Drivers need to pay close attention to where they park
A $100 fine is a hard way to learn to keep an eye out for things that will get you in trouble, like a fire hydrant set back from the curb.
I’ve had several complaints lately from readers who got a $100 ticket for parking too close to a hydrant that they said could not be seen from where they parked.
In some cases they’re right, like the hydrant on a Riverdale street that’s on the lawn of house and behind a small hedge maintained by the homeowner. It’s one of the worst ticket traps we’ve ever seen.
I recently checked out another on Yarmouth Rd. that is also in a yard and partly obscured by flowers during the growing season. The flowers are no longer and issue and the city had just repainted the hydrant when I was there, making it much more visible.
There are good reasons to complain about those, but a hydrant near the court house at 393 University Ave. that we looked at this week was hidden in plain view, at least to us.
The reader said he couldn’t see it because it is well back from the curb on the sidewalk, and behind a cement flower planter.
I had no trouble spotting it, and found it hard to believe that any driver who even quickly surveyed the place where they intended to leave their vehicle couldn’t have seen it.
I’ve attached a photo of it so you can decide for yourself.
Anyone who parks on the street needs to be acutely aware of the parking restriction signs and anything else – like a hydrant – that might result in a ticket.
The city can and does order homeowners to remove any vegetation or foliage that could prevent drivers from seeing a hydrant, but conspiracy theorists believe that some hydrants are deliberately hidden to create a ticket trap.
I feel sorry for the guy for not seeing the hydrant and having to pay a $100 fine. I made the same mistake myself last summer near the St. Joseph’s Hospital, but from the moment I found the ticket, I knew whose fault it was.