Last Updated on September 16, 2021 by Lawrence Berezin
Are these NYC fire hydrant and parking sign an ambush?
An NYC fire hydrant can be our best friend when it comes to putting out fires. Or, it can be a $115 parking ticket nightmare. To make matters worse, the NYC fire hydrant rule is perplexing with its myriad “exceptions.”
You gotta check out this fire hydrant and the parking sign that lives next to it. 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 the addition of the “parking permitted” addendum 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 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. Believe it or not, the fire hydrant rule specifically says that a parking sign trumps a fire hydrant. Who woulda thunk it?!
But, as I learned while attending the NYC school of hard knocks, this is the only type of sign that allows you to park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant because it states that 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 during those times and days within 15 feet of an NYC fire hydrant. 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 certain hours, during certain days, does not allow you to violate the fire hydrant’s curb space.
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. It is located at the NW corner of Pierrepont & Henry Streets in Brooklyn. Thanks, Alok!
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