Parking Madness: Poughkeepsie vs. Fairfield
Transit is scarce enough already in the United States. Then we make it even less accessible by surrounding stations with parking.
In this year’s Parking Madness tournament, we’re getting a look at how, even near transit stations, parking takes up huge amounts of space, squandering opportunities for walkable development. So far, parking craters by transit stations outside St. Louis and Boston are through to round two, and voting is open until tomorrow afternoon in the San Bernardino vs. Chicago match.
Today we have two Metro-North station areas facing off, one on the Hudson Line and the other on the New Haven Line — it’s Poughkeepsie vs. Fairfield.
Reader Jay Arzu went to college in this New York town. Above you can see the immediate surroundings of its train station. The parking around the Metro-North stop is symptomatic of a broader problem downtown, he says:
Poughkeepsie was unfortunately hit with a large amount of urban renewal in the 1950s’ through 60s’. The Poughkeepsie Central Business District was ripped apart and replaced with large surface parking lots. The city is trying to redevelop them but I think that the public shame of Parking Madness will help the county with the process.
In Connecticut, this recent addition to the New Haven Line was supposed to catalyze walkable development, but that hasn’t happened, says reader Sandy Johnston:
Fairfield Metro opened in 2011 as an infill station on Metro-North’s New Haven line (I used to watch construction during my trips between college in NYC and friends in New Haven). Intended, in part, to spur dense development in the surrounding area, the station has instead basically only functioned as a park-and-ride with a giant 1,500-space parking lot. Between developers missing the cratering market for large-scale office parks in Fairfield County and NIMBYism, the supposed TOD district around the station remains largely in stasis almost six years after opening.
You can vote below until Friday at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.