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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Reclaiming the City from the Madness of Parking

Posted by on Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 12:16 PM

After watching this video about massive parking crators in downtown areas...
Parking Craters: Scourge of American Downtowns from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.

...I began to wonder if Houston is even really a city. A city, we must all agree, is about people, and Houston, a place that has, according to a man interviewed in the video, an astounding 30 parking units for each human being, is clearly about cars and centers of work. Houston is not a city but a massive garage.


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How about reclaiming the city from lawbreaking cyclists ?…
Posted by ChefJoe on July 15, 2014 at 12:47 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 2
Charles, have I told you lately how much I adore you?

Omaha is much the same way. In the 70's, the downtown was a collection of former hotels, department stores, and movie theatres. Lively enough in the day, but absolutely empty at night. So empty that I never really felt threatened being down there by myself in the evening. There weren't even vagrants.

Then they started demolishing everything for parking garages. It made no sense because, other than officer workers, there was no one there. But down they went, The Fontenelle Hotel, Kilpatrick's, The Omaha Theatre, The Masonic Temple, all for parking garages.

Downtown has recovered a bit - a baseball stadium, some new hotels and lots of new residential. Yet these big hulking garages still sit mostly empty, even during the workday. But absolutely no one ever questions their usefulness. Personally, I'd rather the old buildings had survived. They would make the place much more interesting than it is. some of them - The Fontenelle and the Omaha Theatre - were irreplaceable.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on July 15, 2014 at 12:59 PM · Report this
I've been to Houston. I have never seen so many cars and so few people. Even if you live in one of the newer high-rise residential towers, there is nothing out your front door-- where you would expect retail at sidewalk level is instead four floors of garage parking. Even if you live next to another tower or a mall or somesuch, 90% of the time there's a parking lot fence that keeps you from walking to the neighboring building. You have to drive to whatever you're looking for. Cops guide traffic out of parking garages at evening rush hour. It's bizarre.

Granted, the weather is so miserable you never want to be outside on the sidewalk or on a bike, but... isn't that just more reason to leave Houston!?
Posted by Try it out for free on July 15, 2014 at 1:18 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 4
welp, we are not the worst on this front. in fact, there are only really 5 craters left, and not for long:
1. 2nd & Pine.
2. North lot of Qwest Field.
3. the 1/2 block on the east of Occidental Park.
4. the Waterfront
5. the worst offender, the Belltown crater around the former King Cat Theatre. 7th & 8th from Westlake to Denny. I seem to remember that 1 family has sat on it for decades.
Posted by Max Solomon on July 15, 2014 at 4:24 PM · Report this
"massive parking creators"

Do you mean huge Diamonds?
Posted by sarah70 on July 15, 2014 at 9:08 PM · Report this
How would you know about Omaha in the 1970's?
Posted by caution&daring on July 16, 2014 at 8:50 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 7
Caution dear, I grew up in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the Renton of Omaha.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on July 16, 2014 at 5:38 PM · Report this

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