Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Parking Madness 2018

Parking Madness: Greenville vs. Portland

1:56 PM EDT on March 30, 2018

Today's match brings us halfway through the first round of Parking Madness, our annual tournament where the nation's ugliest urban parking expanses vie for the Golden Crater.

Parking moonscapes in Houston and Lansing have secured spots in the second round so far. Voting is still open in yesterday's match between Providence and Surrey.

Up next is a contest between two smaller cities with downtowns that suffer from a deficit of "town" and an oversupply of asphalt. It's Greenville, North Carolina vs. Portland, Maine.

Greenville

greenville crater

An anonymous reader sent in this vista of the Uptown District in Greenville, North Carolina. It's the restaurant and entertainment destination in a college town with amount 90,000 full-time residents, and it is heavily paved:

Look carefully and you'll notice that half of Greenville, NC's downtown is parking and/or vehicular right-of-way. With a campus of 30,000 immediately adjacent (you can see buildings in the lower right portion of the picture), there's almost a complete lack of bike racks. Amazing, the four city-block surface parking lot is reserved for university students, while the garage and two city-block surface lot immediately across the street is for city government staff. Eight city blocks, six parking lots and a parking garage. Crater status confirmed.

Portland

portland crater

Reader Thomas Nosal nominated the waterfront area in downtown Portland, Maine. He notes the classic parking crater pathology -- there is never "enough" parking:

The city recently conducted a parking study that measured the existing parking supply, I was blown away to learn that Portland's CBD has a similar percentage of land area devoted to parking to Dallas, TX!

And yet the common refrain: "There's nowhere to park"!

That parking study counted about 16,000 parking spaces in Portland's center city. (Only 66,000 people live in the whole city city of Portland.) Nevertheless, in addition to pointing out a few ways to shift trips away from personal cars, one of the consultants' recommendations was to build another garage.

parking_madness_2018

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Why Sustainable Transportation Advocates Need to Talk About Long COVID

Covid-19 transformed many U.S. cities' approach to sustainable transportation forever. But how did it transform the lives of sustainable transportation advocates who developed lasting symptoms from the disease?

September 24, 2023

Analysis: ‘Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program’ is a Failure By All Measures

The Department of Transportation wants the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program to simply expire in part because it did not dramatically improve safety among these worst-of-the-worst drivers and led to a tiny number of vehicle seizures.

September 22, 2023

School Bus Driver Kills Cyclist in Boro Park, 24th Bike Death of 2023

Luis Perez-Ramirez, 44, was biking south on Fort Hamilton Parkway just before 3:15 p.m. when he was struck a by school bus driver making a right turn.

September 22, 2023

‘Betrayal’: Adams Caves to Opposition, Abandons Bus Improvement Plan on Fordham Road

The capitulation on Fordham Road is the latest episode in which the mayor has delayed or watered down a transportation project in deference to powerful interests.

September 22, 2023

Friday’s Headlines: Yes He Said Yes He Will Yes Edition

That headline above is a reference to the last line of James Joyce's Ulysses, which we won't pretend to have read. But we have that ... and other news.

September 22, 2023
See all posts