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  #1  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 1:12 AM
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Downtown Parking Lot Maps

I think its really interesting to see parking lots/vacant land and the damage that was done to American cities. I have been tracing them here lately and trying to get a consensus on what cities are and are not damaged the most by downtown parking.

Each time I make a new one Ill add it to this first post.


Houston, on the left side of the highway, theres tons of vacant lots and parking lots, but it got too detailed so I gave up.


Dallas


Boston


Not a major US city, Little Rock, but it kept me sane while living in Arkansas.


Cleveland, May 2010


Tulsa


Portland


Denver


Austin, included in this one are also the parking garages that mar the city.
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Last edited by photoLith; Jun 7, 2011 at 4:06 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 1:40 AM
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Interesting. I'd like to do this for Toronto, but the Google aerials seem to be more "washed out", and it's harder to discern the parking lots. Maybe if there are more clear aerial maps other than Google.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 1:52 AM
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Denver
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Last edited by photoLith; Jun 3, 2011 at 2:33 AM.
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  #4  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 2:00 AM
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Minor quibble, but a few of the marked surface lots in Denver aren't actually surface lots at all. I count about 5 or 6 that are either parkland or lots in which construction is currently taking place or is nearly taking place. But your point is well-taken, many American cities simply have WAY too many surface parking lots!

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  #5  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 2:07 AM
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Another minor quibble, but some of those might be parking garages with parking on the exposed top level. But still, very interesting project!
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 2:11 AM
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I looked and Im pretty sure that most were surface parking or vacant land, I know I got the Dallas, Little Rock, and Houston ones right though as I am very very familiar with those cities.

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Originally Posted by glowrock View Post
Minor quibble, but a few of the marked surface lots in Denver aren't actually surface lots at all. I count about 5 or 6 that are either parkland or lots in which construction is currently taking place or is nearly taking place. But your point is well-taken, many American cities simply have WAY too many surface parking lots!

Aaron (Glowrock)
I went back and corrected some of my mistakes, I think I got it right this time for the Denver one.
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Last edited by photoLith; Jun 3, 2011 at 2:34 AM.
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 2:30 AM
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These are fascinating/depressing. I look forward to seeing more.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 2:44 AM
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Here's my attempt at Toronto. Red boxes are for parking lots with either no existing plans or none that I am aware of (in which case, many that are red inevitably shouldn't be), and green boxes are for parking lots with active building proposals on them. Any other uncoloured parking lots seen here have since been built over. Its by no means perfectly accurate, but gives a pretty good indication of the parking lot situation nonetheless.

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Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 3:04 AM
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That's all pretty sad, especially when you consider that a lot of the remaining blocks not colored red are in fact parking garages, which are just as bad in my opinion. Houston has seen a fair amount of development since its last boom in the early 80s, but on the ground it still feels as barren as ever.
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 3:12 AM
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Very interesting. I notice that a bunch of the Houston and Dallas squares appear to be just vacant lots (dirt/grass) rather than paved parking lots. Are these used as parking lots on occasion?
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 3:27 AM
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I don't think these are depressing at all.

Consider: areas delineated in red are large downtown parcels that can be inexpensively redeveloped (no tear-down costs) without requiring new infastructure from scratch, are within walking/biking distance of goods and services, and upon completion the new residents/workers/shoppers etc. won't likely tax existing transit systems too much.
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 3:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
Here's my attempt at Toronto. Red boxes are for parking lots with either no existing plans or none that I am aware of (in which case, many that are red inevitably shouldn't be), and green boxes are for parking lots with active building proposals on them. Any other uncoloured parking lots seen here have since been built over. Its by no means perfectly accurate, but gives a pretty good indication of the parking lot situation nonetheless.

Wow, looks like you did a pretty good job on this one. I really hope the huge lot at Queen and Dalhousie gets developed into something nice.

I think the parking lot at Jarvis and Queen is still there though, isn't it? And the one at Front and Sherbourne?

Also, the lot at Victoria & Richmond is technically a bit smaller since there are a couple old buildings on the SW corner.

I think the one at Duncan and Nelson will have Studio II on it.

