Sometimes this blog is just a place to drop ideas that I think would be fun to do regardless of whether or not they are particularly ‘scholarly.’ Here’s one.
NYC posts data for every parking ticket issued in the entire city. It appears to include license plate number. So. The government also has access to data on where those cars are registered (vehicle registration data). This is the reason why I can drive on the Massachusetts Turnpike for the first time in life without signing up for EZ-Pass, and they manage to get the bill right to my apartment.
Suppose they combine data, and you could see the ZIP code of the vehicle’s registration along with the location of the ticket. What type of relationships would you expect? There is some work linking demographics and parking tickets: Brazil finds that parking tickets are concentrated in neighborhoods with renters and Black residents. But Brazil was just looking at ticket data, and tried to infer that tickets were for non-neighborhood residents based on the time in which the tickets were issued.
If I could get parking ticket data linked with the ZIP code of vehicle registration, I’d want to explore those dynamics in relation to:
- Gentrification (are the tickets the gentrifiers, or displaced people trying to get back into town to keep participating in specific institutions, organizations)
- Neighborhood succession (ditto above)
- Something about suburbanites visiting areas where the streetscape has been transformed in ways those suburbanites might not know how to navigate.
But I imagine it would take some kind of miracle to get these datas linked in anyway.