Skip to Content
Streetsblog California home
Streetsblog California home
Log In
Parking

Parking Madness Final Four: Lansing vs Philadelphia

Which deserves to go to the parking crater championship? The state capitol asphalt acreage or the sports complex mega-lot?

It's Final Four time here at Parking Madness.

There is still one outstanding space in the semifinal of our bracket -- which will be filled by either Fremont, California, or Hicksville, New York. The competition rolls on today as we get ready to send our first finalist through to the championship.

These parking craters around Michigan's state capitol and Philadelphia's pro sports complex represent enormous opportunity costs. They occupy land that could be apartments, or workplaces, or parks. Instead, they are mostly empty asphalt, either in the center of town or very close to a rapid transit station.

Let's take a look.

Lansing

lansing_crater
false

Reader Rick Brown nominated the area around the Michigan statehouse in Lansing. Here's a closer look if you'd like to explore.

Brown tells us most of these parking fields are for state employees and visitors to the capitol. Which means this vicinity is a ghost town on nights and weekends.

State capitols have appeared in Parking Madness before. UConn Professor Norm Garrick lives near one of them -- Hartford. He told Streetfilms a few years back that when states build large parking craters to guarantee state employees parking, they "create what is essentially an office park," and "all these people drive into the city and then drive out."

To make matters worse, none of this land produces any tax revenue for the city. In cities like Lansing and Hartford where the urban population is much poorer than the suburban population, this can cause serious fiscal problems, weakening public services and widening inequality.

Philadelphia

philly_crater
false

Ahhh. Here we have South Philadelphia's Sports Complex, which flattened an ungodly amount of land.

Occupying as much space as an entire city neighborhood are three pro sports stadiums -- Citizens Bank Park (home the Phillies), Financial Field (home of the Eagles), and Wells Fargo Center (home of the 76ers) -- and their parking lots.

There's a SEPTA rail station right nearby, but if it's not game day, why would you take transit to this location? And even if you did take the train to watch your team, good luck walking somewhere to get a drink after the game!

Way to put your public resources to effective use, Philadelphia.

parking_madness_2018
false

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog California

Brightline West Breaks Ground on Vegas to SoCal High-Speed Rail

Brightline West will be a 218-mile 186-mile-per-hour rail line from Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga - about 40 miles east of downtown L.A. - expected to open in 2028

April 23, 2024

CalBike Summit to Advocates: Don’t Take No for an Answer

"Persistence with kindness." "Keep trying different things." "You have to be kind of annoying." "Light up their phones."

April 23, 2024

SFMTA Starts West Portal Outreach

Agency presents plans to block traffic from crossing in front of the train station

April 23, 2024
See all posts