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Parking Madness Elite Eight: Washington vs. Federal Way

5:05 PM PDT on March 29, 2016

The parking crater pretenders are gone and the competition is heating up as we enter the second round of Streetsblog's fourth annual Parking Madness tournament. Eight echoing voids remain in the running for the Golden Crater.

Today's match features two very intense but very different parking disasters. Let's dig in.

Federal Way

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This is Federal Way, Washington, a city of about 90,000 residents between Seattle and Tacoma.

Our anonymous nominator helpfully outlined surface parking lots in orange. The red outline marks the site of a planned light rail station, while the yellow line highlights the tallest structure in the area, which is -- you guessed it -- a five-story parking garage.

Unless this crater starts filling out with something besides parking, bringing light rail to Federal Way won't do much to reduce car trips or improve walkability. That would be a colossal waste.

Washington, D.C.

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Between the halls of Congress and Union Station lie these parking lots, submitted by Dan Malouff of Beyond DC.

There are four surface parking lots plus two blocks of streets that have been converted to parking-only zones -- land worth about $230 million, according to former Streetsblog writer Payton Chung. This waste of space in central DC is beyond the reach of city government to influence, Malouff notes, since it's all federally owned. The U.S. Capitol complex, ladies and gentlemen!

A national shame, but is it Final Four material?

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