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Beyond Chicagoland

Final Four Parking Madness: Tulsa vs. Houston

2:03 PM CDT on April 8, 2013

Which city has the ugliest asphalt expanse? The deadest downtown? The most awful place to sit and eat lunch? Those are the questions you must ask yourself as we approach the finale of Parking Madness, our hunt for the worst parking crater in the U.S.

We're wrapping up Final Four competition today with Tulsa and Houston vying for the chance to take on Milwaukee in the championship game.

Here we have Tulsa, where the south half of downtown has pretty much been replaced with thousands of 9 foot-by-20 foot stalls:

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Our friend Steve Lassiter in Tulsa sent along these shots to give us some historical context. Here are views of downtown Tulsa, facing north from the same point, in 1978 and 2005:

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Fortunately, Tulsa recently enacted a temporary moratorium on new surface parking in its downtown, and momentum seems to be building for a more concerted effort to redevelop Tulsa's parking wasteland and reclaim downtown from surface parking.

With that, we'll turn our attention to Houston:

Bogotá’s Sunday Ciclovía. Photo: John Greenfield

Houston is the last Texas city standing, since Dallas got knocked out by Milwaukee in the other Final Four match-up. This crater -- frustratingly -- has a light rail line running right through the center of it. Here's a street view, so you can put yourself in the place of the sad pedestrians who have to walk through this area.

A fruit-shape bus stop, one of many such stops along the 207 National Highway in Konagai, Japan. Photo: Jonathan Goldberg via "Making Transit Fun!"

Which of these places needs a good championship-level shaming the most? It's up to you to decide. The poll is open until 2 p.m. Eastern Time tomorrow:

[poll id="43"]

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