How many times have you pulled up to a seemingly open parking spot just to find yourself daunted by the plethora of signage dictating parking regulations?

Unfortunately, those moments where you are forced to decide whether or not to risk the ticket, boot, or tow, just to park your car aren't the only parking issue that plagues New York City drivers. 

The Tumblr user behind I Quant NY, Ben Wellington discovered that many New Yorkers were being ticketed for parking in what were actually legal parking spots. 

Due to a rule passed in 2008, drivers can legally park in front of a pedestrian sidewalk ramp, as long as the ramp is not connected to a crosswalk. 

As long as the pedestrian ramp merely enters the street and NOT at a crosswalk, it's legal to park in front of. 

Unfortunately, many New Yorkers received tickets for parking in front of a pedestrian ramp, though as of 2008, it is an entirely legal spot. 

After receiving a ticket for parking in front of pedestrian ramp not connected to a crosswalk, Wellington found a surprising amount of tickets issued for similar spots using NYC's Open Portal.

With the data provided by Open Portal, Wellington was able to determine how many tickets were given for cars parking in front of pedestrian ramps, and whether or not they were legally or illegally parked using google maps. 

Wellington chose 30 random spots in NYC where 5 or more tickets were issued for blocking pedestrian ramps, only to find that most of those spots were, in fact, legal to park. 

In the last 2.5 years, about 1,966 spots brought in about $1.7 million in tickets for parking in front of spots that were actually legal according to the 2008 regulation. 

He then made an interactive map depicting the topped 1,000 pedestrian ramps that received the most tickets, encouraging users to check out the spots in their neighborhood. 


Luckily, Wellington shared his findings with the NYPD, who praised him for his use of the data, and explained that the new rule was primarily explained to traffic agents, who typically issue a majority of the summonses. 

They continue stating that "the majority of summonses written for this code violation were written by police officers. As a result, the department sent a training message to all officers clarifying the rule change and has communicated to commanders of precincts with the highest number of summonses."

They were of course grateful, stating that "thanks to this analysis and the availability of this open data, the department is also taking steps to monitor these types of summonses to ensure that they are being issued correctly."

The two precincts responsible for the highest number of tickets given to pedestrian ramps were from Precincts 70 and 77, both of which preside over Brooklyn. Both precincts saw an annual $100,000 from fines given in these spots. 

Check out Wellington's map below to see whether or not your neighborhood has a spot where tickets were given in front of or opposite of the address, and how many tickets were issued. 

Check out NYPD Has Some Safety Tips for Not Getting Robbed on the NYC Subway. 

[via I Quant NY] [Feature Image Courtesy IQuantNY]