Tulsa faces Houston this week in 'Final Four' for worst parking

TULSA - Right now Tulsa is a contender in the "Final Four" but this bracket isn't about basketball.

The City of Tulsa may win the March Madness poll for "The Worst Parking Crater in America." Tulsa's matching up against Houston, Dallas, and Milwaukee.

There are only four parking spots for an entire row of shops in front of Glacier Confection in downtown Tulsa's Brady Arts District.

"It's been a little difficult to park," said Glacier Confection owner Bill Copeland.

Copeland says he'd love to see more parking because naturally that means more customers.

"I think the city's trying to do a good job of making more available by re-stripping," said Bill who isn't okay with tearing down the old to get the new and losing Tulsa's historic buildings along the way.

A picture on PlanItTulsa's website shows a bird's eye view of downtown comparing 1978 to 2005. There are fewer buildings in the skyline and more concrete on the surface.

"If we lose this character we lose the city to empty parking lot's with stripes," said Copeland.

Jessica Brent with INCOG looks at how people want to get around downtown Tulsa. She says that's by walking not driving.

Brent says the Brady Art's District is a great model for the future. As developers are trading in parking lots for new museums, hotels, restaurants, and parks.

So how do you win this "Final Four"?  Voters look at these aerial shots of each city to see just how much concrete fills up it's downtown for parking spots.

As for Bill, his parking pitch is to build a few garages on the outskirts of the Brady, Blue Dome, and other popular areas of downtown, that anchor cars in a few spots.

"Hopefully we don't win that category," he said.

As for stopping more stripes, members of the City of Tulsa's Planning Commission want to permanently stop tearing down historic buildings for ground level parking. The next step is sending that idea over to city councilors.


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