Last month, we told you about one ambiguously marked fire hydrant that netted New York City $33,000 a year in parking tickets. (Yup, that's more than minimal wage! For a fire hydrant!) Thanks to open data and sleuthing by I Quant NY's Ben Wellington, the city has repainted the block.
As Ben describes in his original post about the fire hydrant (below), what looks like a protected bike lane separates the parked cars and the fire hydrant. So why were those parked cars being ticketed? Because that ambiguous space is not a bike lane but a curb extension. Confusing much?
After Ben crunched the numbers, his parking ticket analysis went viral. That put pressure on NYC DOT to actually do something other than profit. As you can see in the photo below, the spot's been repainted to clearly show you cannot park there.
Chalk this up to a win for open data empowering citizens to improve their own city. It's pretty hard to believe that someone at NYC DOT would not have known about this especially lucrative fire hydrant. But now it is no more, thanks to open data and some old-fashioned public shaming. [I Quant NY]