Parking Madness 2015! First Match: Camden vs. Mobile

parking_madness_2015_camden_mobile
Who will win the Golden Crater?

Happy Selection Thursday, Streetsblog readers — our annual Parking Madness tournament kicks off today. Over the next few weeks, these 16 cities and towns will vie for the coveted Golden Crater, awarded to the most horrendous pit of parking to blight an American downtown.

It’s year three of this competition, and we’re in absolutely no danger of running low on awful urban spaces in need of a good public shaming. We received more than two dozen worthy entries and had to cut quite a few to narrow it down to these 16 contenders. In addition to the photographic evidence for each parking crater, we considered the submitter’s written description and the geographic distribution of the entire field to arrive at the final bracket. Thank you to everyone who submitted an entry — if yours didn’t make it, there’s always next year.

Now it’s time to get down to business: Who has the worst crater? First up is Camden, New Jersey, vs. Mobile, Alabama.

Camden

original-7
This submission comes to us from Joseph Russell, who says:

Years ago, this area housed factories for companies like RCA. Ever since, they’ve been used as parking lots for the equally neighborhood-deadening L3 Building, which is essentially a fortress separating employees from the rest of the city. Residents of the Cooper-Grant neighborhood are trying to rebuild a viable neighborhood here, and the negative effects of these huge parking lots stand directly in the way of that goal.

Extra sad when these craters blight a city’s waterfront. This is the straight shot from Google’s satellite camera:

camden_590
Moving along…

Mobile

mobile_590_axon

This entry was submitted by an anonymous commenter, who explained:

The grassy area on the lower right is an historic fort, completely encircled by an off-ramp from I-10 onto “Water Street,” which ironically cuts off the whole downtown area from said water (the Mobile River [out of frame, to the right of the highway]). Please note: extra parking provided inside of off-ramp, and between Water Street and cruise ship.

Then, just to the north: Downtown Mobile. It’s hard to choose my favorite parking lot, but if forced I’d say it’s the one abutting Bienville Square’s (the green block) western edge. Great use of a city square!

Here’s the view from Google Earth, straight overhead:

mobile_590_straight

Dreadful. But who should advance to the next round?

Which parking crater is the worst?

  • Camden (109%, 332 Votes)
  • Mobile (10%, 31 Votes)

Total Voters: 305

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Parking Madness Final Four: Camden vs. Fort Worth

|
We started this Parking Madness tournament with 16 soulless parking craters from California to New Jersey, and you’ve narrowed it down to the Final Four: Camden, Fort Worth, Syracuse, and the very aptly-named Parkersburg, West Virginia. Today and tomorrow your votes will determine who gets a shot at the title and Streetsblog’s coveted Golden Crater. Camden Joseph Russell […]

The 2015 Parking Madness Championship! Camden vs. Parkersburg

|
Welcome to the World Series of asphalt. The Super Bowl of lifeless city blocks. Today is the Parking Madness championship — the culmination of our 16-city tournament showcasing the worst parking craters to scar America’s downtowns. Are you excited? We are! Streetsblog readers have winnowed the field down to two of the finest examples of poor urban land […]

Camden’s Waterfront Abyss Wins the 2015 Golden Crater

|
From the Texas Panhandle to the Bay Area, from the shores of the Detroit River to the Gulf Coast of Florida — America’s cities are a pockmarked mess, blighted by asphalt parking expanses you can practically see from space. Streetsblog readers submitted two dozen horrendous parking craters for consideration in this year’s Parking Madness tournament, and the editors picked 16 to vie […]

Parking Madness 2015 Elite Eight: Detroit vs. Camden

|
Today it’s on to round two in Parking Madness, our hunt for the worst parking crater in an American town. Our first Elite Eight matchup features two cities struggling to rebuild in the wake of some serious urban disinvestment, and these parking craters certainly aren’t helping. It’s Camden vs. Detroit. Detroit The above image, submitted by reader Luke Klipp, […]

Parking Madness: Send Us Pics of Parking Lots Where Your City Should Be

|
Does your city have what it takes to compete in Streetsblog’s fourth annual Parking Madness tournament? Who will join Tulsa, Rochester, and Camden, NJ, as winners of the coveted “Golden Crater”? We’re looking for 16 parking scars blighting American downtowns. One will advance through our bracket to achieve lasting infamy — and hopefully some hometown coverage that […]

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 […]