Last Updated on October 14, 2021 by Lawrence Berezin
Fire hydrant tickets will cost you $115
Fire hydrant tickets are expensive, dangerous, and avoidable. I urge you to formulate a fire hydrant parking strategy and adhere to it, especially since they’re more than 109,800 fire hydrants in the five boroughs to dodge artfully.
Here’s where it all started:
New York City’s first fire hydrant was installed in 1808 at the corner of William and Liberty Streets, this hydrant was most likely a wood case hydrant. By 1817, the first regular iron hydrants were being installed throughout the city.”
I’ve had great success beating fire hydrant parking tickets, but it’s not an easy battle. Here is some helpful information that will save you $115
Formulate a fire hydrant parking strategy
Fire hydrants are ubiquitous throughout our fair city, and there is hardly a block without one. How do you know whether your valuable parking space is within 15 feet of a hydrant? Do you guess? Walk off the distance? Or rely on the parking g-ds for protection?
Joe keeps a tape measure in his glove compartment. Sue holds a 15-foot cord in her car (with enough extra line to loop onto a fire hydrant).
Both of our beautiful friends measure the distance between their car and a fire hydrant each time they park near one. Does this take a little extra time? Sure. But, time spent is a fire hydrant parking ticket avoided.
NYC Council joins the conversation
In 2010, Council Members David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) and Daniel Dromm (D-Queens) offered proposals to help the N.Y.C. driving public.
Greenfield proposed legislation that required painting curbs red adjacent to fire hydrants. Dromm proposed legislation that reduced the no parking zone from 15 feet to 10 feet on all sides of a fire hydrant.
A spokesperson for the N.Y.F.D. disagreed with the proposal reducing the no-fly zone from 15 to 10 feet but supported the proposed red curb painting:
…Fire engines need 30 feet to connect as fast as possible. As for the red curbs, the spokesman said it would be helpful.”
Neither of these bills saw the light of day.
On January 22, 2015, Council Member Gentile introduced a new law that would require the curbs adjacent to fire hydrants and bus stops to be painted red. Here’s the full text of the bill:
By Council Members Gentile, Williams, Koo and Lancman
A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the curbs adjacent to a fire hydrant or bus stop.
Be it enacted by the Council as follows:
Section 1. Title 19 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 19-175.4 as follows:
§ 19-175.4 Curbs adjacent to fire hydrants and bus stops. a. Notwithstanding any other law, rule or regulation, any curb adjacent to a fire hydrant located on a public sidewalk or a bus stop shall be painted the color red. Such curb shall be painted the distance by which a motor vehicle is prohibited from stopping, standing or parking on either side of a fire hydrant or bus stop. For purposes of this section, the term “bus stop” shall mean a location designated by signage for vehicles under the jurisdiction of the metropolitan transit authority to pick up or discharge passengers.
§ 2. This local law shall take effect 90 days after its enactment into law.”
What if I still get a fire hydrant parking ticket?
When you’re right-FIGHT!
Here are some tips:
- Don’t be the last car in line closest to the fire hydrant. You are significantly increasing your chance of a parking ticket
- Prepare your defense before leaving the parking space. Take a series of photographs showing your cord or tape measured extended beyond 15 feet from the fire hydrant
- Make sure you take extra photographs proving the pictures were taken at the location the parking ticket was issued (place of occurrence)
- Fight your parking ticket online
- Prepare a defense certification that not only certifies your testimony but also certifies your exhibits. Here’s what that looks like:
- Prepare exhibits that tell your story in an organized, understandable fashion. Use captions to enhance the power of your exhibits. Here’s an example:
- Here’s a link to a fire hydrant parking ticket Larry beat
Don’t wait until there are 2 feet of snow before securing a snow shovel, sand, snow tires, and batteries for your flashlight. Be prepared, and root for the red paint legislation to see the light of day.