Parking Madness 2019 Round 1: DC MVT vs. Toronto
The nation’s capital makes its second appearance in our annual Parking Madness battle, this time with a neighborhood going head to head against Toronto. But first, an update:
We’ve closed the polls on some earlier matchups, with Houston narrowly defeating Boston, Pittsburgh also squeaking by Portland, and Providence absolutely destroying Austin (we suppose that happens when an entire city is completely reimagined rather than just a developer building a nice building on a former parking crater).
But there’s still time to vote in another matchup pitting a DC-area neighborhood against a piece of the heartland — yes, it’s DC Pike vs. Indianapolis. Play now.
OK, onto today’s battle:
DC’s Mount Vernon Triangle
Streetsblog reader Ben Ross sent in the “before” and “after” pictures below from, respectively, 1999 and 2018, adding in the caveat that the current transformation is not fully complete. Ross sent in little other info, so we pieced it together.
The area below is a wedge basically bordered by Massachusetts Avenue on the south, New York Avenue on the north and the 395 expressway on the east, with K Street NW running through the middle. It’s north and west of Union Station. (Locals call it the Mount Vernon Triangle.)
The area really took off after “in the 21st century as more people moved into the city, and local government officials offered tax abatement for residential construction,” as Wikipedia tells us.
But is this just a story of developers rushing into a Wild West and gentrifying everything? Yeah, probably.
Meanwhile, north-of-the-border reader Dave Thom told us about an “unbelievable” infill in downtown Toronto, specifically, the areas south of King Street and east of Yonge Street.
“The entire city should get an award for eliminating most surface parking in not just one area, but in the entire downtown core through the course of two decades of nonstop infill and vertical growth,” Thom said, citing a famous blog headline from 2017, “That time when Toronto was a city of parking lots.”
The pictures tell a lot of this story:
So who is going on to the next round? DC or Toronto? Vote early (but not often!):
Update: An earlier version of this story misidentified the DC neighborhood as NoMa when it is, in fact, the Mount Vernon Triangle. The poll graphic above does not reflect the new information.