West Side residents more likely to be ticketed, investigation finds

January 16, 2019
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Ten of Chicago’s 77 community areas – Austin being one of them – have duplicate ticket rates that are more than 4.5 times the median for the city, according to a recent investigation by ProPublica Illinois and WBEZ/Chicago Public Radio.

The investigation found that on nearly 20,000 occasions since 2007, motorists had been cited more than once on the same day, in apparent violation of the Chicago municipal code.

After the series was published, city officials in late November said they had dismissed some 23,000 outstanding duplicate vehicle sticker tickets and will refund motorists who have already paid for an additional 12,000 duplicates dating to the early 1990s.

As part of the series, ProPublica Illinois and WBEZ created an interactive database that contains more than 54 million parking, standing and vehicle compliance tickets issued since 1996.

You can search for your address and compare your ward with others, and you can see how Chicago’s reliance on ticketing for revenue affects motorists in all 50 wards.

The ward with the most outstanding debt, based on where tickets were issued, was the city’s 42nd Ward, which includes some of the busiest parts of downtown and has the highest volume of tickets.

The next eight wards with the largest outstanding debts for parking tickets are majority black; the 28th Ward ranked 2nd, the 37th Ward ranked 5th, and the 29th Ward ranked 9th.

Note: There’s no statute of limitations governing how far back Chicago can go to collect on ticket debt. The records made public by ProPublica and WBEZ date to 1996.

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