Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Parking

Parking Madness: San Bernardino vs. Houston

With Milwaukee, Tulsa, Dallas, LouisvilleCleveland, and Atlanta advancing to the second round of Parking Madness, there are only two spaces left in the Elite Eight of parking disasters. In this installment, we're looking at two very different cities, each of which is extremely car-centric in its own way. It's San Bernardino versus Houston.

Let's start with San Bernardino. Here's an old postcard of 3rd and F Street in downtown:

false

And on this site right now are a mall and its assorted parking lots, which obliterated the street grid:

false

Reader Kevin Dumler writes:

San Bernardino was, for a time, a very successful and independent metropolitan area in Southern California. In the last few decades, the expansion of hundreds of miles of freeways to the east of Downtown Los Angeles opened up vast tracts of land to affordable housing that had historically been used for a very successful citrus industry. Today, the area around San Bernardino is known as the Inland Empire, well known for endless suburban neighborhoods of single family homes, strip malls, and a reliance on the automobile. According to Smart Growth America, the Inland Empire is the case example of the worst sprawl in America.

In 1853, the Mormon founders laid out an efficient street grid system, based upon the grid of Salt Lake City. In the 1960's, an "Urban Renewal" program saw the establishment of I-215 (which bisected the city) and the demolition of a large section of downtown to make room for "Central City Mall," a largely abandoned building today. Today, the downtown area continues to struggle to attract businesses and is mostly home to a collection government offices (and parking lots).

Pretty striking example of the destructive powers cars can have on a place.

Now on to Houston. An anonymous commenter submitted this photo of "a light rail stop surrounded by blocks of parking on all sides."

false

It's bad enough to have so much parking around a valuable transit connection, like we saw in Atlanta. But there's an extra twist in this case. This asphalt valley is directly next to an office building for Exxon Mobil (far left).

If you'd like to hunt around this area a little bit on Google Maps, here's the link.

Cast your votes:

false

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Brooklyn Civic Panel Can’t Agree How to Solve NYPD Sidewalk Parking

Move the illegal sidewalk parking or denounce it altogether?

April 17, 2024

Wednesday’s Headlines: Bike Lane Delay Edition

Remember the proposed sidewalk bike lane on Ocean Avenue? So do we. Plus other news in today's media digest.

April 17, 2024

Landmarks Officials OK Delivery Worker Hub Outside City Hall

The sleek new delivery hub and charging station will replace a 1980s-era newsstand that's sat empty since the pandemic.

April 17, 2024

Update: Driver Charged After Killing 10-Year-Old Girl Near South Williamsburg Playground

The 62-year-old driver struck and killed the youngster at the intersection of Wallabout Street and Wythe Avenue.

April 16, 2024

Car Crashes by City Workers Cost Taxpayers $180M in Payouts Last Year: Report

A record number of victims of crashes involving city employees in city-owned cars filed claims in fiscal year 2023 — and settlements with victims have jumped 23 percent, a new report shows.

April 16, 2024
See all posts