Now that winter is over (we hope), we thought it would be a good time to look at where cars were ticketed and towed from during the two snow emergencies in Minneapolis this winter.

Plotting each ticket or tow in a map shows heavy concentrations in the central part of the city and around the University of Minnesota, with very little activity in the southern part. This year's maps look pretty much the same as those from years past.

To dig a little deeper, we used Census data to adjust for the fact that some neighborhoods simply have more vehicles.  This analysis shows unusually high rates of ticketing and towing in north Minneapolis, the area from Uptown to Loring Park and around the University of Minnesota.

Mike Kennedy, the city’s transportation maintenance director, said the city could finish its plowing in about two-thirds the time, and at significantly less cost to taxpayers, if they didn't have to tow cars. Their goal, he said, is "equitable plowing, not equitable towing." 

The continual lack of compliance with snow emergency parking regulations year after year puzzles Kennedy because his office sends out 144,000 e-mails, 70,000 phone messages and a barrage of other attempts to reach the public, in seven different languages.

"We do just about everything except go up and knock on their door," Kennedy said.

Continue reading the story by clicking through the maps below.

Data Drop is a weekly feature that uses data analysis and visualizations to explain, surprise, inform and entertain readers on topics relevant to Minnesotans. Do you have an idea you'd like us to explore? Contact MaryJo Webster