Where DC Parking Tickets Are Written
Plus, a Bonus Map of Africa
Last week, I made a series of maps looking at Washington, DC’s parking tickets. Then I got writers block. The maps were interesting, but I could not draw a compelling story from them.
Most tickets were written around and north of the White House. This makes sense because that area is where most offices are in DC and where most of the economic activity happens. Rush hour zones, bus lanes, and parking meters are all found in this area more than anywhere else.
Digging into the individual citations, two of them stood out to me. When looking at blocked bike lane tickets, there was a single spot where most of them were issued. It seems that in the past year, the only bike lane that DC cares about keeping clear is the one on 14th St NW between Q St NW and Thomas Circle. Every other bike lane has background levels of enforcement.
The other enforcement type that I found interesting was the enforcement of residential permits. Residents are issued a permit to park in residential areas of DC for an extended amount of time. These are bound to the ward that the resident lives in. There has been quite a bit of consternation because DC has issued more permits than parking spaces in some parts of the city. When I made this map, I was confident that I would see a spike in tickets around the ward borders. (I understand that my maps are showing the new ward borders on my map.)
Instead, there are three areas of high enforcement for this kind of parking citation: just north of Sidwell Friends, the core of Georgetown, and Burleith. I don’t really know why these areas have such a high density of citations. I have a feeling, but no evidence, that the hot spots in Georgetown and Burleith are Georgetown University students. If the state of the plates were public, it would show if the drivers being ticketed were from DC, Virginia, Maryland, or elsewhere. If the tickets were going to Georgetown students, I would expect the tickets to go to cars registered outside of the DMV.
The area near Sidwell is a complete curveball. I do not even know where to start. I first thought it was wealthy NIMBYs asking for parking enforcement, but Northwest's wealthier and more NIMBY areas show none of the same signs. The density ends at Sidwell’s campus, so I do not think the tickets are going to people connected to the school. The hotspot is too far south to be Wilson students. I have no idea why this is happening.
Bonus: Southern Africa
When I have writer’s block, my go-to solution is to make one of my epic maps. The act of getting into the flow and focusing on cartography for 12 or more hours clears my mind. After the map is done, I can return to writing.
In the past, I have released maps of Europe, Oceania, and the Caribbean. For this installment of my map series, there was one obvious place to go next: Africa. It was one habited continent that has yet to appear on one of my maps. I considered doing the full continent, but I thought a region would allow me to include the level of detail I was looking for. Southern Africa — from the mouth of the Congo River to the Cape of Good Hope — provided an exciting array of physical and political features to display.