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Congratulations to the Winners of the Showers & Snow Photo Contest!

Congratulations to Todd Consentino and Chris Chaney, winners of the Ortlieb Showers & Snow photo contest by the Alliance for Biking & Walking and Streetsblog.

We received over 100 photos of rainy, snowy biking and walking from dozens of photographers. Ten photos made it to the final round; of those, two were chosen by a (somewhat buggy) popular vote. Check them out below!

First prize winner: “Blizzard 2013” by Todd Consentino

Blizzard 2013 by Todd Consentino

This photo is from February 2013, when Boston had just been slammed with 24 inches of snow in 24 hours.

“Most of the roads by us were a mess and there weren’t many non-plow type vehicles on the road,” said Todd. “My five year old daughter wanted to go sledding. Our favorite sledding hill is only four miles away, so we rode our bike. It was awesome! Boston was peacefully quiet.”

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Deadline Extended! Vote for the Best Rainy/Snowy Picture

UPDATE: Well, this is embarrassing and a little maddening. We have been hacked through our hack-proof captcha coding. So, we’re shutting this sucker down and calling the winners based on voting as of May 10, when the hacking started. We will steer clear of Google polls in the future, and we sincerely apologize to everyone who voted and most especially to everyone who submitted photos. Winners will be announced tomorrow.

Last week, we brought you the best 10 pictures from our photo contest of biking and walking in the rain and snow. They were pretty beautiful, weren’t they? Well, unfortunately, someone got a little too enthusiastic about his or her favorite pictures and hacked the voting over the weekend.

We’ve made a more secure form for our Showers & Snow photo contest and are keeping voting open for a while longer.  The final winners will be decided by combining the pre-hack votes with votes cast between now and 5:00 PM on Wednesday, May 14.  It’s not a perfect system, we know, but it’s the most fair solution we could come up with.

The new deadline for voting will be 5:00 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, May 14. Winners will be announced the next day.

The two winners will win free sets of waterproof Ortlieb panniers and bike bags.

1. “Blizzard 2013,” by Todd Consentino:

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Cast Your Vote for the Best Photo of All-Weather Biking and Walking

UPDATE 5/13: Hey folks, we got hacked. Deadline extended, vote in our new-and-improved, more secure poll by 11:59 p.m. May 14!

It’s May, but we’re still getting doused with April showers. And it wasn’t that long ago that we were still getting hit with snowstorms too. And you know what? The bikers kept biking and the walkers kept walking — even when cars were stuck in the snow and schools closed down because the roads were supposedly impassable.

We asked our readers to send in their best pictures of biking and walking in the rain and snow, and the results are magical. The hushed winter wonderlands, the soggy but happy rides — great images that capture how active transportation connects us to the elements, even when the elements aren’t at their most favorable.

We need your help to pick two winners in our Showers & Snow photo contest, sponsored by Ortlieb and co-presented by the Alliance for Biking & Walking. Vote below for your favorite picture and the top two vote-getters will win free sets of waterproof Ortlieb panniers and bike bags!

Polls close at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, May 12. The winners will be announced the next day.

1. “Blizzard 2013,” by Todd Consentino:

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Photo Contest: Send Us Your Soggy, Snowy, Rain-Soaked Walk or Bike Ride!

Share imageThis year has dealt us some crazy weather, from the polar vortex to drenching thunderstorms. We know you didn’t hide all winter in a car. You were out walking the walk and riding the bike, whatever the weather. We hope you got a picture of it!

In honor of April showers — and to celebrate the end of an epic winter — we’re co-sponsoring a Showers & Snow photo contest with the Alliance for Biking & Walking and Ortlieb. Send us your gorgeous photo(s) of walkers or bikers in the rain or snow where you live, and you could win a fabulous set of waterproof Ortlieb panniers and bike bags.

Contest details

Photos: Please send high-resolution files (at least 1,600 pixels wide or tall), without watermarks. Please submit no more than 10 photos for this contest. For inspiration, check out the finalists from our last photo contest.

To enter:

  • If you’re on Flickr, add your pictures to the Ortlieb Showers & Snow photo contest Flickr group. In the photo caption field, provide your name, email, city and state, as well as a caption.
  • If you are not on Flickr, email your pictures as a JPG or PNG file to photocontest@bikewalkalliance.org, with the subject line “Ortlieb Showers & Snow photo contest.” In the body of the email, provide your name, address, telephone number, email address, and photo caption. Please submit your images in as few emails as possible.

In both cases, if you didn’t take the picture yourself, please let us know who did!

