Parking Madness: San Bernardino vs. Chicago

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Where is the most cringeworthy case of excess car storage next to a transit station? Streetsblog’s annual Parking Madness tournament is in search of an answer.

A suburban St. Louis rail station is already through to the next round, and the polls are still open in yesterday’s match pitting greater Boston again Toronto. The first round action continues today, as the downtown parking lots by a multi-modal transit hub in the Inland Empire take on a suburban-style shopping center right next to a Chicago train station.

Don’t forget to vote for the worst.

San Bernardino Transit Center

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Reader Anna Jaiswal nominated this site and says more parking is on the way:

Omnitrans and the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority opened the new San Bernardino Transit Center in downtown San Bernardino in September 2015, which is adjacent to a commuter rail line, a bus rapid transit line, and some 17 other bus routes. A new 166-space parking lot is being constructed on the south side of the tracks. The entire surrounding downtown area is rife with unused parking, including 2,000 spaces in the near-vacant City-owned Carousel Mall lot just one block to the North, the baseball stadium just one block to the South, and several strip retail centers neighboring the Transit Center.

Chicago — Howard Street/Gateway Plaza

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This parking expanse by the Howard Street CTA station comes from reader Thorn Lamont, who writes:

Chicago’s Gateway Plaza is a particularly embarrassing parking crater. Located just steps from one of the city’s busiest transit hubs — though as you can see from the bump-ins, they’re some very treacherous steps — Gateway Plaza is a most egregious example of transit indifferent development.

The Howard Street CTA station is one of the system’s busiest, where three rail lines and numerous bus lines terminate. But the redeveloped shopping area is a setback strip mall that’s more suited to outer fringes of suburbia. After nearly two decades, the mall still lends a palpable suburban deadness to the neighborhood.

This poll will be open until Thursday at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, and you can still vote in the Toronto vs. Medford match until 2 p.m. tomorrow.

Which city has the worst parking crater?

  • San Bernardino (53%, 173 Votes)
  • Chicago (47%, 152 Votes)

Total Voters: 325

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