The Ticket Trap: Where Chicago Issues Parking Tickets and Who Pays For Them

By David Eads and Melissa Sanchez

The ward with the most outstanding debt, based on where tickets were issued, is 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. Note: There’s no statute of limitations governing how far back Chicago can go to collect on ticket debt. Our records date to 1996.

Ranked #1 out of 50 for amount due

42 locator

$89.5 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #1)

66% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #11)

$231.1 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #1)

Ranked #2 out of 50 for amount due

28 locator

$64 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #2)

53% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #38)

$62.8 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #10)

Ranked #3 out of 50 for amount due

27 locator

$56.3 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #3)

61% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #23)

$90.3 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #5)

Ranked #4 out of 50 for amount due

24 locator

$48.9 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #4)

47% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #50)

$37.3 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #25)

Ranked #5 out of 50 for amount due

37 locator

$45.9 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #5)

47% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #49)

$37.6 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #23)

Ranked #6 out of 50 for amount due

20 locator

$43.3 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #6)

48% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #45)

$34.9 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #31)

Ranked #7 out of 50 for amount due

16 locator

$42.4 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #7)

48% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #47)

$34.2 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #33)

Ranked #8 out of 50 for amount due

6 locator

$40.8 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #8)

51% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #42)

$37.6 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #24)

Ranked #9 out of 50 for amount due

29 locator

$40 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #9)

51% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #43)

$36.7 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #27)

Ranked #10 out of 50 for amount due

25 locator

$40 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #10)

68% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #7)

$84.9 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #6)

Ranked #11 out of 50 for amount due

17 locator

$38.2 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #11)

50% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #44)

$33.8 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #34)

Ranked #12 out of 50 for amount due

4 locator

$36.8 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #12)

63% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #19)

$69.6 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #8)

Ranked #13 out of 50 for amount due

26 locator

$36.1 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #13)

58% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #31)

$47.9 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #16)

Ranked #14 out of 50 for amount due

22 locator

$35.7 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #14)

54% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #35)

$37.3 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #26)

Ranked #15 out of 50 for amount due

1 locator

$34.8 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #15)

70% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #6)

$84.6 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #7)

Ranked #16 out of 50 for amount due

15 locator

$34.8 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #16)

54% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #37)

$35 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #29)

Ranked #17 out of 50 for amount due

49 locator

$34.3 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #17)

59% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #30)

$50.7 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #13)

Ranked #18 out of 50 for amount due

5 locator

$33.2 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #18)

61% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #26)

$50.6 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #14)

Ranked #19 out of 50 for amount due

35 locator

$33 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #19)

61% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #27)

$50.1 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #15)

Ranked #20 out of 50 for amount due

44 locator

$32.4 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #20)

74% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #2)

$123 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #2)

Ranked #21 out of 50 for amount due

7 locator

$31.8 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #21)

48% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #46)

$27.6 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #38)

Ranked #22 out of 50 for amount due

2 locator

$31.4 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #22)

71% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #4)

$101.1 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #3)

Ranked #23 out of 50 for amount due

8 locator

$30 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #23)

53% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #39)

$30.8 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #35)

Ranked #24 out of 50 for amount due

12 locator

$29.4 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #24)

58% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #32)

$35.6 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #28)

Ranked #25 out of 50 for amount due

3 locator

$28.5 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #25)

59% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #29)

$39.7 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #21)

Ranked #26 out of 50 for amount due

33 locator

$28.1 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #26)

61% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #25)

$44.2 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #19)

Ranked #27 out of 50 for amount due

21 locator

$28.1 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #27)

51% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #41)

$27.6 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #39)

Ranked #28 out of 50 for amount due

46 locator

$27.4 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #28)

67% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #8)

$63 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #9)

Ranked #29 out of 50 for amount due

31 locator

$26.9 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #29)

61% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #24)

$39.9 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #20)

Ranked #30 out of 50 for amount due

48 locator

$24.7 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #30)

63% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #18)

$46.5 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #18)

Ranked #31 out of 50 for amount due

34 locator

$24.6 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #31)

47% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #48)

$20.3 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #44)

Ranked #32 out of 50 for amount due

14 locator

$24.3 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #32)

57% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #33)

$30.2 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #36)

Ranked #33 out of 50 for amount due

43 locator

$23.2 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #33)

75% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #1)

$96.3 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #4)

Ranked #34 out of 50 for amount due

30 locator

$22.3 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #34)

62% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #22)

$34.8 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #32)

Ranked #35 out of 50 for amount due

40 locator

$22.1 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #35)

66% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #10)

$47.6 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #17)

Ranked #36 out of 50 for amount due

50 locator

$19.9 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #36)

65% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #16)

$39 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #22)

Ranked #37 out of 50 for amount due

47 locator

$17.8 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #37)

72% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #3)

$56.6 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #11)

Ranked #38 out of 50 for amount due

32 locator

$17.5 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #38)

71% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #5)

$53 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #12)

Ranked #39 out of 50 for amount due

23 locator

$17.2 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #39)

63% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #20)

$30.1 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #37)

Ranked #40 out of 50 for amount due

9 locator

$16.9 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #40)

52% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #40)

$16.5 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #48)

Ranked #41 out of 50 for amount due

11 locator

$16.7 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #41)

67% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #9)

$34.9 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #30)

Ranked #42 out of 50 for amount due

10 locator

$16.6 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #42)

54% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #36)

$18.2 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #45)

Ranked #43 out of 50 for amount due

36 locator

$16.6 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #43)

60% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #28)

$23.6 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #43)

Ranked #44 out of 50 for amount due

45 locator

$12.4 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #44)

65% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #15)

$24.6 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #41)

Ranked #45 out of 50 for amount due

39 locator

$12 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #45)

65% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #14)

$24.3 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #42)

Ranked #46 out of 50 for amount due

18 locator

$10.5 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #46)

56% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #34)

$12.8 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #49)

Ranked #47 out of 50 for amount due

41 locator

$10.3 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #47)

65% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #12)

$26 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #40)

Ranked #48 out of 50 for amount due

13 locator

$10.1 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #48)

63% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #21)

$16.6 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #47)

Ranked #49 out of 50 for amount due

38 locator

$8.5 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #49)

65% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #17)

$16.7 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #46)

Ranked #50 out of 50 for amount due

19 locator

$6.5 million

total debt from tickets issued between Jan. 1, 1996, and May 14, 2018(Ranked #50)

65% of tickets paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #13)

$12.5 million paid from Jan. 1, 1996, to May 14, 2018(Ranked #50)