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No Courtesy For The Hydrant Hogs

I am writing because I am not entirely sure as to what I should do in this situation. My house is situated in front of a fire hydrant, therefore, nobody should be able to park in front of our house. My husband and I have never parked there, nor have any of our friends or family. There are plenty of available spaces on the other side of our driveway and in front of most of the other houses.

Our neighbors are nice people, and we get along cordially. They have only been there for about a year, so we say hello and have small talk, but I wouldn’t say that I know them really well. All of the houses on our street have double driveways, including theirs. I have recently noticed that every week, the wife has one particular girl friend come over to their house. She drives the same car, and ALWAYS parks in front of our house, meaning that she is parking directly in front of the fire hydrant. If the hydrant wasn’t there, it wouldn’t bother me at all, but it has become a habit for this girl and it is starting to upset me, especially when there are many other spots available on the street, including the one in front of their house.

So far I have not done anything. I want to mention it to our neighbors in a friendly way, just so that they don’t run the risk of anything happening to their friend’s car, but I also don’t want to upset them at all. God forbid a fire did happen on our street and it was needed. It is very tempting to just call the cops, but I would not want to be “that” neighbor. For the time being we just deal with it; it has not hurt anyone, it’s more of a nuisance than anything. I think it upsets me because she is blatantly ignoring a rule that everyone should know, not because her car is there.

Any suggestions on what I should do (if anything)?

Thanks!   0905-14

I don’t think you need to worry about the fire department accessing the hydrant.

And there are plenty of similar videos online.




Comments on this entry are closed.

  • AzaleaBloom September 10, 2014, 3:14 pm

    In my old neighborhood, street parking could be a little tight. If you were willing to walk a little bit, you could always find a spot. However, getting a place right in front of your house was not always a given. If you needed a handicapped exception, it was fairly easy to get. Otherwise, you just kind of had to deal with it.

    There was one guy who decided it was his God-given right to park in front of the hydrants. He wasn’t going to walk! He then had the nerve to whine on the neighborhood Facebook page about how it wasn’t “fair” that the police were ticketing cars for parking in front of hydrants. He thought they should have had the courtesy to warn us first.

    To say he got zero sympathy is the understatement of the year.

  • Anna September 10, 2014, 3:14 pm

    On crowded, narrow, city streets, it can really be a safety issue in terms of the fire department having access to the hydrant (which is why it is a rule, obviously). But it doesn’t sound like that describes your area, so I think it is best to let it go rather than taking it up with your neighbor, who might perceive such a thing as your not minding your own business.

    Hopefully she will get a ticket at some point and get the picture.

    • Amanda H. September 10, 2014, 7:16 pm

      Not just a safety issue on crowded streets, but a safety issue on spacious streets as well. As the linked video pointed out, the reason they break car windows to feed the hose through, even if it looks like there’s room to go around the car, is because the hose needs to be straight for maximum effectiveness.

    • iwadasn September 12, 2014, 9:10 pm

      OP doesn’t have to worry about minding her own business when it comes to this. Someone parking in front of a hydrant is everyone’s business. If a house on that street were to catch fire, the woman’s car could be the difference between it getting saved or not.

  • Kimberly September 10, 2014, 3:15 pm

    It might irk me, but I would let it go.

    One day, she will either get a ticket or as in the pic the admin. showed, there will be a fire and she will not like what happens to her car when that happens and she will get a ticket also.

  • Mary September 10, 2014, 3:17 pm

    My husband works for city government and he has talked about this same situation with the Fire Department Chief. Even for a small town they have encountered cars parked in front of fire hydrants that they need several times. He said that they have absolutely no issue breaking out the windows to access the hydrant. In fact, they take pleasure in doing so. Because they know that person will never park in front of a hydrant again.

  • Lisa September 10, 2014, 3:20 pm

    print out this picture and put it on her windshield.

    • DanaJ September 10, 2014, 3:57 pm

      Then take a picture of THAT and send it to the Passive Aggressive Notes blog.

      The simple solution is to respectfully let the neighbor know that you have safety concerns about their guest parking there.

      • Dee September 11, 2014, 12:42 am

        Showing a pic isn’t necessarily passive aggressive, particularly if she is showing the pic in order to warn the car owner of what regularly happens to these cars in an emergency situation. I would consider it a polite thing to do, instead of calling the cops or waiting until a tragedy happens because of lost time in responding to a fire. It could be considered a good deed or a favour.

