Parking Madness: Tulsa vs. Philly [Updated]

Parking Madness, our hunt for the worst parking crater in an American downtown, continues today with two formidable contenders.

In one corner we have Tulsa: Oklahoma’s second largest city, birthplace of the teen sensation Hanson (mmmBOP!), home to nearly 400,000 people. In the other corner, Philadelphia: cradle of democracy, birthplace of the Fresh Prince, and home of the cheesesteak.

Don’t forget to vote at the bottom. Now, without further ado… Show us what you got, Tulsa!

Streetsblog reader Stephen Lassiter of Bike Walk Tulsa, sent us this description:

The southern half of downtown is almost entirely surface parking. Our City Council recently passed a moratorium on demolishing old buildings for surface parking while the city tries to come up with new parking regulations.

A recent article in Urban Tulsa Weekly reported the new surface parking lot ban passed with barely a peep of opposition. We can certainly see why. Now it looks like they need a plan to redevelop it.

Meanwhile in Philly, Twitter user @jjshetler singled out this eyesore at 13th and Market Street in the heart of the city:

Right near City Hall (visible in the background of the second photo), this lot mars Philadelphia’s historic Market Street, also home to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.

This parking lot definitely has the cavernous, crater-like ambiance going for it.

Which city has the worst parking crater?

  • Tulsa (95%, 319 Votes)
  • Philadelphia (9%, 30 Votes)

Total Voters: 337

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Winner: Tulsa!

(Update: It’s come to our attention that the Philly photographs are out of date, and this site is no longer much of a parking crater. So, feel free to continue voting for the fun of it, but we are advancing Tulsa to the next round by default.)

Yesterday, Milwaukee blew away Jersey City.

Next up: Los Angeles versus Dallas

  • Acetracer.

    Strange how Detroit isn’t on this list.

  • Jenny

    yikes, those Tulsa lots are hardly even being used! what a waste of land resources.

  • Jeff

    Philly is, in my opinion, up there as one of America’s greatest urban cities, and this cluster of surface lots is more of an exception as opposed to the rule. Tulsa appears to be what I like to call one of America’s many Dresdens–literally bombed out to the core.

  • boof

    Even though the seeding isn’t public, it doesn’t seem like there’s gonna be too many upsets in the first round, eh?

  • Nick Manta

    OK, not that Philadelphia does not have some bad parking craters but those satellite photos are outdated. The expansion to the convention center, which covers up most of that parking, was completed in 2011! (not that creating a super-block has no issues of its own) I really enjoy Streetsblog but come on do your research. Cherry St. at that location is gone, the surface parking is gone its been gone for almost 4 years. So…I am going to go Tulsa.

  • Nick Manta

    just for the reference:

    Arch and 13th as it is now.

    http://goo.gl/maps/jkxNY

  • Nora Mallonee

    I love me some Tulsans but its an amazingly car-centric city. It has a much smaller downtown than Philadelphia but NObody walks. It’s really inexcusable.

  • Joe R.

    Every time I see pictures like this, I can’t help thinking of the resemblance to pictures of bombed out cities after WWII. And in a literal sense there’s some truth to this analogy. The automobile did in fact cause the decline of those cities which tried to cater to it, just as surely as bombs dropped where those parking lots are would have. Eventually when you build too much auto infrastructure in cities, there is no more “there”, no real reason to come to the city in the first place. It’s no coincidence those cities which are doing well never completely bought into the auto paradigm.

  • noah

    AAAAGHHH!!! Streetsblog, I love you, but you blew it.
    Philly’s got a legit contender here, but it’s 5 blocks east and a bit south – the “disney hole” parking lot. It’s between 8th and 9th, and on Market, but south (on Market, but btwn Market and Chestnut).
    It’s a legit contender – legacy of failed corporate planning (hence the ‘disney hole’); key location (blocks from Liberty Bell); totally useless parking lot.
    Tulsa, you’ve got nothing on us – the refs gave you the game! we didn’t have a shot!

  • This bracket is incomplete without the South Boston Waterfront! There is more surface parking in this area directly east of downtown than five shopping malls combined. http://goo.gl/maps/eitm1

  • Jeff

    You’re missing a key distinction: Europe rebuilt.

  • Joe Soda

    How to kill a city: Make parking cheap and easy.

  • Yeah. Apologies. All of these were submitted by readers. We just didn’t anticipate that the space would have been developed since the picture was taken. Unforeseen, problem with relying on Google Maps.

  • Alan

    Thanks I was confused when I went to google maps and it looked totally different.

  • Anonymous

    So true!

  • Triple Parker

    This must be the amateurs: I don’t see Providence anywhere! Serious though, it’s bad….http://www.gcpvd.org/reports/providence-parking-crisis-illustrated/

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