A quantitative analyst and visiting professor at Pratt University in Brooklyn used public data to discover that the NYPD has issued millions of dollars in faulty parking tickets after a recent law change.
Ben Wellington, who runs the blog I Quant NY, used New York’s open data portal to determine that millions of dollars of parking tickets were issued to cars parked in front of sidewalk pedestrian ramps.
The city made it legal to park in those spots – where sidewalks slope down to the street, but do not intersect with a crosswalk -- in 2009.
According to Wellington’s research, police and traffic agents issued $48,000 in tickets at a single legal spot on Ocean Avenue near Tennis Court in Brooklyn since August 2013.
In another legal spot on Canton Avenue in Brooklyn, more than $45,000 of faulty fines were doled out, the report states.
In a statement, the NYPD admitted the mishap and thanked Wellington for his research.
“Mr. Wellington’s analysis identified errors the department made in issuing parking summonses. It appears to be a misunderstanding by officers on patrol of a recent, abstruse change in the parking rules,” the statement says, according to the report. “ We appreciate Mr. Wellington bringing this anomaly to our attention.”