  • Cecilia September 10, 2014, 3:26 pm

    Admin has it right (of course!). My neighbors were having a party and had a guest park in front of a fire hydrant. Unfortunately, a house across the street caught on fire and the fire dept did not even attempt to find whose car is was and ask them to move. They busted the windows and hooked up the hose.

    I think not parking in front of a fire hydrant is common sense and if the friend does not know this, she may be educated the hard way.

  • Steve September 10, 2014, 3:26 pm

    If you don’t want to be “that neighbor,” then do not mention it to your neighbor. You will be blamed for anything that happens later, regardless of whether you were involved or not.

    Call the police using a nonemergency number the next time she parks there. Tell them this is a repeat offender, and ask them to ticket her.

    She’s not just breaking a rule. She’s putting your life in danger. A car is not always perfectly positioned to run the hose through the windows. Running the hose around the car significantly decreases the water pressure.

    • kingsrings September 10, 2014, 7:41 pm

      I completely agree. When there’s a fire, every second counts! Fires can spread and cause damage at lightning speed. Firefighters having to break car windows and string a hose through them is wasting valuable seconds that could be spent putting out the fire and saving lives. This clod of a woman needs to get the hint in the form of a ticket to stop doing this.

    • Susan September 11, 2014, 5:31 am

      I agree

    • Miss Raven September 11, 2014, 1:48 pm

      I agree. No one has to know you were involved. If they ask if you wish to leave a name with your report, just say no.

      Getting ticketed or towed for repeatedly doing something illegal isn’t vindictive. It’s just a natural consequence of stupid and/or selfish actions. Like burning your hand on a stove, this may be a lesson she only has to learn once.

  • Kate September 10, 2014, 3:29 pm

    Oh my gosh, just say something! ‘Neighbours, have you noticed your friend is parking right in front of the fire hydrant? It makes me nervous, so if you could mention it to her I’d appreciate it! There are lots of alternative spots available on the street and god forbid if anything should happen!’ Punctuate this with lots of teehees and offers of fresh cookies if paranoid of rudeness, etc etc. Teehee.

    If you see something, SAY something, goes beyond suspected terrorism. Just mention it in a friendly way like you’ve been wanting to! Life doesn’t have to be racked with anxiety.

    • Rubies September 10, 2014, 5:58 pm

      Why would you teehee your way through that? Just sadly it outright.

      • Rubies September 10, 2014, 5:59 pm

        *say* it outright

  • nannerdoman September 10, 2014, 3:38 pm

    Why not just mention it to the neighbor? “Hey, Amy, are you aware there’s a fire hydrant there? One of these days you might get a ticket or something.”

  • NostalgicGal September 10, 2014, 3:40 pm

    The police should be called, period. There is a space near a hydrant that is a no-park, so many feet.
    Maybe it will take a red painted curb and a no-parking sign to get it across; or having her get ticketed.

    I rented a property for several years that had a city street light and a fire hydrant at the corner of the property; and I never had an issue with it being there; I kept it trimmed and otherwise accessable; and other than Halloween night idleparking (parents in car on idle) under the light while their kids hit the nearby houses for candy; nobody ever parked there. Where I am now there is in 60′ a hydrant, city dumpster, and street light; again I have not had issues with anyone trying to park right at the hydrant and dumpster; and I keep it trimmed and such for access if needed. That’s just what you do. People have and do park under the street light but it’s far enough away from the others to not be a bother.

    • Rubies September 10, 2014, 6:00 pm

      I’ve never heard of a rule against parking under a street light. Why would that be an issue?

      • NostalgicGal September 11, 2014, 12:42 pm

        When there is a fire hydrant within feet of the street light. In the first case it was half a car length from the light, and easy to see in case of night time need of the hydrant. In the present situation, it’s a curb cut (street was platted but doesn’t exist, but the curb is cut for it to tee off the main road-and you are not allowed to park to block that) then a hydrant, then one of the city dumpsters then a street light. The street light gives enough light to find the hydrant but it’s far enough away you can park under the street light. (our town has small dumpsters put strategically at curbs and your trash fee allows you to put your trash in those for pickup. The garbage truck is a self hoist that grabs the dumpsters and hoists and dumps them without a person having to touch dumpster… so you have to give the dumpsters a certain amount of space so the truck can get to them. And the truck drives against traffic to do pickups)

  • Outdoor Girl September 10, 2014, 3:44 pm

    Personally, I would call the police non-emergency number, not necessarily when the car was parked there, and let them know that you have seen cars parked in front the hydrant on your lawn quite a few times in the last month and ask if they would do a drive by occasionally, if and when they have time. While fire departments will just go through the car, if necessary, it does slow them down and might be the difference between my house being totalled or fixable. Or the difference between getting my cats rescued or not. I wouldn’t let this go.

