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Parking Madness: Newark vs. Dallas

We’re halfway through the first round of the 2014 Parking Madness [1] tournament, with Kansas City, Detroit, Chicago, and Jacksonville having advanced to the next round.

Today’s matchup pairs two very different cities with the same problem: parking craters. A reader submitted the following definition yesterday: park-ing cra-ter (noun) is “ugly, and an inefficient use of space in a downtown area.” So which city has screwed up its downtown worse?

Let’s start out by surveying the damage in Newark, New Jersey’s largest city:

newark [2]

This location [3] includes a lot of surface parking near the Prudential Center, the hockey and basketball arena that opened in 2007. It’s also near Newark Penn Station, a major transit hub where intercity trains, commuter rail, light rail, and a multitude of bus routes converge, notes submitter Michael Klatsky. What a shame.

Now let’s see what Dallas has cooked up for us.

dallas [4]

Patrick Kennedy, local planner, urban freeway teardown advocate [5], and author of Walkable Dallas Fort Worth [6], sent us this picture. The highway seems to have infected the surrounding areas with a creeping asphalt cancer. This picture is slightly outdated, he notes, although it was the best image he could find. And though Dallas has made some progress filling in the area [7] with “charity and subsidy” projects, private developers don’t seem to be interested.

“We clearly want a great, vibrant downtown to be proud of, but our transportation policy and design is not aligned with the vision and ambition for a better Dallas,” he said. “The highway has effectively created a condition where the highest and best use of land around it is surface parking and downtown on the whole as a place to drive through not to,” he said.

Dallas is a perennial city-to-beat in the race for the Golden Crater. Last year’s entry for this city, from a different part of town, went all the way to the Final Four [8].

parking_madness_2014_5 [9]

So without further ado, we ask for your vote.

Which city has the worst parking crater?

  • Dallas (67%, 246 Votes)
  • Newark (33%, 123 Votes)

Total Voters: 369

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