The NYC parking ticket story about broken fire hydrants
I was asked a question by Italia, a terrific friend of New York Parking Ticket LL, whether she should fight a fire hydrant parking ticket; if the fire hydrant was broken. My response was YES if you can prove the fire hydrant was in fact out of service (but not the official rule)
Fast forward to last week…Italia sent me an email with great news about the outcome of her NYC parking ticket fight. She won because of her photograph of the fire hydrant clearly, unequivocally, without a shadow of a doubt, persuaded the NYC parking ticket judge the pump was not pumping. Parking Ticket dismissed!
Italia’s case was handled by a fair-minded parking ticket judge. Sadly, the official rule does not allow parking within 15 feet of a hydrant even if it is broken. In other words, when you park within the no-fly zone of a fire hydrant, you risk a parking ticket and fine of $115, WHETHER THE FIRE HYDRANT, IS WORKING or BROKEN.
Are broken fire hydrants being repaired in a timely fashion?
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is not fixing fire hydrants fast enough putting the public and firefighters at risk, according to an audit released by New York City Comptroller John C. Liu.
“Comptroller Liu said the problem is even bigger for hydrants designated as ‘High Priority,’ meaning they are either located near a school, hospital, or senior citizens’ residence or are the only fire hydrant on the block. The audit reviewed 149 high priority hydrant work orders and found that some of the fire hydrants were out of service anywhere from three months to more than one year.”
The DEP has a goal of 10 days to repair high priority fire hydrants. But 38 percent of the fire hydrants surveyed did not meet the 10-day goal.
DEP maintains and repairs the City’s 109,217 fire hydrants. In Fiscal Year 2009, the agency received complaints about 15 percent of fire hydrants. According to the audit, it took an average of 18 days to make repairs. The audit also found a wide discrepancy in repair time among the five boroughs. The DEP could not explain the discrepancy.
Average Time by Borough to Fix Broken Fire Hydrants, FY 2009
|Borough||# of Work Orders||Avg. # of Days to Resolve|
Paint it green!
NYC Councilperson Greenfield introduced a Bill permitting parking at non-operational fire hydrants, and mandating all non-operational fire hydrants be painted green. A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to permissible parking at non-functioning fire hydrants.
“I drafted this bill with an eye toward making it easier to park in New York City,” said Councilman Greenfield. “However, I believe there are also added safety benefits. Residents will be able to easily identify a broken hydrant on their street thanks to a coat of green paint. Not to mention, firefighters responding to emergencies won’t waste precious seconds trying to connect to a broken hydrant.”
You may wish to check out the comments to this article in Yeshiva World. They’re great.
Bill de Blasio makes the following offer:
“If you know fire hydrants that are no longer in use, please complete the form below.
If you’ve been wrongfully ticketed for parking in these locations, you can also call our office at 212-669-7250 and we’ll work to get your tickets dismissed.”
Have you been a victim of an NYC parking ticket issued for parking within 15 feet of a broken fire hydrant? Did you fight your parking ticket? How did you make out? How’d you know the pump was broken? Please share your experience. It means a great deal