We’re halfway through the first round of the 2014 Parking Madness  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:
This location  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.
Patrick Kennedy, local planner, urban freeway teardown advocate , and author of Walkable Dallas Fort Worth , 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 This picture is slightly outdated, he notes, although it was the best image he could find.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  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 .
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