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Parking Madness: Providence vs. Surrey

Streetsblog's march through America's urban parking wastelands continues with the third head-to-head contest in our Parking Madness tournament.

Results are in from the first match, where Houston's stadium/convention center cluster beat out Jacksonville's failed redevelopment area next to downtown. Voting is still open for yesterday's San Jose vs. Lansing contest.

Today's match features this year's lone Canadian contender, the Vancouver suburb of Surrey. (Parking craters: They're not just America's problem!) The opposing parking crater is an asphalt-riddled hospital campus girdled by highways in Providence, Rhode Island.

Here we go...

Providence

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The area around Rhode Island Hospital in downtown Providence is mostly a flat expanse of parking lots. Something about the combination of large institutions and highway ramps just seems to choke off walkable development.

While I-95 is a formidable barrier between downtown and this hospital and university cluster, all is not lost. The reader who submitted this entry, who gave his name as Drew, says the area has good bus service that's about to get better with the launch of the Downtown Connector, "a realignment of several bus routes" that will cut headways below five minutes. Sounds like transit good enough to build around.

Surrey

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Check out this horror show in Surrey. Reader Russell Copley explains that this is the area around a university campus -- and it actually has great transit access:

It is located next to a few features: the Surrey campus of Simon Fraser University, and the Skytrain station of Surrey Central. As can be seen, the majority of this wide area are parking lots. The roads are quite wide and the sidewalks are not. The parking lots often have fences dividing them, so you can't walk through them to get from location to location and must walk through hostile terrain of the roadways. Of course, rarely anyone walks because of how hostile the area is.

Those poor students.

Which is worse? Vote below.

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Passengers arrive at Woodstock via Metra, looking south. Photo: Igor Studenkov

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