TWO MEMBERS OF THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL have introduced companion bills that they claim will save the citizens money and at the same time create more than 109,000 new parking spaces. One bill proposes painting the curbstone in front of a fire hydrant to delineate the distance that a car must keep from the hydrant. That is not being done now and supposedly many people get parking tickets because they are unaware that they are too close to the hydrant by a few inches. If the curbs are painted to show the no-parking limit, they could avoid the parking ticket (and save the citizens money!).
The other bill calls for reducing the distance to be maintained from the hydrant from 15 feet down to 10 feet, i.e.: five feet closer on each side, effectively reducing the area for the hydrant hook-up from 30 ft. to 20 ft., a 33% reduction. The councilman who introduced this bill is a fire protection expert because he states: “The law requiring 15 feet of free space on each side of a fire hydrant was adopted to allow fire trucks to park directly in front of hydrants. However, fire trucks rarely take the time to parallel-park when responding to an emergency. An engine company will simply double-park in front of a hydrant and run a hose, making the 15 foot rule obsolete. Allowing for a 10 foot no parking zone on either side of the hydrant will ensure that first responders have adequate space for maneuvering their equipment, while allowing New York City more space to meet ever-growing demand for street-side parking.”
And it is there that the truth comes out….more street-side parking. Those 109,000 new parking spaces will be sported by 109,000 new parking meters with a revenue potential of nearly a half-million dollars a day.
And they figured this out without even bothering to get any input from the fire department. After all, who cares what the FD thinks, anyway?
Well, they are finding out that the FD cares. Once the word got out about this bill, the fire expert on the city council started catching an earful from the FDNY. YourNabe.com reported:
“Our trucks are 30 feet long, so we need all that space to park and operate,” said Fire Department spokesman Frank Dwyer. The Fire Department also bristled at Greenfield’s suggestion that whoever is responsible for inspecting the hydrants be responsible for painting the “no parking” zone.
“Do you think fire fighters have enough time to paint curbs?” Dwyer said. “It just isn’t practical for us to go out and paint after we inspect and test out the hydrants.”
Read more from Vos Iz Neias HERE.
WABC-TV paid a visit to the fire expert councilman and filed this report:
Since this all broke out, another councilman says that he “would like to survey firehouses to see if their trucks really need at least 30 feet of space.”