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

Parking Madness 2019 First Round Battle: Kansas City vs. Minneapolis

There's March Madness. And then there's Parking Madness. Our 2019 tournament starts today.

This year is different. Rather than scoping all the saddest urban parking dead zones, we're looking at the cities that have turned parking craters into beloved urban places.

Let's start with the first two of 16 pairs: two Midwestern downtowns that have come a long way. Yes, it's Minneapolis vs. Kansas City.

Kansas City

Kansas City's "Power and Light District" was submitted for consideration by reader Kevin Carlyle — whose before and after photos are below:

before kansas city
false
after kansas city
false

Carlyle tells us that this area is served by the Kansas City Streetcar, which is one of the better-performing local streetcars, and has helped enliven sidewalks and reduce parking pressure throughout the Paris of the Plains (as the Missouri side of town is known). There's still a few parking lots in the picture — but a few are slated for development as well, says Carlyle.

The arena pictured in the "after" shot is the Sprint Center, which does not host a sports team, and is mainly used for concerts and special events. Sometimes arena areas can be terrible parking craters. In this case, it seems to have helped fill in a parking crater.

Minneapolis

Alex Schieferdecker nominated this former parking crater in Minneapolis's Downtown East neighborhood.

mpls_parkingcrater_2_OIiXh
2002
false
mpls_parkingcrater_2_dHNvU
2017
false
mpls_parkingcrater_2_vktYj
2019
false

He writes:

Not too long ago, this was a moonscape of parking lots and one or two bars and a souvenir shop serving the moon kingdom itself, the Metrodome.

Now, it’s got a new stadium, new park, a new light rail connection through its existing station, new office buildings, new hotels, a Trader Joe’s, and a lot more residential, with even more on the way.

Which deserves to go onto the second round? Vote below — polls close on Monday afternoon.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter