New York - Councilman Proposes Painting Curbs Near Fire Hydrants
New York - It's time to paint the curbs red!
Frustrated drivers would get a reprieve from pricey parking tickets if Councilman David Greenfield's proposal to require the city to paint curbs around fire hydrants red becomes law.
Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) said the measure would help drivers ascertain how much space they have to park legally, since city law forbids parking within 15 feet of a hydrant.
"This is a common-sense solution to a common problem. Drivers shouldn't have to keep tape measures in their glove boxes to determine where they can park," Greenfield said. "Now, people are afraid to park anywhere close to a parking spot" near a hydrant. "You could literally open up tens of thousands of parking spots."
Drivers currently are slapped with $115 tickets for parking within a hydrant zone.
Drivers lauded the red-curb proposal.
"Sometimes you think you're far enough away from the hydrant, and you still get a ticket. More space for parking is always good, too," said Bushwick resident Edward Gonzalez.
Council Speaker Christine Quinn did not respond to a request for comment on the bill, and a Department of Transportation official was unsure how much the measure would cost.
The agency did not take a position on the proposal, and the Fire Department did not object.
The Council's Transportation Committee chairman, James Vacca (D-Bronx), seemed to favor the red-curb bill, though he said he would hold out taking a firm position until he knows its cost.
"There is no defense for blocking a hydrant, but . . . rather than guess or assume, drivers should know clearly whether they are right or wrong," Vacca said.
Greenfield is also pushing a separate measure -- introduced by Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Queens) earlier this year -- to reduce the hydrant parking limit to 10 feet on either side instead of the current 15 feet.
The lawmakers insist a fire truck does not need 30 feet to park when battling a fire -- especially since the vehicles generally double-park to reach blazes faster.
"This would give at least on every block of the city one additional parking spot," Dromm said. "There's a hydrant on almost every block in the city. People are always complaining that there aren't enough parking spots."
But the FDNY immediately threw cold water on that proposal, saying they need every inch of the 30 feet to "nose into" a spot near a hydrant.
"We need that 15 feet on each side of the hydrant to access the hydrant. The [truck] itself is a minimum of 30 feet," FDNY spokesman James Long said.