Parking Madness Final Four: Medford vs. Poughkeepsie
We’re in the semi-final round here at Parking Madness. We started off with 16 transit stations, each mired in a morass of parking, and now you can count the number that remain on one hand.
There are just five cities left in the running: Atlanta will face off tomorrow afternoon against the winner of the St. Louis vs. Denver match (voting is open until 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday), and Poughkeepsie and Medford do battle today.
Usually, the entries that do best in Parking Madness develop a hometown constituency that delivers a lot of votes, because a deep run can make for a good local news story and generate some momentum for policy reform. That seems to be the case with these two entries — smaller cities that beat out bigger competitors to get this far.
Which one will reach the final and a shot at the Golden Crater?
Medford, Massachusetts — Wellington T Station
This T station and its parking lots, outside Boston, overcame craters in Hartford and Toronto in earlier rounds of competition. An anonymous reader submitted this entry, supported with this description, which has carried it surprisingly deep in the tournament:
The station is sandwiched between a massive parking lot, a major highway and a train maintenance yard. There is also a parking garage just west of the station. I am not sure how any one from the neighborhoods north get to this station on foot/bike, and it is really too bad that using/being near the Malden and Mystic Rivers is almost impossible here.
If there’s a Cinderella in this tournament, it’s Poughkeepsie. This upstate New York commuter rail terminus beat out unsightly parking craters in Fairfield and Queens in earlier rounds of competition.
Reader Jay Arzu says Poughkeepsie should be a walkable place, but…
Poughkeepsie was unfortunately hit with a large amount of urban renewal in the 1950s’ through 60s’. I attached a paper [PDF] explain exactly what happened. 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 help with the process.
Local officials have been working on a plan to remake this site with more walkable development. Here’s a look at what they have in mind:
So there you have it. Your vote will determine which of these contestants competes in the final.