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Parking Madness: Niagara Falls vs. Ann Arbor

9:01 AM PDT on March 23, 2016

We've seen some tough competition in the first round of the 2016 Parking Madness tournament. Yesterday, the parking lots of Federal Way, Washington, knocked out the parking lots around Montreal's central rail station to advance.

Today's matchup looks fierce, with a crater in the tourist destination downtown of Niagara Falls, New York, facing off against a crater in the university town of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Niagara Falls

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Mere blocks away from the scenic grandeur of the falls is this stupendous array of surface parking lots, interspersed with hotels, convention buildings, and a casino. In a hopeful sign for Niagara Falls, however, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that the state will remove a two-mile stretch of highway that impedes access between downtown and the riverfront.

Ann Arbor

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This is the classic parking crater form: a downtown of walkable blocks and buildings flush against each other, interrupted by the jarring flatness of surface parking.

"The building in the upper left replaced a 1940s two-level parking structure, so that's progress," says submitter Ryan Arnold. "If they keep that up, they could do great things with this empty downtown block."

Considering the context, which is worse?

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