Prizes: First and second prize winners each get a full set of awesome, waterproof Ortlieb panniers and mountable bags to turn your bike into a badass hauler.

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Rochester Wins 2014 Parking Madness Title and Claims the Golden Crater

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An asphalt scar in Rochester, New York, has triumphed over 15 of the world’s worst parking craters to become the Parking Madness 2014 champion.

It was a surprising run. Who would have guessed a couple of weeks ago that this scrappy upstart would prevail over some of the sprawliest, most highway-marred urban spaces in North America? But a devout group of locals, recognizing the advocacy potential, helped push Rochester past Miami, and then Detroit, and then Kansas City, and finally Jacksonville, all the way to the Golden Crater. Quite the Cinderella story.

When we closed voting at 2 p.m. Eastern time today, Rochester was several lengths ahead of Jacksonville, leading 611 to 165. The Rochester parking crater joins last year’s winner, downtown Tulsa, in the annals of Parking Madness infamy.

Here’s the crater that swept to victory:

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Kansas City may have had a bigger crater. Detroit’s may have been emptier. But the Rochester crater packed an extra wallop because we also got to see what was lost:

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It’s Rochester vs. Jacksonville in the Parking Madness Championship!

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Forget Huskies vs. Wildcats — today is all about parking crater vs. parking crater.

Through 14 matches pitting some of the most hideous parking expanses in the world against each other, two cities are still standing: Rochester and Jacksonville.

These are the worst of the worst downtown asphalt scars. But only one city can claim the Golden Crater, and the teachable moment that comes with it. Now it’s up to Streetsblog readers to choose this year’s champion.

Let’s look at Rochester first:

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Parking Madness Final Four: Kansas City vs. Rochester

The hunt for the worst parking crater on earth nears its epic conclusion with the second Final Four match of Parking Madness.

Today’s matchup features a formidable entry from Kansas City and the upstart parking crater from Rochester, New York, which knocked out Detroit in the previous round. The winner will take on Jacksonville tomorrow for a shot at the Golden Crater and eternal parking crater disgrace (but a great local advocacy opportunity).

Which city has made a greater mess of its downtown with excess surface parking?

First up, Kansas City:

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This image was marked up and submitted by local advocate Emily Catherine. The area isn’t so much a solitary crater as a pockmarked asphalt wilderness.

They call this the city’s Financial District, but it’s hard to pick out any distinguishing characteristics. That’s the thing about parking craters — after a while all these places start to look the same.

Now on to Rochester, the Cinderella of the 2014 Parking Madness bracket.

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Parking Madness Final Four: Chicago vs. Jacksonville

We started with 16 parking craters and now we’re down to the Final Four of Parking Madness.

After two bruising rounds of competition, four hideous parking expanses in Kansas City, Rochester, Chicago, and Jacksonville are still in it to win it. Each one is an ugly and awe-inspiring waste of potential in its own way.

Today’s matchup for a shot at the championship pits Jacksonville against Chicago.

The contender from Florida is a riverfront travesty:

jacksonville1

Jacksonville has been a real force in this tournament, easily knocking off impressive entries from Calgary and Dallas. You can see there are a few very tall buildings in this area, but since it’s been mercilessly carved up by highways, parking has become the land use of choice.

Meanwhile, the Chicago site is a different kind of crater.

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Parking Madness Elite Eight: Rochester vs. Detroit

The last spot in the 2014 Parking Madness Final Four is at stake today, as Rochester faces off against Detroit.

The pictures of these two places, below, really speak for themselves. So without further ado, we’ll leave it up to you guys to tell us which city has the worst parking crater.

Here’s Rochester:

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This soulless, unlovable area, reports submitter Matthew Denker, used to be the town square for Rochester, where the annual Christmas tree was raised. That was before the Inner Loop freeway came along and decimated the place.

Can Detroit beat that?

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Parking Madness Elite Eight: El Cerrito vs. Chicago

We’re two weeks into our Parking Madness competition, and only a few parking craters are still standing.

Today’s Elite Eight matchup pairs a Bay Area suburb with America’s third largest city: It’s El Cerrito, California vs. Chicago.

First up is El Cerrito, which was singled out for shame by one of our readers because of this crater’s proximity to a BART station providing quick access to San Francisco.

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The submitter pointed out that almost every BART station looks something like this, so in a sense the El Cerrito parking crater is standing in for the failure of an entire region to produce walkable development near transit.

Meanwhile, the Chicago crater suffers from sports venue syndrome:

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