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:


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.


The area around Chicago’s United Center is the worst example in the 2014 bracket of how sports stadiums tend to go hand in hand with dead zones of dreadful asphalt. This parking expanse propelled Chicago past Denver and El Cerrito, California, in the first and second rounds.

The United Center parking crater is not that far from Chicago’s Loop, meaning this is valuable real estate being put to really lousy use.

The winner of this contest will take on either Kansas City or Rochester for the coveted Golden Crater award, which combines eternal shame with the potential for some really good advocacy and awareness-building. Vote for your choice below.


Which city has the worst parking crater?

  • Jacksonville (56%, 160 Votes)
  • Chicago (45%, 129 Votes)

Total Voters: 288

  • BBnet3000

    Defenders of the Chicago one will keep saying “in 5 years that wont even be there anymore, its already partly proposed for development”.

    Great! Thats the whole point of this exercise.

  • Vic

    Well one of those parking parcels is actually being developed currently as a Bulls training facility. And every time the bulls, the Blackhawks, or the United Center is being used for a concert or event all of those parking spaces are full.

  • Bruce Halperin

    If there were viable transit to the United Center, like at countless arenas and stadiums around the country (Barclays Center, Madison Square Garden, TD Garden, AT&T Park, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, just to name a few), then those parking spaces wouldn’t all be full. And then the land would actually become usable, as opposed to car storage for all of 500 hours per year and wasted space for the vast majority of the time.

  • Mcass777

    This is like crying over spilled milk. You will be eating at a restaurant across from the UC in five years. then you will have to move your contest farther west. One mans parking lot is another mans development of tomorrow

  • rohmen

    There are two L stations less than 1/2 a mile from the stadium, plus a 24 hour bus on Madison that would take visitors to both major commuter rail line hubs in the loop in under 15 minutes. I guarantee you that is better transit access than 2/3rds of the other NHL and NBA stadiums have

  • The 19-United Center Express, 20-Madison, and 50-Damen buses all move pretty slowly before events. The traffic management aides and their employer OEMC often have the good idea of restricting traffic on Madison between Damen and Paulina? to include only buses and taxis. I’ve heard they sometimes exclude pedicabs.


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