Skip to Content
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Log In
DC Streetsblog

It’s Tulsa vs. Milwaukee in the Parking Madness Championship!

A ticket "awarded" after the program ended, but before the mandatory licensing ordinance was taken off the books. Photo: Alex Thompson/Flickr

This is it -- the final, epic showdown of Parking Madness. We started with 16 reader-submitted contenders for the title of America's Worst Parking Crater, and Milwaukee and Tulsa have emerged from three rounds of voting to face off in the championship.

Only one will be immortalized and receive the "Golden Crater," Streetsblog's prize for asphalt expanses run amok.

It's up to you to decide who claims the title, based on the incriminating evidence we've compiled below. So let's get acquainted (or reacquainted, as the case may be) with these two examples of parking devastation:

Downtown Tulsa has been a favorite from the start because of the sheer surface area devoted to parking. Stephen Lassiter of BikeWalkTulsa submitted this photo and told us that “the southern half of downtown is almost entirely surface parking," as you can see below:

false

Lassiter also sent along photos showing this part of Tulsa in 1978 versus 2005.

false

false

Thanks to local television station KJRH for using the Parking Madness hook to highlight Tulsa's parking problem in this segment, which ran on Sunday. That's what this contest is all about. (Watch the video segment; it's better than the text.)

Fortunately, in July the city issued a temporary moratorium on downtown surface parking lots. But Amanda DeCort, a preservation planner with the city of Tulsa, says that moratorium is nearing its expiration, and the City Council will have to act to renew it if they want to turn this problem around.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee pulled out an upset win over Dallas last week to clinch a spot in the final, based on this vantage point:

false

This area is between Milwaukee's Third Ward neighborhood and the lakefront. Pulling back the lens a little bit, we can see a wider view of the combined destruction wrought by highways and parking:

false

Those highways look like formidable barriers to redevelopment, but some improvements are afoot that may reconfigure the interchange and open up land for buildings. Reader Jason Biernat wrote in to note that the city of Milwaukee is attempting to restore the pedestrian grid between the Third Ward and the lakefront. He added that two new skyscrapers are proposed near this location. "It's only a matter of time before these parking lots are developed," Biernat said. "However, Milwaukee is a slow acting city with a weak real estate market, and it may be 10 years before these lots are gone."

Who should win the Golden Crater? Cast your vote below. The poll is open until Thursday at noon, Eastern Time.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Los Angeles

Measure HLA Is Now Officially Law for L.A. City

Check the city maps to find what bus, bike, and walk improvements are coming to streets in your neighborhood

April 12, 2024

Metro Releases Final Environmental Documents for Southeast Gateway Line

The new Southeast Gateway Line EIS/EIR doesn't have major changes compared to the draft EIS/EIR released in 2021

April 10, 2024
See all posts