Parking Madness: Nashville vs. Providence

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Does the sight of huge, ugly parking lots make you feel sad and faintly nauseous? Too bad!

We’ve got five more Parking Madness matches before we crown the victor and award the Golden Crater. The Final Four is beginning to take shape, with Lansing through to the semi-final and voting still open in the Houston vs. Philadelphia stadium parking rumble.

Today, Nashville’s NFL parking moonscape takes on Providence’s pockmarked hospital campus.

Nashville

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Nashville’s Nissan Stadium was nominated by reader Adam Blair. What separates it from other stadium craters in this year’s Parking Madness bracket is its proximity to downtown, which is just across the river. Rather than clustering more housing and jobs in the center of town, Nashville lets this real estate sit empty for much of the year, channeling runoff into the Cumberland River.

All told, the stadium has 7,500 parking spaces, with the complex spread out over 120 acres, according to the Nashville Sports Authority. Like too many other large sports venues, the public subsidized Nissan Stadium and its parking lots, with more than $200 million in taxpayer funds from Davidson County and the state of Tennessee channeled into this project.

Providence

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Despite being a stone’s throw from downtown Providence, the area surrounding Rhode Island Hospital is saturated with surface parking.

Buses do serve this area, according to the reader who nominated it, and the city is planning a “Downtown Connector” that will consolidate various routes and increase the frequency of service to every five minutes. Will that also prompt redevelopment of these asphalt lots, so people don’t have to walk through a bleak parking dead zone to get to the bus?

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