Parking Madness: Louisville vs. San Diego

This week we’re really getting into the thick of our Parking Madness tournament, the hunt for the worst parking crater in an American downtown.

Today’s match-up features a Kentucky river city that has done a number on its downtown and a California beach city with a weak spot for asphalt: It’s Louisville versus San Diego! Don’t forget to vote at the bottom.

Let’s start with Louisville:

This submission comes to us from Patrick Smith (@cityresearch on Twitter). Note that the grey boxes represent real buildings that haven’t been uploaded yet to Google Earth.

The parking fields here are near Jefferson Community and Technical College, an office of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the headquarters of the Parking Authority of River City (PARC) — which, by the looks of downtown, must have its hands full. The sad thing is that this parking crater is not that different from the rest of downtown Louisville. In 2011, Erik Weber made this map of the city with all the surface parking lots highlighted in red (and posted some impressive photos of other parking craters):

Map by ##http://brokensidewalk.com/2011/08/03/downtown-doesnt-need-anymore-parking##Erik Weber##

He wrote at Broken Sidewalk:

A conservative estimate shows that (probably) at least a third of Louisville’s downtown surface area is occupied solely by parking.

This is a city, Weber said, that’s been betting on mega-projects to revitalize its downtown while ignoring the street-level issues. A common but very avoidable mistake.

Now on to San Diego:

This area — part of San Diego’s downtown waterfront — was submitted by reader Jason Tinkley.

Hard to believe, but all this parking is right next to the harbor — presumably marring some very valuable and otherwise picturesque land. There’s only so much oceanfront property convenient to a major city center in America, and here are several acres of it where people can store cars for $1.25 per hour.

On to the voting: Tell us which of these parking fields is the most objectionable.

Which city has the worst parking crater?

View Results

Winner: Louisville!

Yesterday, Dallas beat Los Angeles, advancing to the second round along with last week’s “winners,” Milwaukee and Tulsa.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

8 Monster Interchanges That Blight American Cities

|
Ramming highways through the middle of American cities was undoubtedly one of the worst mistakes of the 20th century — demolishing urban habitat, dividing neighborhoods, and erecting structures that suck the life out of places. What could be worse than a highway through the middle of town? How about when two highways intersect, with all […]

Parking Madness: Los Angeles vs. Dallas

|
Streetsblog’s own “Sweet 16” of the worst downtown parking craters in America — Parking Madness! — continues today with two cities that grew up in the auto age. Known for their mega-highways and congestion, Los Angeles and Dallas have the parking scars to go along with all those cars. An anonymous commenter submitted this entry, […]

Parking Madness: San Bernardino vs. Houston

|
With Milwaukee, Tulsa, Dallas, Louisville, Cleveland, and Atlanta advancing to the second round of Parking Madness, there are only two spaces left in the Elite Eight of parking disasters. In this installment, we’re looking at two very different cities, each of which is extremely car-centric in its own way. It’s San Bernardino versus Houston. Let’s start with […]

Parking Madness 2015: Can Your Parking Crater Compete?

|
  March is a special month on Streetsblog. It’s the time when the nation’s worst downtown parking scars face off head-to-head for the shame of winning the “golden crater” — and the local publicity bonanza that comes with it. For the third year running, we’re asking you to help seed the bracket in our Parking […]

It’s ON! Parking Madness 2014 Kicks Off With Chicago vs. Denver

|
Are you ready for Parking Madness 2014, our second annual search for parking craters that have obliterated cities? You better be. Last year, Tulsa took home the Golden Crater. In this year’s tournament, we broadened the field to accept entries from outside the United States. Perhaps not surprisingly, American parking craters still dominated the reader […]

It’s Tulsa vs. Milwaukee in the Parking Madness Championship!

|
This is it — the final, epic showdown of Parking Madness. We started with 16 reader-submitted contenders for the title of America’s Worst Parking Crater, and Milwaukee and Tulsa have emerged from three rounds of voting to face off in the championship. Only one will be immortalized and receive the “Golden Crater,” Streetsblog’s prize for asphalt […]