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A New Spin on an Old Driveway

One of the many, many, hoops we were required to jump through in order to get approval for some design updates for an historic Georgetown property, was to find a solution for parking in our very narrow driveway that would make it so that cars did not have to back into the street. Yes, you read that correctly. We are not allowed to back out of our driveway. We had a fun week inviting people in various sized cars to try a 3 point turn in the drive, and only the smallest (and one stubborn guy) could make it in less than 5.

Years ago, in Malibu, I had installed a vehicle turntable in a residential garage / showroom and thought this might be the solution. I reached out Carousel USA to assess our situation. There was one major difference in the properties; in Malibu, we were able to excavate and recess the motor in the ground, but in Georgetown, we would have to have the entire carousel and mechanics above ground. This required a custom elevation, but it was doable. The preparation on our end was to provide a completely level surface at the install point. We hired a landscape designer and concrete contractor who handled those jobs with ease and expedience.

The carousel showed up on two extra-wide palettes. An installer came from Carousel USA and had the entire turntable up and running within a day. The installation process starts with preparing the framework and underlying mechanical elements including precision bearings that ensure smooth movement and an electric motor that powers the rotation. The circular platform is then positioned and secured, while electrical connections are established to power the motor and control systems. Testing and calibration were the last steps to guarantee accurate and controlled rotation.

Users have the ability to control the turntable through a remote control or smartphone app. This interface enables them to initiate rotations and select the desired direction and speed. Safety features, like obstacle detection and placement sensors, are incorporated to prevent accidents during rotation. For those without the app, we’re looking at laser stops, flexible traffic cones, and have even considered my Dad’s old favorite: hanging a tennis ball from the ceiling to let a driver know when they have pulled up far enough onto the turntable. Overall, it’s been a positive solution.  We were able to satisfy the DC Traffic Control requirements and now have an easy way in and out of our garage and driveway.

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