Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn Neighbors Say Hidden Fire Hydrant Makes For Ticket Trap

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A hidden hydrant is causing big problems for drivers in one Brooklyn neighborhood.

The drivers say there is one parking spot that looks legal, but it is really a ticket trap. AS CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported Monday night, the situation has left many asking, whose bright idea was this?

A sport-utility vehicle seemed to be parked at a perfectly legal spot on Ocean Parkway near East 5th Street in Windsor Terrace, even clearing the “no parking anytime” sigh. But don’t be fooled – just glance over the nearby fence and there is a fire hydrant.

“When I pulled up, someone was like: ‘Oh, you shouldn’t park there. You’re going to get a ticket,’” said John Kabbabe of Brooklyn. “I was looking; I was like, ‘Why?’ And I looked around and I said, ‘Oh my God, there is a fire hydrant right there!’”

Kabbabe said it was a kind stranger who pointed out the hidden hydrant, but the driver of the SUV was not so lucky.

“There’s a bunch of tickets,” said Zachary Holmes.

Holmes said the brand new car and the brand new tickets belong to his brother – he was even with them when they parked the car Sunday night. The hydrant is even harder to see in the dark.

“We were pretty happy to find a spot,” Holmes said. “It’s not obstructing traffic and we didn’t think to look over the fence for a hydrant, because who does that?”

The owner of a white car did not think to do that either and also got a ticket. The violation comes with a stiff $115 fine.

“I haven’t looked at it, but I believe you if you say it’s not (a cheap ticket),” Holmes said.

Kabbabe was asking – whose bright idea was this?

“You see the signage, like if you can’t park right there, why wouldn’t they put that sign in front of there in those two spots?” he said. “You know, it’s like, it would make sense.”

The Office of City Councilman Brad Lander (D-39th) said it heard complaints from residents and passed them along to the Department of Transportation last week. The office said the “no parking” sign will be moved, but when is anyone’s guess.

CBS2 reached out to DOT and was told the department is still looking into the matter. The next day, a DOT spokesperson said that while the department normally doesn’t install ‘No Standing’ signs at fire hydrants, one will be placed there sometime before the end of the month.

“I think my brother is going to be really upset when he gets off work today and comes and looks at his car,” Holmes said.

Some residents say they are considering putting up their own sign to warn other drivers not to park in the spot.

CBS2 also reached out to the FDNY, which said the hydrant was inspected and it is operational and accessible.

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