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Just Sayin’: Revise hydrant parking rules

Rich Kniff of Suffolk County Water Authority opens

Rich Kniff of Suffolk County Water Authority opens a hydrant in the Summerfield community to test the pressure of water flow in case of fire in Holtsville, NY. Photo Credit: Joel Cairo, 2009

It’s time for New York City to revamp its regulations regarding parking by fire hydrants. Because of several factors, including the work done by the FDNY to educate the public about fire safety and prevention, there are fewer fires than before.

There are more than 100,000 hydrants in the city, which translates into as many as 200,000 parking spots that can’t be used. That’s a huge number of lost spots because of the chance that a hydrant might be needed to put out a fire.

We need to reduce the 15-foot distance on either side of a hydrant to three feet. Officials also need to paint the curbs to indicate this distance. Make it known that if the hydrant beside your car is needed, that the city will not be responsible for any damage to your car. It’s a risk many would take.

The upside of these changes would be tremendous. People driving around looking for parking add to the traffic congestion in the city. The reduction in pollution would be dramatic, and ultimately this would get traffic off the streets, easing congestion.

Laws need to be reconsidered to meet the changing times.

Robert Broder

Stony Brook

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