A week of data can provide valuable insights into the way a city functions, whether it’s into how emergency calls are handled, the efficiency of bus routes, or why drivers earn parking tickets. That’s the premise behind this month’s HubHacks data visualization competition, sponsored by the city of Boston.
For the competition, the city released comprehensive data focused on Monday, Feb. 23, to Sunday, March 1.
What does one week in city data tell us? When it comes to parking ticket data from the city’s Transportation Department, we learn that weekdays are prime time for ticketing, that ticketed cars are often grouped together, and that a single officer, at least this one week, can outperform many of his or her peers several times over.
The period of data examined for HubHacks noted slightly lower than average ticketing due to snow, said Tracey Ganiatsos, spokeswoman for the Boston Transportation Department, in an e-mail. Still, Boston parking enforcement officers issued 17,641 parking tickets, issuing fines totaling about $740,000.
More tickets were issued on weekdays during that week. On Thursday and Friday, officers wrote 3,560 and 3,660 tickets, respectively, while on Sunday, they wrote only 81.
Parking tickets were given out at more than 7,000 locations around the city, but that week, several places had multiple offenders. At a public lot on West Broadway in South Boston, 81 tickets were handed out. At 75 Northern Avenue in the Seaport, 50 parking tickets were recorded.
The highest number of tickets given out by a single officer, noted by his or her badge number, was 406 during the seven-day period. The average among all 151 parking enforcement officers was 117 tickets.
The number of tickets given by an officer depends on the route, shift assignment, and on-street activity, said Ganiatsos.