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Parking Madness 2016

Parking Madness Final Four: Federal Way vs. Dallas

Villanova is taking on UNC tonight, but the main event is here on Streetsblog, with the first Final Four match of Parking Madness 2016.

Streetsblog readers have narrowed this year's field of 16 down to four parking abominations in these cities: Niagara Falls, Louisville, Dallas, and Federal Way, Washington.

Your votes will determine who gets into the final. We expect nailbiters from here on out.

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Surface parking lots are outlined in orange in this view of Federal Way, a city of 90,000 between Seattle and Tacoma. A reader singled out this crater for shame largely because a $1.5 billion light rail project will be routed through here (the yellow outline marks the station site), only to be surrounded by a sea of parking.

Tom Johnson of the Federal Way mayor's office sent an email to make his case that the future of this parking crater is looking up. He says a 20-acre transit-oriented development is coming to downtown Federal Way, north of the transit station. See if you find his argument convincing:

Additionally, another 7 acres have been recently purchased that are going under redevelopment changes that will see increased density and reduced surface parking. And yet even further development is proceeding as the TOD for light rail will be an additional 12 acres to the south of the existing transit center. The largest parking area in our community is a park-and-ride owned by the people who will bring light rail. I agree that should not have ever happened in that configuration, however,  its future will be one of improvement.

Part of the issue with Federal Way is that it has only been a city for 25 years. We inherited poor planning by King County, including the development of high intensity electrical transmission lines -- the Bonneville Power Administration that prevents urban densification in parts of the center city. Your thoughts on removal or alternatives would be appreciated as we struggle to  identify how to lobby for relocation of 8 blocks of this impediment. In the meantime, we have engaged ULI to help in this effort.

Dallas

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These are the parking lots around Dallas's Fair Park, a 275-acre complex that houses the state fair. Previous posts have described how the city bulldozed a black neighborhood to make room for all this surface parking. Most of the year, the lots aren't even used. The area is also home to a DART station.

Submitter Dallas May called the parking crater "a reminder of our city's shame," but he says "it's not all negative." Among other recommendations, the Mayor's Task Force on Fair Park has proposed building a number of parking structures and converting much of the existing surface lots to parkland [PDF]. Will this affect your vote?

The parking lot in between the Music Hall and the African American Museum could be turned into green space, and used as a music green for both indoor and outdoor play, concerts and small performances, while the parking lot between the former Perot Museum and former Science Place building could be remodeled to be a museum green with a beautiful view of the lagoon.

All right, which of these craters deserves a shot at some potentially beneficial hometown publicity by making it to the championship?

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