Parking Madness: San Diego vs. Nashville

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Welcome to the final match of round one action in Parking Madness, our annual tournament to “crown” the most depressing parking crater in North America.

Your votes will narrow our field of 16 down to eight quarterfinalists. The parking craters already through to round two belong to Houston, LansingProvidenceGreenvilleFremont, and Philadelphia. You can still cast a vote open for Hicksville vs. Jersey City.

Today’s match will make you wonder why cities can’t stop subsidizing large single-purpose venues with lots of parking, as a stadium crater in Nashville takes on an arena crater in San Diego.

San Diego

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Take a gander at San Diego’s Midway District. The big building in the upper left is the Valley View Casino Center (San Diego’s “premier destination for sporting events, family shows, and live entertainment and more”). The two large buildings below it are a Target and Home Depot. Our anonymous submitter says:

This is an area of San Diego that connects to the communities of Ocean Beach and Point Loma. It is predominantly industrial with suburban big box stores of which are served by the parking lots. Sports Arena Blvd, Midway Drive, and Rosecrans Street are the major arterials which connect the communities, but they are entirely bloated high speed stroads with horrendous walking and biking infrastructure.

Intersections in this part of town are huge, with crossings ranging from 4-8 lanes. The San Diego Trolley (light rail) Old Town Station is on the other side of an underpass of I-5, but it’s nearly impossible to reach it on foot and extremely dangerous by bicycle. The highly desirable Liberty Station as a destination is completely cut-off from any mode of transportation besides a car except for two bus stops and a narrow bike lane along the Rosecrans Stroad of the premises of Liberty Station. Even then, More than half of the land devoted for guests at Liberty Station is devoted to surface parking lots.

San Diego has plans to redevelop this area, but the scale of construction required to fix the issues will take many decades and enormous political will power. In the meantime, this area is [one of] the biggest urban blights on the coastal San Diego landscape.

Nashville

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The area around Nashville’s Nissan Stadium was nominated by reader Adam Blair. Unlike some of the other stadiums in the competition this year, Nashville’s is very close to downtown — which you can see just across the Cumberland River.

Blair tells us this stadium has 16 official parking lots. According to Nashville’s Sports Authority, the complex covers 120 acres and includes 7,500 parking spaces. The authority’s description is good for some lulz:

The concept of the complex: a park. More than 200 trees have been planted.

The stadium cost almost $300 million to construct. Metro Davidson County provided $154 million of that, and the state kicked in another $67 million.

Which deserves to go on to the second round?

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Parking Madness: Louisville vs. San Diego

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This week we’re really getting into the thick of our Parking Madness tournament, the hunt for the worst parking crater in an American downtown. Today’s match-up features a Kentucky river city that has done a number on its downtown and a California beach city with a weak spot for asphalt: It’s Louisville versus San Diego! […]