    I have called by-law enforcement about a neighbour plowing the snow from their driveway, across the street, right in front of the hydrant. And called again when the neighbour continued to do it. I was flabberghasted when by-law told me it was fine. So I told them that if they didn’t get the neighbour to stop doing this, I was calling the fire department to see how they felt about it. The next snow storm, the snow was still pushed across the street but at least it wasn’t in front of the hydrant. Sorry, but I’m not letting someone potentially impact my health and safety.

  • Cat September 10, 2014, 3:51 pm

    Perhaps you could show her this picture and suggest that she leave her windows down when she parks to allow the fire department access to the hydrant-or just leave it on the windshield. This is a hoot!

  • Kimberly Herbert September 10, 2014, 4:07 pm

    I would call the non-emergency number or the fire marshal and explain that the hydrant is frequently blocked by the same car. I am paranoid about house fires, because of grease fire in the kitchen that resulted in my Dad having 2nd and 3rd degree burns. For years I would drag my sister outside if anyone made popcorn inside when it was hot outside. (I thought the fire was caused by the hot weather due to kid logic).

    • Cat September 10, 2014, 8:38 pm

      We should mention that grease fires cannot be put out with water. Grease will float on water and spread the fire. I had to stop someone from pouring water on a grease fire and burning down a convent kitchen.
      Either cover the pan that’s on fire with a tight-fitting lid or pour baking soda on it. Lack of oxygen will smother it.

      • Orinoco September 11, 2014, 12:48 am

        Salt works well too.

        • Jewel September 11, 2014, 9:08 am

          Or flour!

        • Calli Arcale September 11, 2014, 11:43 am

          Anything that smothers it will put it out, but baking soda has an extra weapon — when it hits, it will start to decompose, releasing carbon dioxide. So it’ll put out more fire, weight-for-weight, than salt will. There’s always sand, too. I was studying chemistry in college, and one of the first things they do when you’re starting a lab semester is be shown where all the safety stuff is — including the firebucket full of sand. (Though, for extra geek fun, read http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2008/02/26/sand_wont_save_you_this_time.php — it works on nearly every fire, but there are a few notable and terrifying exceptions, where perhaps the only answer is to run.)

  • MPW September 10, 2014, 4:15 pm

    You can give a fair and anonymous warning by printing out the text of the applicable law – the one that states that one is prohibited from parking XX feet from any fire hydrant – and leave it on the offending vehicle. Should it be there a second time, make the call – the city will send police or traffic (bylaw enforcement) and the car will be ticketed.

    For years I lived on a street where the street parking switched on the 1st and 15th of the month. There was a grace period – something like noon or 11am – but one nosy neighbour was already out complaining bitterly any time after sunrise. While that too can create chaos or danger, there was a known and distinct grace period. It’s not the same with a fire hydrant – it’s a no parking zone 100% of the time. (As was once explained to me by the officer ticketing the car next to mine, “no parking” means that you can’t leave your vehicle. “No stopping” meant that you can only stop to drop someone off, or pick up a waiting passenger – 30 seconds at most. )

  • JackieJormpJomp September 10, 2014, 4:53 pm

    Just… point it out. Do not see why this is considered delicate in the slightest.

    • MPW September 15, 2014, 11:22 am

      Have you never encountered people who are naive, ignorant, or entitled? I have some very nice neighbors across the street from me – but they keep to themselves by choice. I already deal with a very obnoxious “politics first” neighbor who actively interrogates then alienates new arrivals to the neighborhood if they aren’t of the same political bent as him. I don’t want trouble with either type – the latter I already know is unbalanced and possibly suffering from early onset dementia – so as much as courtesy would dictate that a personal conversation is recommended, the consequences of this going bad are not worth it.

