Hidden Dumbo fire hydrant continues to trick drivers into getting tickets

New York Post 1 week ago

Dumbo’s getting hosed.

A diminutive fire hydrant in the well-heeled Brooklyn neighborhood is responsible for more parking fines than any of its more robust cousins across the city, startling stats show.

Like most things in the Big Apple, part of the 2.5-foot-tall hydrant’s secret to success is location, location, location.

The hydrant is set back six feet from the curb in front of 70 Front St., lying in wait for unsuspecting drivers, who were ticketed 145 times from June 2018 to August 2019 — a grand total of $16,675 records show.

Most other hydrants, which range in height from two inches to a full foot taller, are set back no more than 2.3 feet from the curb. Only a hydrant outside a large apartment building at Creston Ave. in Fordham Heights in the Bronx came close to DUMBO’s lil’ devil — generating 142 tickets ($16,330) during that same time period.

Fuming drivers ripped the tiny troublemaker — even as they conceded its important in the event of an actual fire.

“That is f–king ridiculous!” one person raged last week. “That is f–king nuts. I would never notice it.”

Making matters worse the hydrant is often obstructed by mountains of trash bags. And the painted yellow lines at the curb have faded — helping its stealth campaign.

“People get tickets all the time. I feel bad for them. A lot of people curse under their breath,” explained Dustin Schmitz, who works at Brooklyn Industries clothing store. The 2 ¹/₂ foot tall parking menace sits right outside the shop.

Schmitz witnessed one motorist complain to the traffic enforcement agent but “he just wrote the ticket, shrugged it off and moved on.”

Schmitz believes the victims are often wide-eyed “tourists who come to get a picture of the bridge.”

One unsuspecting driver with Pennsylvania plates backed his Toyota SUV into the notorious spot Friday afternoon, believing he had scored a sweet space.

“You’re going to get a ticket!” a kind-hearted maintenance worker warned the driver, Daniel Hong of Philadelphia, who ended up finding another space.

“From inside the car, I can’t see (the hydrant),” said Hong, who was more than a little peeved. “That’s an illegal location. Nobody can see it!”

“It’s a trap,” added the maintenance worker.

It is illegal to park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant. But that’s usually the rule when the hydrant is at the curb, according to the Department of Transportation.

The city wrote over 555,000 hydrant tickets from July 2018 to June 2019, collecting over $50 million in fines, according to the Department of Finance.

The numbers were crunched for The Post by Ben Wellington, the data scientist who runs the blog I Quant NY.


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