After months of skating by, undetected, unpermitted, it finally happened: we got a parking ticket.
Our neighborhood, just south of the Silver Lake Reservoir, restricts overnight parking between 11pm and 6am to those with District 98 parking permits. My wife normally parks her car on the road to the North of our home. It’s on a steep incline and no one has received a ticket on that stretch of road in the past 6 years, for any reason.
But that night her usual spot was taken so she parked maybe 15 feet away from it, on the street just to the West of us – an area that still receives around 2-3 tickets a month. Not a ton, but enough to keep people honest. And we were kept honest.
While it didn’t help us get burned that night, we knew these tickets stats from studying the City of Los Angeles’s massive parking citation dataset. At the time of writing, it contains over 10 million unique citations, issued all over the city, between February 2010 - September 2016 (it took me awhile to post this!). Parsing this data tells us where is safest to park around our house, but we can also use it to spot neighborhood trends.
I joined the citation data against the LA Times’s neighborhood shapefiles to map how hard each Eastside neighborhood is hit by parking citations:
East Hollywood and Boyle Heights come out on top – proximity to Downtown or Hollywood does not help here, as those are far and away are the hardest hit neighborhoods in the entire city. Also of note: Atwater Village has 15 times as many tickets as Mount Washington, even though they’re roughly the same size (likely because Atwater Village has 15 times more road than Mount Washington).
And here’s the top violation for each neighborhood (you can see that Silver Lake stands alone when it comes to doling out Preferential Parking citations):
Finally, joining this data with the list of the City’s parking meters and their meter zones, we can find the Eastside’s most dangerous meters. That honor belongs to ER106-ER108, the cluster of meters at Caspar Ave and Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock (ER106 has registered 456 tickets over the past 6 years, worth over $28,000 in fines):
Also high on the list: the meter outside of Scoops on Heliotrope and the area around the Vintage Theater in Los Feliz (Sunset Junction has some dangerous parking spots, but those meters aren’t officially listed in the meters dataset).
Overall, the Parking Citations dataset is a little challenging to parse but it’s ultimately a goldmine of data analysis. And if I can remember to renew my permits and park in the right spots, I’ll be doing my part to prevent the dataset from getting too big.
(for technical details on how this data was produced, see https://github.com/bcoppersmith/lacity-citation-parser).