And technically not a parking lot, but what's going on at the property at St Luke and Breadalbane? According to skyscraper map, there's nothing there, and I don't remember seeing anything last time I was on Yonge, but it looks like it's part of the Bay Club development?
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  #13  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 3:35 AM
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Heres Portland

How did you make that map MonkeyRonin? That looks pro. Im just relegated to some crappy paint program I downloaded. By the way, Toronto looks super healthy, hardly any parking, even compared to Portland, which is a very vibrant healthy city here, but yet, theres 4 times the parking lots in Portland, and Houston/Dallas are nearly half vacant lots.
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Last edited by photoLith; Jun 3, 2011 at 4:00 AM.
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 3:43 AM
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Portland is slightly off--some of those parcels are now developed.

Minor issue--I know the main Post Office truck lot is technically a 'parking lot,' but every big city has USPS facilities in which the big rigs are parked. It's like a Greyhound lot or a public transit yard--more a facility than a parking lot IMO.
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 3:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
I think the parking lot at Jarvis and Queen is still there though, isn't it? And the one at Front and Sherbourne?
The one at Jarvis & Queen is actually an auto mechanic or something so I didn't include it. Missed the one at Front & Sherbourne though. Missed a few others as well, like the lot of the Loblaws on Lakeshore and the one on Wellington just west of Niagara.


Quote:
And technically not a parking lot, but what's going on at the property at St Luke and Breadalbane?
Nothing yet, didn't include it because its just vacant land.
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 3:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photolitherland View Post
How did you make that map MonkeyRonin? That looks pro. Im just relegated to some crappy paint program I downloaded.

Thanks, I'm just using the shape-drawing tool on Google Maps though, and then stitched a few screen shots together in Photoshop.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 3:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fflint View Post
Portland is slightly off--some of those parcels are now developed.

Minor issue--I know the main Post Office truck lot is technically a 'parking lot,' but every big city has USPS facilities in which the big rigs are parked. It's like a Greyhound lot or a public transit yard--more a facility than a parking lot IMO.
Im just mapping any surface that is parking/for storage, or vacant land. Its still a blight on our cities. I was also just using the most up to date map on Google Earth. The one for Houston I saw was just updated a few days ago and was really accurate. Some of the other ones may be a few years old, Im not sure, so they may not be 100% like what you see today, but they are pretty darn close. Which lots in Portland have new development on them?
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 4:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photolitherland View Post

Heres Portland

How did you make that map MonkeyRonin? That looks pro. Im just relegated to some crappy paint program I downloaded. By the way, Toronto looks super healthy, hardly any parking, even compared to Portland, which is a very vibrant healthy city here, but yet, theres 4 times the parking lots in Portland, and Houston/Dallas are nearly half vacant lots.
I wouldn't of marked the USPS lot because it is an actual functioning lot. Does it need to be redeveloped? Sure, but I wouldn't really consider it a surface lot blight. Also another one that shouldn't of been highlighted is a parcel at the very north end of the Pearl District is actually an open field park, not an empty lot.

Also, not to nitpick, but I do live here, so I do know what some of those lots are. There are a number of the tiny surface lots that were highlighted that are barely anything more than a few cars in front of an old semi suburban building. Though the big amount of parking on the upper right side of the picture is from ConWay Trucking who used all of that land for a while and have been working with people about potentially turning all of that area into a middle class neighborhood, currently they are trying to figure out how to do it without having to lose their shirts over it in the process...which has been the most difficult part.

Of course if you really want to get technical about how much has changed in Portland, 15 years ago the Pearl District, the triangle area in the lower right side of the map was almost all surface lots, open lots, and abandon buildings. So this city has seen a real drastic change in its urban setting downtown. We still have a long way to go, but we are still a young, growing city.
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 4:43 AM
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Here's the bulk of the empty lots in the centre of Halifax:



Green - announced projects - with any luck, to be developed soon
Blue - unsure/rumours
Red - nothing announced to my knowledge, or functioning parking lots associated with hotels, hospitals, groceries, etc.

Last edited by alps; Jun 3, 2011 at 4:58 AM.
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 5:17 AM
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If you really want to see a totally decimated downtown, you dont have to look much further than Tulsa, OK.



With all the progress our cities have made in the past decade, they are still a mess and have a long long ways to go, its no more clear than by looking at these. You Canadians are lightyears ahead of us, you guys are lucky.
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