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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