      If the person parking there feels entitled to do so – and the other comments indicate that there are plenty like that – then they are going to feel that they are “above the law”. Fires are rare, but when they aren’t, they are very serious. Always call anonymously and play ignorant. Doing the right thing does not necessarily need to be done openly or publicly.

  • lkb September 10, 2014, 5:02 pm

    In this case, I don’t see anything wrong with confronting either the neighbor or the neighbor’s offending friend in a charitable way. Said with a friendly smile, “Excuse me, but the car is blocking a fire hydrant, you may want to move it or risk getting a ticket” ought to go down fairly easy, I would imagine.

    • Calli Arcale September 11, 2014, 11:43 am

      Yeah; by framing it that way, you’re doing them a favor by telling them.

  • Comradde PhysioProffe September 10, 2014, 5:25 pm

    My vote is for call the cops.

  • AnaMaria September 10, 2014, 5:36 pm

    If people or pets are trapped inside a house, the few seconds it takes for the fire fighters to break through the windows could mean life or death. I’m glad they don’t hesitate to break through the car if necessary, but they shouldn’t have to deal with the car being there in the first place.

    I agree with the idea of calling the non-emergency police number and asking them to do a drive-by; the police can’t release your name so there’s no way you can be held responsible when the offender gets a ticket.

  • Anonymous September 10, 2014, 6:51 pm

    Off-topic, but one time, I was driving, and accidentally stalled in front of a fire hydrant–the steering wheel froze up, and I couldn’t start the car again. I was so afraid that I’d get ticketed or arrested over that.

  • Unsinkable September 10, 2014, 7:00 pm

    You know, this gal might just be a “dingbat” (as per Archie Bunker). I have a mutual acquaintance who always bragged that she had “the BEST LUCK EVER!” finding parking spots, especially in front of the house of a mutual friend (yes, in front of a hydrant). She didn’t just get a ticket… they towed her car. She still didn’t quite get it. 🙂

  • NostalgicGal September 10, 2014, 7:20 pm

    Ex roomie, we needed to move a car that wasn’t working, got about six people and something that could tow the non-mover so it could be taken to be fixed… and we had her car, that needed to be moved about 150 feet on a fairly empty street for an hour.

    She was very put out to be asked to move it, and pulled it across the street RIGHT across from the driveway we were about to commence car/tow ballet… that is exactly the spot that NEEDED to be clear, from nose at driveway where it would be hit if we tried to tow. A place about four carlengths that way, clear all the way to there, was indicated… she started spitting fire and got out of the car to scream at me back at the curb across in front of our place where she’d just been asked to move from… and two someones in a larger car come wavering through and smacked her car at the curb. I am not lying. Had she moved it where it was supposed to be for the next hour, it would probably had been safe. Had she not gotten out of it to come vent a spleen because she put it in a worse place and didn’t want to move it at all; she would have had massive whiplash at least. (she was going to get the driveway space if we could get the other car OUT of there so it behooved her to cooperate!)

    Idiot driving was over legal by a bit; totaled his car and hers. She had full on hers and uninsured, which the other car was. Had she left it in our way? He might not have hit it but we would have with the car being extricated from the driveway to take it to repair. (she tried to tell us we owed her a BRAND NEW LUXURY CAR which hers was neither (new or luxury) for this, she got directed to her insurance company, and we were not so happy as to have her move OUT of our household as soon as she got her check for that one)

    Miss/Ms Hydrant parker… if Karma doesn’t bite her car (they need at the hydrant) then someone needs to call to have city’s finest come by and ticket her. As it seems there is parking all over in other places, other than in front of the hydrant. Which is illegal to park within a certain distance of. Go ahead and call, OP. Take some pictures. Document that the street has parking and this driver has less than no excuse.

  • Jenn50 September 10, 2014, 7:24 pm

    As a 21 year veteran of the fire service, I can tell you that we smile at pictures like this, but in reality, to actually execute this maneuver takes extra time and effort best spent fighting a fire, which can double in size every minute. I would call the police non-emergency number and specify that this is a recurrent problem. It might not get immediate attention, but it might spur them to target the issue in a selective enforcement campaign.

  • Tara September 10, 2014, 10:23 pm

    Call the non-emergency line for the police, and they’ll come ticket the car. Yes, you SHOULD be that neighbor! If she’s parking in front of that hydrant, she probably parks in front of others (endangering lives), and she needs to learn that she doesn’t get special snowflake status to park in front of hydrants. A ticket is just the thing, and no one will even know you called to report her. If you talk to the neighbors first, they’ll suspect you when/if her car ever does get ticketed (a cop driving by on patrol will eventually notice without your intervention), but if you just call first, problem solved and no one suspects a thing.

