It’s March: Send Us Your Parking Craters!

denver_craters

March means one thing at Streetsblog: parking craters.

This is the sixth year our Parking Madness bracket will name and shame the urban areas where car storage has crowded out human habitat. We are now accepting submissions for the next field of 16 parking craters — huge park-and-ride lots next to transit, downtown stadium parking moats, waterfront asphalt expanses — to compete in the tournament.

The value of the tournament goes far beyond gawking at the amount of land we’ve let parking consume in our cities. It’s a way to reframe the public discussion about parking. City governments get an earful from motorists complaining about “not enough parking.” The beauty of Parking Madness is its visual depiction of how American cities have gone completely overboard to accommodate cars. Our problem now is too much parking.

The bracket gets a lot of attention too, and that provokes action. There are some big changes in store for last year’s winner, a sea of asphalt in Denver (above). City officials say winning the Parking Madness “championship” was a kick in the pants that accelerated an initiative to redevelop 1,800 parking spaces as a walkable neighborhood.

You might think that after five years and 80 parking crater entries, we’d start to run out of terrible asphalt moonscapes to feature in the tournament. Not so. One thing you learn running this contest is that there is a nearly inexhaustible supply of sorry parking craters in American cities.

We are looking for parking run amok in urban areas where walking, biking, and transit should be good travel options — not, say, giant suburban malls. The closer to the center of town or a transit station, the better. Only craters that have never competed before will be eligible.

Send us your submissions with at least one photo and a short explanation of why your parking crater is so egregious to angie at streetsblog dot org or leave them in the comments. We’ll be accepting entries until Thursday, March 15.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Parking Madness 2015: Can Your Parking Crater Compete?

|
  March is a special month on Streetsblog. It’s the time when the nation’s worst downtown parking scars face off head-to-head for the shame of winning the “golden crater” — and the local publicity bonanza that comes with it. For the third year running, we’re asking you to help seed the bracket in our Parking […]

It’s Washington vs. Burlington in the Parking Madness 2016 Tip Off!

|
Welcome to Parking Madness, Streetsblog’s annual Sweet 16 tournament of parking craters. What’s a parking crater? Simply put, it’s a depression in the cityscape, a void where car storage has usurped land that should be devoted to buildings. This is the fourth year Streetsblog readers have submitted more than enough entries to field a 16-crater bracket. Thanks to everyone who […]

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 […]