Thursday, September 17, 2015

UGA Parking Tickets

Every year I ask UGA for certain data to use as examples in my journalism classes or to let students manipulate in classes -- because it's much more interesting to learn data analysis on stuff you care about. Today we discuss my favorite -- parking tickets.

Today I received data on all the parking tickets written last academic year at UGA (Fall 2015-Spring 2016).

Backstory: I started asking for these data years ago when I noticed someone getting a parking ticket outside of journalism. They had a little box in which they were entering data, and when done out would spit the ticket for the windshield. Aha, I thought. If it's electronic, it's data. I can get that. So I asked.

Back to the present: I'm gonna toss at you a few basic results, some quick-and-dirty analyses. When I have more time I'll have to clean some data to make more useful. For example, UGA gives me the date and time of a ticket all in one cell. I have to break that up and get it into an AM vs PM designation. Takes a while for me to remember exactly how to do that.

There were 23,029 tickets written last academic year. Here are the Top 5 Lots, with number of tickets in parentheses.

1. E03A - Ramsey Center Lot (1,480)
2. HSCA - Health Sciences Campus (846)
3. E09A - Ramsey/Lower (761)
4. W06D - Legion Pool (710)
5. E06A - E. River Road Area (643)

A couple of comments on the list above. First, Ramsey always is #1 in terms of tickets written. No UGA student would be surprised by this. Second, the Health Sciences Campus is a new addition, both in it being new to our campus, but also so high in number of tickets written. Interesting.

The most popular ticket is for "no parking permit," nearly half of all tickets written. Slackers. The second most popular ticket is for "out of zone/region," meaning you're parking where you're not supposed to park (6,726 tickets). My favorite is "multiple vehicles parked (4 tix), which I assume means people squeezed more than one car into a slot.

Black cars get the most tickets (5,154), followed by white cars (3,881). What does that mean? Nothing at all, since it probably reflects the proportion of cars on campus that are those colors. But -- this is important -- pink cars got only two tickets. So clearly the drivers of pink cars (1) are color blind and (2) are safe parkers. The same is true if you look at make of the cars (Ford, etc.). It'll be in proportion of the kinds of cars on campus in the first place (by the way, Honda is #1 for tickets, Ford #2. Something called a Bashan got six tickets). I can also report that trailers got two tickets. Weird.

When I have more time, I'll do a more finely tuned analysis.


Fixed one problem, can add some data. Turns out, most tickets are written in the mornings (59.6 percent) than afternoons. I actually expected it to be the other way, especially given evenings around Ramsey.


Rachel McDaniel said...

a note on the Health Sciences Campus: Once the new dining hall (scott hall?) opened, the influx of students increased tremendously. It was so bad that around lunch time, people who bought permits couldn't find anywhere to park because the lots were full of students coming to eat. I know that the GRU/UGA Medical Partnership asked parking services to keep a close eye on things after that. I worked there during this time, and sure enough, at lunch time, parking services would be issuing tickets to those without permits.

Hollander said...

That makes sense. I know my daughter has said lots of people really like the lunch place out there.