The “Elite Eight” of Parking Madness: Milwaukee vs. Columbia

So far, Texas is really dominating our Parking Madness tournament. The two Final Four spots awarded so far have gone to Lone Star heavyweights Dallas and Houston. We might have an all-Texas final.

But there are still two remaining spots in the Final Four of terrible downtown parking craters. One of those spots is going to go to either Milwaukee or Columbia, South Carolina — today’s Elite Eight match-up.

Let’s refresh ourselves with the Milwaukee parking crater:

Submitted by reader Aaron from Milwaukee, this one is not a crater so much as a lunar landscape bereft of human life forms.

The area is between Milwaukee’s Third Ward — a rather hip area — and the lakefront. Aaron tells us they occasionally hold summer festivals on part of this lot — so a few times a year, at least, this place has people in it. One thing’s for sure, though: parking lots so close to the waterfront are even sadder then regular parking lots.

Here’s a wider view where you can see the parking/freeway complex divide the Third Ward from the lake:

Now, let’s look at Columbia, South Carolina, which beat out Minneapolis in a squeaker in the first round:

This whole scene is adjacent to the South Carolina Statehouse, whose grounds you can see in the right bottom corner.

The most remarkable thing about this photo, in my opinion, is the almost total lack of cars.

Here’s a wider view:

So, the only remaining question is, which one of these spaces deserves to be shamed in the Final Four?

Which city has the worst parking crater?

  • Milwaukee (72%, 163 Votes)
  • Columbia, South Carolina (28%, 63 Votes)

Total Voters: 226

9 thoughts on The “Elite Eight” of Parking Madness: Milwaukee vs. Columbia

  1. Close call, but I had to go with Columbia due to its crater being more centrally-located. Though I also agree on how sad it is to have such a sprawling stretch of nothingness right there on the waterfront in Milwaukee.

  2. Given that most of South Carolina will simply be incapable of mustering any sense of shame around the idea that a city could have too-much-parking, I’m going with Milwaukee. Civic leaders over there might actually be embarrassed by this.

  3. Milwaukee appears to be a result of the impact of a hwy on… everything. At least the space can be used as parking, because the only thing left is storage unit. No one wants to live or work under an overpass.

  4. Could the first Columbia photo have been taken on a Sunday morning? That’s one of the problems when government and/or financial buildings predominate–deadsville after 5 PM on Fridays.

  5. I agree Nathan. This place was already wasted by the freeway interchange. There’s not much other use of this land except for low height storage like parking. The lots in Columbia on the other hand could be used for something much better. That’s actually the positive of a proper parking crater: it is ripe for redevelopment.

  6. Oh, and thanks for including more context in both of these cities. It makes it a lot easier to understand how the crater affects the neighborhood.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Final Four Parking Madness Matchup: Milwaukee vs. Dallas

We’re down to just four cities: Milwaukee, Dallas, Houston, and Tulsa. But only one can be the champion of Parking Madness, our hunt for the worst parking crater in an American downtown. Today is a very exciting day, because we’re kicking off the Final Four with two venerable parking competitors: Milwaukee and Dallas. Milwaukee has […]

Parking Madness: Minneapolis vs. Columbia, South Carolina

Today we’re getting a look at the last two contestants in Streetsblog’s Parking Madness bracket, the tournament that will “crown” the worst parking crater in the U.S. But don’t worry. Milwaukee, Tulsa, Dallas, Atlanta, Louisville, Cleveland, Houston, and today’s winner still need to do battle to determine the final victor. The final first round match-up […]

Parking Madness Elite Eight: Wilkes-Barre vs. Louisville

The final spot in the Final Four is up for grabs today, as we conclude the second week of the 2016 Parking Madness tournament. So far, parking craters in Dallas, Niagara Falls, and Federal Way, Washington have advanced to this elite stage of the competition. In today’s matchup, a waterfront parking crater in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, goes up […]

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 […]