Parking Madness Champion Tulsa Moves to Limit Surface Parking Downtown

Tulsa ran away with the "Golden Crater" award in our Parking Madness competition. Now local leaders are taking steps to help build a healthier balance for the city's downtown. Image: Google Maps

Just last month, we were shaming Tulsa, Oklahoma, with our “Golden Crater” award for the downtown most riddled with surface parking lots. But today, we applaud the city for taking steps to reverse the plague of excess parking.

Tulsa World reported Friday that our Parking Madness competition winner is moving forward with a ban on new surface parking lots. The Tulsa City Council has extended a temporary moratorium on new surface parking through September. Between now and then, Tulsa will be working to prepare permanent changes to the city’s zoning code that will help contain the tide of surface parking lots and, hopefully, set the stage for some redevelopment.

The legislation is being championed by City Councilman Blake Ewing, who gave a shout out to Streetsblog in his remarks to the newspaper.

“Ewing pointed to a recent online contest by a nonprofit transportation advocacy publication in which Tulsa was named the worst city in the country for parking craters’ — areas of historic downtowns that have been bulldozed for surface parking,” wrote Tulsa World reporter Zack Stoykoff.

Tulsa is in the early stages of the same program the city of Denver took on to repair its woeful surface parking lot problem two decades ago. We’ll be featuring a story about that city’s dramatic reversal later today.

We’re proud that, by shining a light on the damage caused by Tulsa’s excess parking, Streetsblog was able to help catalyze change. Whether by highlighting best practices or worst practices, we’re thrilled when we can inspire cities to re-think their priorities and plan for a more sustainable future.

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