Parking Quiz Answer: DPT Officers Per Square Mile


Our parking god David LaBua, author of Finding the Sweet Spot, gave us a parking quiz for you to marinate over during lunch on the number of DPT officers per square in San Francisco, because really, doesn't it feel like they are hiding behind every tree and corner, waiting to pounce? The surprising answer is revealed below.

How many parking officers are there per square mile in SF?

A) 6

B) 16

C) 106

D) 1600

E) 16000

Answer: A) 6

Says David: Our fair city is 7x7 miles long and wide, there are about 300 DPT officers on the streets these days, so that comes out to 6 parking officers per square mile, or one officer per every 6x5 square block area.  There are about 10,000 vehicles per square mile in SF, which leaves us with one parking officer per 1666 vehicles (those three sixes are interesting, aren’t they).  This number makes it seem a little like shooting fish in a barrel.  Maybe that’s why there are so many tickets given out.

Upon further number crunching however, it seemed to me that something wasn’t quite adding up.  Let me show you what I mean.  If you were a traffic officer, and there were 1666 vehicles in your 6x5 square block area, how many tickets do you think you could give out per day?  I would conservatively say that I could give out a couple of hundred per day.  Well, how many tickets per day do you think each parking officer gives out?  Let’s do the math.

There are about 2,000,000 parking tickets written per year in San Francisco by about 300 parking officers.  That comes out to 6666.666 tickets written per year per officer (there are those sixes again….I’m beginning to think that I am uncovering some sort of satanic code…it would make sense that it was hidden in the department of parking and traffic).  So 6,666 tickets written per year per officer, and 260 working days per year, comes out to 25 parking tickets written per day, and 3 tickets written per hour per officer. That’s all.

My conclusion: To be honest, rather than complaining, I think we should all count our blessings.

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