This felt like some sort of evil plan hatched by the LA parking gods. It was a classic case of cheese left to lure in the mouse. Only I was the mouse and instead of cheese it was a beautiful and almost irresistible twelve feet of prime curb space in a neighborhood slammed with cars.
If the curb isn’t marked with red and there isn’t a sign telling me “No Parking,” I should be able to park here right?” I mean, they paint all the “No Parking” areas with red curbs in LA. Don’t they?
Lucky for me I relied on my default parking rule in LA.
If I’m not 110% positive I can park somewhere I don’t do it. No matter how enticing the parking spot looks.
After I wrapped up my meeting in the building across the street and had a second to hop on my computer and looked the official LADOT ruling on this suspicious parking spot. Legally, hydrant’s are always no parking spots in Los Angeles no matter if the city got around to painting the curb red or not. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they might leave you cheese and crackers next to the hydrant, but it doesn’t make parking there legal. Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) Sec. 87.02 states,
“No person shall stop, park or leave standing any vehicle on any Harbor Department roadway within fifteen (15) feet of any fire hydrant except when such vehicle is attended by a licensed operator or chauffeur seated in the front seat who can conveniently move such vehicle when necessary.”
Basically, don’t park near a fire hydrant under any circumstances, unless of course you’ve got a chauffeur. Huh? I truly love the fact that the LAMC specifically makes exceptions for chauffeurs … as in limos … as in rich douchebags get to park in front of hydrants and go for a stroll, while their limo driver waits in the car. Only in Hollywood does this make sense my friends. Only in Hollywood.
What was initially confusing to me about this parking spot was that the curb wasn’t marked in red like they usually are in LA when you can’t park somewhere. What is now confusing to me about Los Angeles is that the LADOT makes special fire hydrant parking exceptions for rich people in limos.
I guess if there is a fire the LADOT figure the guy in the limo can throw twenty-dollar bills on it to help put it out or at the very least can let the firemen stay at his Malibu bungalow on the beach recuperate after an exhausting day. You’ve got to appreciate the irony that people driving in stretch limos get special fire hydrant parking treatment in a city paid for on the backs of those driving in Honda Civics.