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It’s March: Send Us Your Parking Craters!

4:03 PM PDT on March 12, 2018

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.

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