depending on the speed of the cars traveling on the road, ie. state highways with higher speed limits.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 4:31PM
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misslucinda

Saybrook-

I understand the dimensions: I have the 20'depth to back into and 36' which I intend to reduce to a 10' to 12' width.

I am sure I am being dense, but where do I locate the center of the circle - as the radius is half the diameter of the circle. I want the turn-around to curve appropriately toward the driveway by the stone wall (thus eliminating the dead space in the picture and giving me more lawn). In other words, where do I hammer in the nail with the 10foot string attached?

Thanking the one who can answer this question!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 6:41PM
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laag(z6CapeCod)

Measure over r' (desired radius) perpendicular to one of the the straight legs of your drive and do it again several feet down from that point and draw a line or set a string. That will give you a line that is parallel to your drive r' from it. Do the same thing on the other leg of the drive. Where the two intersect is the center of the radius that you want.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 7:26PM
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misslucinda

So if I understand correctly, I run a line perpendicular to the (length of the) dogleg/turnaround (also perpendicular to the house) and another perpendicular to the main driveway.

How far down the dog-leg do I lay the line.

Anyway, thank you for your assistance.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 7:18AM
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laag(z6CapeCod)

No. Make a line parallel to each straight edge of the two sections of driveway that you want to round together that equals your radius. Where the lines intersect is where you will center your radius.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 7:27AM
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laag(z6CapeCod)

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 7:34AM
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saypoint(6b CT)

Hmm. This is how I've been doing it, is this wrong?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 8:40AM
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misslucinda

I thankyou--and the archive thanks you for your drawings.

Saypoint--my book says "because only the front axle of a car turns, a driveway curve must be at least one third wider than the width of a car.." He goes on to recommend a 17' inner and 29' outer radius. But then, if your turn-around is broad (a two-car width) I guess the 10 foot radius would be fine

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 8:53AM
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laag(z6CapeCod)

ML,

If you need to turn a car around a circle, 17'and 29'are about the minimum. To cut into a turnaround in a driveway, 10' is ample as Saypoint points out (I was going to say as Saypoint said, but thought it sounded funny using part of her name, I guess I can't avoid it).

Most parking lots use a 5'curb radius for the planting isles next to parking spaces. Some even use 4' (so they can fit the tree planting within one 9' space).

I actually measured out what it took to turn my minivan (a fine accessory to my pocket protector) around 180 degrees. I came to the conclusion that 18' was comfortable. I had a gate plan from an LA that showed a 5' radius around an island in front of a coded entry gate as a turnaround (damn landscape architects) that I was supposed to put in the engineering plan. I wanted to have some fact to back up my contention that there was no way anyone was going to hook a u-ey around his 10' planting median, so I went to a school parking lot (in summer) and checked it out. If you need to turn a firetruck around, you'll need closer to 60' as the outside radius.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 10:40PM
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saypoint(6b CT)

Actually, Andrew, my username refers to where I live, not to "saying" anything, LOL. Saybrook Point.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 11:50AM
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misslucinda

You are both dolls. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 2:57PM
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laag(z6CapeCod)

I'm the kind of doll with the string on the neck that you pull and it talks, I think.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 8:26PM
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misslucinda

Laag-

You had me after you mentioned a minivan was a fine accessory to your pocket protector....

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 9:09AM
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laag(z6CapeCod)

I actually have both ....

.....as well as a gas gusling 4x4 and a big silver cowboy style belt buckle.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 5:15PM
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misslucinda

Don't tempt the Miss. She likes slapping cowboys around especially for driving a vehicle which gets less than 15 miles to the gallon. On the other hand, silver buckles are forever.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 5:33PM
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inkognito

Spring is in the air, the grass has ris and Andrews "big silver cowboy style belt buckle" is all of a quiver which means he is calculating in his pocket again so there is no way I am going to pull that string.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 6:16PM
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laag(z6CapeCod)

Easy there, Tony. The pickup is actually my wife's. I get hormone shots from my doctor, drive a minivan, wear a pocket protector, and probably would get no where in a women's prison with a fist full of fifties ... well not until sometime in June if there is no appeal, I suppose.

Sorry for the hijack, but I think the OP got her answer and it is not taking away from anything.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 6:41PM
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