  • Marozia September 10, 2014, 11:38 pm

    Notify your local council about it. It always works here in the Shire where I live here in Perth.
    Sometimes a tip-off to the local parking inspector might teach neighbour’s friend a lesson.

  • Alison September 11, 2014, 12:13 am

    I would have no problem just saying to the neighbour the next time you see her that she might want to give her friend a reminder that parking in front of a hydrant is illegal, and that you have seen her do it on more than one occasion, so you are assuming she is unaware of the law. If you say it in a friendly manner, and say you’d hate to see her with a ticket or towed vehicle, I can’t see that she would mind. That way the warning comes from her, and it makes it seem that you are just being neighbourly.

  • Orinoco September 11, 2014, 12:52 am

    We don’t have many fire hydrants in the country in which I live, I think water access is most often via recessed outlets on the road covered with iron plates.

    This is an outlier, but she may not even know you shouldn’t park in front of a fire hydrant. I didn’t actually know that, until I watched the clip admin posted. Now I know, and I know why too.

    And (slightly embarrassing actually) I’m 44 years old.

    So, yeah. Maybe she just doesn’t know? Let her know? Assume the best?

    • Steve September 11, 2014, 8:59 am

      Anybody in the United States who doesn’t know that you can’t park in front of a fire hydrant should not have a drivers license.

      • NostalgicGal September 12, 2014, 11:05 am

        Emergency vehicle with lights going=their road. Pull over and stop, this means you, get out of their road as much as you can.
        Red painted curb=never park, stop, or stand here, EVER. It’s a hydrant or fire lane.
        Blue painted=handicapped. Unless you have a hangtag permit or plates, stay away. Even an inch of your hitch in one of these slots will get you ticketed and probably towed.
        Schoolbus with lights flashing=STOP. There are a few cases if it’s divided road you can proceed if you are going the other way, but. Err on STOP.
        School Zone=1-3 miles UNDER especially if flashing. Some burgs have double fines in school zones and if you are one mile over by THEIR radar; you’re going to lose. And be VERY clear on where the zone ends, ALL of your vehicle had better be out of there.
        (one city I lived in also had it double for speed in construction zone. They would put cones in a school zone so as to hit you for 4x fines. And put an unmarked police car there. Great income generator for them)
        Flashing Red=STOP. Full stop.
        Flashing yellow=Yield. Err on stopping.
        NO light and there is one there (it’s out)=FOUR WAY FULL STOP. I don’t know how many I have seen take that as ‘no light-*I* have right of way and I’m NOT slowing down’
        On grade=vehicle going up has right of way. If you are going down and lose traction you are at least seeing where you are going. Someone going up, are now in reverse if they cut loose.
        If you can’t understand those, you shouldn’t have a license either.

  • imc September 11, 2014, 2:19 am

    I’m sorry, but I don’t see how calling law enforcement or leaving passive aggressive notes on this girl’s car is in any way more polite than simply mentioning the fact to the neighbor.
    If I were the OP, I’d simply mention it next time I ran into her. It doesn’t need to be a full-blown discussion on neighborhood safety. It can just be a passing mention of the fact that “Oh, by the way, I’ve noticed that one of your guests often parks in front of my house. There’s a hydrant there, and she could get in trouble for that. I thought I should mention it, so that you could give her a fair warning.”
    Whether you also want to point out that blocking the hydrant is a hazard to the community is up to you, but you might leave that out if you’re afraid of sounding preachy.
    If the issue isn’t fixed, then by all means try and have law enforcement drive by, but at least she’d have been forewarned. They guilty party might be in bad faith (although why she would willingly park in front of a hydrant when the rest of the street is free is beyond me), but your neighbor might never have noticed her friend’s habits and should appreciate you giving her a friendly hint.

