A set of infographics designed for policy makers, informing them of the effects of ticketing vehicle residents within King County. Research done with Graham Pruss and UW Professor Karen Cheng.
Understanding Vehicle Residency
In order to best display the issues at hand, it was important to understand the who was being most directly impacted by the ticketing laws in King County. From the research of Graham Pruss, the ticketing patterns were most affecting residents of King County who were living in their vehicles overnight (vehicle residents).
In many instances, vehicle residents are typically experiencing homelessness for the first time, and housing themselves in their vehicles as a last resort. Some reasons that vehicle residents choose to live in their vehicle include:
—Not wanting to be separated from their spouse, partner, child or pet.
—Not having another secure location to store their possessions.
—Wanting the safety and privacy of sleeping in their own car vs. a communal shelter.
—They don’t fit in the shelter system (aging, medical disability, LGBTQ, child/teen, etc.) or can’t get into the preferred “enhanced” shelter.
Research + Analysis
Using public records data from the Seattle Municipal Court, I was able to access records of all tickets given to residents within King County between the years 2016-2018. Using this data, I then began to analyze patterns within each year and isolated pools of residents that might be vehicle residents with the guidance of Graham Pruss and Professor Karen Cheng.
The statistical analysis was narrowed down to focus on these tickets, as they tended to mostly affect vehicle residents:
11.72.070 Commercial/Large Vehicle in non-industrial zone (~100 tickets/year, $47 each)
11.72.240 Moving vehicle to avoid time limit (~33 tickets per year, $47)
11.72.430 Trailer or camper detached (~1,000 tickets/year, $47 each)
11.72.440 Parking over 72 Hours (~5,000 tickets per year, $44 each)
11.72.500 Parking Junk Vehicle on Street (~300 tickets/year, $250 each)
11.72.260 Overtime ( ~32,000 tickets per year, $44)
11.72.330 Sign Posted Locations (~46,500 tickets per year, $47)
The results of the data revealed that from a fiscal perspective, the City of Seattle was hurting both the vehicle residents and itself when it continued to ticket these residents, despite the inability of vehicle residents to properly pay the fines.
Since the primary audience of the infographic was going to be the Seattle City Council members, I wanted to create a one/two page infographic that would be able to concisely summarize the statistical research findings. This meant that the visual language had to appear professional and "non-biased" in a sense, while still being engaging enough for council members to read.