Skip to Content
Streetsblog Chicago home
Streetsblog Chicago home
Log In
Streetsblog Chicago

It’s Rochester vs. Jacksonville in the Parking Madness Championship!

1:30 PM CDT on April 8, 2014

parking_madness_2014_14
false

Forget Huskies vs. Wildcats -- today is all about parking crater vs. parking crater.

Through 14 matches pitting some of the most hideous parking expanses in the world against each other, two cities are still standing: Rochester and Jacksonville.

These are the worst of the worst downtown asphalt scars. But only one city can claim the Golden Crater, and the teachable moment that comes with it. Now it's up to Streetsblog readers to choose this year's champion.

Let's look at Rochester first:

rochester
An aerial rendering of the proposed Encuentro Square development in Logan Square. Credit: LUCHA

Much of the blame for this sad place belongs to Rochester's Inner Loop freeway, a 1960s mistake that cut off central neighborhoods from downtown. Some of Rochester's leadership recognizes the problem: The city recently received funds to fill in a portion of the below-grade highway, which will help heal some of its scars. But the part of town with this parking crater isn't in line for highway repair, at least not yet.

For some historical context, submitter Matthew Denker points out that before the Inner Loop came to town, this part of the city used to be Rochester's central square, a real public gathering place. Here's what the map used to look like. (For reference, locate the area in both maps labeled "Franklin Square.")

old-rochester
false

So that's Rochester's parking crater.

Now, let's look at Jacksonville:

jacksonville1
false

Drab. Dead. Ugly. Pretty much any adjective that is synonymous with "lifeless" works for this part of Jacksonville. This one is one of those extra-terrible waterfront parking craters. Carved up by so many freeways, could this ever become a walkable city environment, or is it destined for eternal crater-tude?

So who deserves the 2014 Golden Crater? Vote carefully below.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Chicago

How to access Black history landmarks on the South Side via transit

Ventra provided a list of Black history landmarks, mostly on or near King Drive on the South Side, with directions on how to reach them by CTA or Metra.

February 20, 2024

DeKalb’s bus ridership to Metra’s Elburn station is booming. Could the UP-W Line be expanded to NIU?

The shuttle's success shows lower fares and more frequent service can grow ridership in the post-pandemic era.

February 17, 2024

Pickup driver fatally struck bicycle rider Allan Beyderman, 41, on bike-hostile stretch of Golf Road near Des Plaines River Trail

The lack of bike facilities on the 4-lane highway, and the driver's high-front-end pickup truck, were likely factors in the crash.

February 16, 2024
See all posts