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Parking Madness: Little Rock vs. Atlanta

Of all the places that have been marred by surface parking, the saddest might be city blocks served by transit, where walking should reign and driving should not be necessary. We're seeing in this year's Parking Madness tournament that there's an abundance of these places around the United States.

So far, parking craters in St. Louis, Medford, Massachusetts, and San Bernardino have advanced to the second round, and voting remains open in the Metro-North showdown of Poughkeepsie vs. Fairfield until tomorrow.

On to today's matchup of transit-adjacent parkingscapes...

Little Rock -- River Cities Travel Center

Arkansas Transit Center

Downtown Little Rock is dominated by surface parking, says reader Cary Tyson, and this site by the River Cities Travel Center -- Little Rock's main bus station and an important transfer point for the regional transit system -- is no exception. The surrounding area, as you can see, is none too walkable or welcoming.

Awareness is growing that downtown -- and the transit center in particular -- could be much more. A temporary installation last October set up market stalls and public art at the site while demonstrating a bus rapid transit-type service for downtown.

Atlanta -- Luckie Street and Centennial Olympic Park Drive

Atlanta Parking Crater

This entry comes from reader Michelle Rushing. Atlanta Streetcar stops are marked by purple stars, surface parking is outlined in orange, and parking decks are in blue. She writes:

There is a park on one side but the surrounding blocks are parking and more parking, punctuated by an occasional restaurant or hotel. In the 2+ years since the streetcar was completed, the only development has been to add solar panels to the parking lot next to the stop.

Landscapes like this help explain why the Atlanta Streetcar is attracting just 700 riders a day. While city officials get defensive about the project's performance, local writer Darin Givens says they should be doing more to develop these sites.

Vote below -- this poll closes on Monday at 2 p.m.

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