  • koolchicken September 11, 2014, 2:32 am

    I’d simply wait until the next time the friend is visiting and go over to the neighbors house. I’d say you just noticed her car was parked in front of the hydrant and perhaps she didn’t notice and she should move it so she’s not ticketed. Then I’d make a suggestion of where she might look for an open spot. If I was met with resistance I’d say “I’m sorry you feel that way but I’m going to have to inform the police”. Because she’s wrong to park in front of a fire hydrant, but to ignore it yourself is also wrong. If you know someone habitually does something that potentially puts lives in danger, you should take action. Even if it makes you “that neighbor”. And for the record, “that neighbor” is usually someone who makes a big deal out of a nothing thing. This is not a nothing thing.

  • Cherry91 September 11, 2014, 2:38 am

    Have a chat with your neighbour, point out their friend is risking her windows when she parks by the hydrant, and if she keeps doing it anyway, contact the police on a non emergency number.

  • Miss Merlot September 11, 2014, 6:32 am

    It’s just occurred to me reading that I have never seen a single fire hydrant in the UK, where I live.

    Off to Google now how the fire service here gets their water!

    • Jessica September 12, 2014, 10:45 pm

      Might be like in australia, now, underground hydrants with little trap doors. We use a thing called a standpipe that screws into the underground fitting and its like a portable hydrant. The trouble with these is that if they end up where someone wants to put their new driveway a common solution is to concrete over the top of them or park over them. You can see the issue there.

      • NostalgicGal September 13, 2014, 10:23 am

        I would think that any place with trapdoor hydrants, would have them clearly marked, and someone paving over them or parking on them; the authorties would be able to tell that the hydrant hatch disappeared and could and would ticket or serve a warrant on the paver.

        I have seen on some urban buildings, there is a riser pipe at the corner of the building and sidewalk; with connects, valves and marked FIRE with powdercoat signs; for in case of a fire there is an onsite hookup (usually a double valve, for two hoses) You can park fairly close to those, but usually there will be some access there (alley) or such so that you can’t park there anyways.

        • Jessica September 14, 2014, 7:10 am

          We do have them marked but some are not used for years, firefighters usually test them but they cannot get around to all of them in the suburbs so sometimes the covered ones go unnoticed until someone reports it or they cannot be found when they need to be used.

  • SusanB September 11, 2014, 8:21 am

    Please call the police or fire dept to report this person. What if it’s your home that has a fire and help is delayed getting to you because of this persons entitlement? She deserves no cooperation in this manner and silence is cooperating.

  • Library Diva September 11, 2014, 9:23 am

    I think you should talk to your neighbor, and ask her to talk to her friend. If you are worried about coming off like a jerk or whatever, you can lie and say that you bring it up because you recently parked in front of a hydrant elsewhere in the city and got a ticket, and you think that they might be cracking down on this, blah blah blah. All kinds of unpleasant consequences from a ticket to busted windows to a house burning down may come from the way this woman parks.

  • LJ Briar September 11, 2014, 9:59 am

    That is so interesting about what they’ll do to the car. Totally makes sense though.

    I’m with admin. Leave it be. If she gets a ticket, or gets her windows broken, that should teach her.

  • shel September 11, 2014, 10:19 am

    I’d notify the police. I wouldn’t even waste time telling the neighbor, unless you talk to them on a regular basis.

    Not to think bad of people, but it’s possible this ‘friend’ knows what she’s doing is wrong, but figures “I haven’t got a ticke yet, so I’m going to keep doing it” and will then be outraged when she does finally get a ticket. But that’s also not OP’s problem. Speshual snowflake is a growing problem, and this could definitely be part of why friend feels entitled to that convenient spot.

  • Ashley September 11, 2014, 10:43 am

    I’d certainly try mentioning it to the neighbor first. Since it’s in front of your house, is it plausable that you could pretend that YOU were contacted about it, by police or otherwise, asking about whose car it was?

    If it happens after mentioning it, then call the non emergency police line

  • White Lotus September 11, 2014, 10:55 am

    First, I’d report it to the Parking People, whoever they may be in your area, because it is dangerous. They will patrol if asked. Tell them when, if you know. Then, I’d do what a PP said. “Hey, Amy! Parking Enforcement’s been cruising around, and I don’t know if you know this, but they are vicious around here, no slack at all. I wouldn’t want to see your friend’s car towed for parking in front of the hydrant, so you might want to let her know.” Our Parking Enforcement IS vicious, and we have “hidden danger zones,” and they are around all the time. We also have many “guest” parkers, and this would be considered a friendly, neighborly act where we live.

