It’s a toxic brew, not enough parking spaces, too many cars and NYPD with the power to make your life miserable by writing you a parking ticket when you park illegally.
However NYPD officers, just like the rest of us are sometimes wrong and when they ticketed a well known NYC data analyst Ben Wellington and he knew he was in the right and they were wrong it was the NYPD that came off second best.
Way back in 2009 a rule was changed that made it okay to park legally in front of a pedestrian walkway as long as it wasn’t attached to a crossway. Except it appears most NYPD officers didn’t get the memo and they kept on writing tickets. NYTimes
Ben got ticketed numerous times, fought the tickets and won but then when it kept happening he took the City’s own data analysed it and found up to $1.7m in illegal fines were being levied each year. He pinpointed where the illegal tickets were bing written and told the NYPD.
They apologized and have remedied the information flow porblem that caused this illegal ticket wrting behavior. Now the NYPD has the trouble of paying back those millions but they’re not sure how to do it.
The thing that tickled Ben was he could stop the whole process by using the City’s own data which they generously make available to anyone if they ask. Do you think there is Ben Wellington poster up on each NYPD precinct wall with a ‘Watch Out For This Guy’ notice underneath it. You bet!
He says it’s the way of the future, civilian data analysts keeping City Officials honest. Go Ben!