Last Updated on November 5, 2022 by Lawrence Berezin
Is this NYC fire hydrant and parking signs an ambush?
The NYC fire hydrant rule is bewildering with its myriad “exceptions.” Most importantly, an NYC fire hydrant can be our best friend in fighting fires. On the other hand, a fire hydrant can be a $115 parking ticket nightmare.
Check out this fire hydrant and the parking sign that lives to the right of it in the image below. Is it safe to park within 15 feet of this fire hydrant on Tuesdays? Or is it a mistake to park here?
The NYC Fire Hydrant Rule
(e) General no-stopping zones (stopping, standing, and parking prohibited in specified places). No person shall stop, stand, or park a vehicle in any of the following places unless otherwise indicated by posted signs, markings, or other traffic control devices, or at the direction of a law enforcement officer, or as otherwise provided in this subdivision:
(2) Hydrants. Within fifteen feet of a fire hydrant, unless otherwise indicated by signs or parking meters, except that during the period from sunrise to sunset if standing is not otherwise prohibited, the operator of a passenger car may stand the vehicle alongside a fire hydrant provided that the operator remains in the operator’s seat ready for immediate operation of the vehicle at all times and starts the motor of the car on hearing the approach of fire apparatus, and provided further, that the operator shall immediately remove the car from alongside the fire hydrant when instructed to do so by any member of the police, fire, or other municipal department acting in their official capacity.
[ Source: NYC Traffic Rules, 4-08(e)(2) ]
Does adding the “parking permitted” supplement to the no-standing sign neutralize the danger? And eliminate the risk of a fire hydrant parking ticket on Tuesdays only?
This surprising combination of the NYC fire hydrant and parking sign gives the driving public 15 feet of legal parking spaces on Tuesdays between 8A-6P on both sides of this fire hydrant. However, after 6P, your chariot turns into an orange $115 parking ticket. Who would have thought it?! Believe it or not, the fire hydrant rule says explicitly that a parking sign trumps a fire hydrant t.
But, as I learned while attending the NYC school of hard knocks, this is the only type of sign allowing you to park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant because it states parking is permitted. All those other signs, like a no standing Monday-Friday 6 am-7 pm, allow you to stand:
- Before 6 am
- After 7 pm
But, they do not allow you to violate the fire hydrant rule and park within 15 feet of an NYC fire hydrant nt during those times and days. In other words, only a sign that clearly and unequivocally permits parking on certain days and hours allows you to park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
Likewise, a sign that permits parking for specific hours does not allow you to violate the fire hydrant’s curb space during certain days.
When in doubt, move along, little doggie, and save yourself $115.
My sincere thanks to Alok, who was kind enough to take this photograph and share his parking oasis with the rest of us. This fire hydrant and friendly sign are at the NW corner of Pierrepont & Henry Streets in Brooklyn. Thanks, Alok!
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Victor Shine says
How counterintuitive is that? Good luck arguing with the uninformed warrior. Does it really pay to invest the time it will take to defend your position after you get the ticket? (Or perhaps could our friend Larry be trying to drum up business?)
Sure, you may not get a ticket during those times, but if the fire department needs that hydrant in an emergency situation, your car will be destroyed. If a vehicle is impeding their path to the hydrant, they have no qualms whatsoever smashing the windows with their hose to connect to a water source. Know also that the inside of your vehicle will be flooded with water damage by the time the fire scene is done. $115 would seem like a blessing compare to what you would pay to get your vehicle repaired. Trust me, between parking signs and hydrant protocols, hydrants win.
Lawrence Berezin says
Thank you for your thoughtful comment.
I agree 100%. Personally, I would never park and leave my car unattended within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
If I really have to park within 15 feet of the hydrant, I go about looking for a hydrant in the middle of the block since corner hydrants can be seen by warriors driving on the street I am parked or from a cross street. I usually block the hydrant completely with my car. Its $115 either way, plus warriors are known for their chicanery with distances. Obviously this doesn’t work when traffic cops are around on foot but it works like a charm after 7pm when most footies go home.
Lawrence Berezin says
It is great to get some insight about fire hydrant tickets.
Thanks for sharing your parking tips.
If someone gets a ticket for parking in front of a fire hydrant, then comes the next day, parks at the same fire hydrant leaving the previous day ticket on its windshield. Can this vehicle get another ticket for being a different day?
And every day after that? Obviously if the person keeps parking the same vehicle at the same fire hydrant.
Lawrence Berezin says
You betcha. Not only the next day, but you are eligible for a fire hydrant (location ticket) every 3-hours your car remains unattended within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
Likewise, not a good investment.