This Fire Hydrant Generates $25,000 a Year for the City

April 24, 2014 | Andy Cush

The city’s most valuable fire hydrant is on Forsyth Street between Rivington and Delancey. Cops handed out 84 tickets to drivers who parked in front of the hydrant between August and December of last year, netting $9,660 in fines. Extrapolated out, that’s $25,000 a year.

The data blogger Ben Wellington of I Quant NY, who found the hydrant, claims those tickets are unfair. There’s a parking spot explicitly painted in front of the hydrant, which, given that it’s supposedly illegal, seems odd. Wellington also points out a space that appears to be a protected bike lane — though it isn’t officially designated — between the parking spots and the curb. And according to the Department of Transportation, parking in front of a hydrant that’s buffered with a bike lane is perfectly fine.

So what gives? Did the city paint the misleading markings intentionally to draw illegal parkers in, or is it a case of disconnect between the DOT and NYPD? Either way, you should probably err on the side of not parking in front of hydrants. That perfect spot isn’t worth the risk of a $115 ticket.