  • Gabriele September 11, 2014, 12:57 pm

    I can only relate to fire hydrants I’ve seen but while many cities have the curb next to the hydrant painted red (usually older neighborhoods) some do not (mostly newer developments). Perhaps if the curb is unpainted, the person parking there thinks it’s acceptable since it isn’t a red zone.
    The OP might want to find out the cost of a ticket and since the information will be new to her, she could then tell the neighbor ‘I just found out and thought you’d want to tell your friend!’
    She could also point out that someone else told her how some cities who need the revenue are ticketing in residential neighborhoods more now and you’d hate to see anyone get a $____fine they weren’t expecting. She could add she’s going to alert other neighbors as well, depersonalizing the matter so it’s not the OP against the visitor, it’s a neighborhood do-gooder being kind.
    In California, there’s also a state law that applies so perhaps where ever the OP is there could be a state law as well.
    And if the visitor parks there again, and you call about it, the ticketing would be part of the city’s revenue-raising plan, nothing personal at all.

  • SusanB September 11, 2014, 1:00 pm

    Please call the police or fire dept to report this person. What if it’s your home that has a fire and help is delayed getting to you because of this persons entitlement? She deserves no cooperation in this manner and silence is cooperating.

    Do not chat with the neighbor. When she gets ticketed and towed you may be the first one she thinks of when she’s wondering who reported it. A warning from you will not have nearly the impact a ticket or towing will have. She’s earned it.

  • Jaxsue September 11, 2014, 1:44 pm

    I live on a corner lot, and there is a fire hydrant on my property. There is a bright yellow painted space that covers about 30 feet, with a large “H” beside it. Parking in that yellow space is illegal. One time a guest of mine parked a bit over the line. I am very vigilant about that – even a few inches over it seems wrong. I politely told them to back up a bit, just to be safe. Honestly, OP, I wouldn’t speak to the neighbor or her visitor; I’d call the non-emergency number for the fire or police dept and report them. This is not a small matter. Someone’s life could depend on it.

  • Angel September 11, 2014, 5:56 pm

    I would just call the cops. You don’t have to leave your name. If the idiot parks there again, call again. Every time you see it. Consider it your contribution to the community!

    Every second counts when it comes to fires. The few minutes spent breaking the car windows to get the hose to the fire hydrant could cost somebody their life. Think about this.

  • missminute September 11, 2014, 9:22 pm

    This gave me a belly laugh. Am I wicked for wanting the fire department to crash through her windows?

    • NostalgicGal September 12, 2014, 4:00 am


  • A different Tracy September 12, 2014, 7:56 am

    Though the Admin is correct that the fire department will work around the obstacle, why not save them (and the residents of the burning house) the time it takes to do so? I’d tell the neighbor that you’ve noticed one of her visitors routinely parks in front of the hydrant (don’t say “in front of my house,” because that’s not the issue, right?) and that she’s going to get ticketed or towed. No need to mention that she’ll be ticketed because you’re going to call the police the next time it happens. And then do so.

  • MPW September 12, 2014, 6:10 pm

    Thinking about it again – just call the police for bylaw enforcement. Making any direct attempt to contact the neighbor or car owner will result in being “blamed” for the ticket. It’s not worth the trouble of argument or repercussions from a vindictive or ignorant person. The “right” thing is to keep things safe – but trying to be polite removes the protection of anonymity.

  • Jessica September 12, 2014, 10:39 pm

    Speaking as a firefighter. Report it asap. Every second counts and its hard to work in the bulky gear quickly already with enough firefighters to set up the water supply AND start fire supression and search and rescue without trying to break windows, feed heavy and hard to handle supply hoses through broken windows and avoiding glass tearing the hose or causing injury and risk the hose being the wrong angle for desirable water pressure ect.

  • ArtK September 15, 2014, 11:02 am

    Call the police every time it happens. A few dozen tickets and that will cure her. It’s not your job to tell her she’s breaking the law, let the authorities make that clear.

  • Snowy September 28, 2014, 12:09 am

    Sorry, Dame, but OP *does* need to worry about it. Fires don’t grow in inches, they grow exponentially, which means rapidly. The twenty to thirty seconds it takes them to smash the windows, get the hose through, and attach it at an awkward angle, can mean the difference between life and death, between $5,000 in damage or $50,000, or between “How bad is it?” and “I’m sorry you lost everything.”

    OP should get the license plate and call the non-emergency police number to let them know about this chronic (and entitled) parker.