The NYPD Has Been Ticketing Cars In Legal Parking Spots

Katherine Ripley Katherine Ripley

The NYPD Has Been Ticketing Cars In Legal Parking Spots

The city makes over $500 million of revenue each year from parking tickets. But as it turns out, a lot of those parking tickets are being handed out to cars that are parked legally.

Brooklyn resident and open data analyst Ben Wellington was tired of being ticketed for parking in front of a pedestrian ramp on his block. To park in front of a pedestrian ramp, as long as there is not a crosswalk in front of it, has been legal in the city since 2009. Wellington decided to figure out how many tickets the NYPD is giving for this non-offense, and the numbers he found were huge.

Wellington looked not just at the spot on his own street. He looked at all the pedestrian ramps around the city where parked cars are most commonly ticketed, using the city’s open data portal. After looking at these locations on Google maps, he found that the vast majority of these parking spaces are legal spaces. Wellington concluded that the NYPD is earning the city about $1.7 million per year off of parking tickets that should never have been given in the first place.

Wellington put together this map of all the most commonly ticketed pedestrian ramp parking spaces in the city. He encourages you to look at the spaces that are in your neighborhood, and you’ll probably find that they are actually legal parking spaces.

Wellington contacted the NYPD about his findings and received a response thanking him for bringing the errors to their attention. Apparently, the NYPD is now going to monitor these summonses digitally, to make sure they are given correctly.


Photo credit: CarSpotter/Flickr

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