A May 2 Facebook post about people who illegally park next to a fire hydrant while visiting the Hellertown post office on Delaware Avenue has gotten a lot of feedback.
The original post by Liz Thompson was written on the Hellertown, Pennsylvania Facebook page, which has about 1,000 members.
“You know you’re in Hellertown when it is completely acceptable to park in front of a fire hydrant because you’re ‘just running into the post office,'” Thompson wrote. “A fire can spread quicker than you may think. Have a little respect for the law and the men and women who will gladly put a fire hose through your car, to get to the hydrant you are blocking, to put out a fire. You having to walk more than five feet likely won’t kill you, while a fire most certainly could.”
While most of the comments posted on a lengthy thread that’s developed are supportive of Thompson’s viewpoint, a couple of posters have disagreed, with one calling her complaint “petty” and another telling her to “get a life.”
However, a borough fire company volunteer responded to the call-out with praise.
“Thank you from a member of the Dewey Fire Company Fire Police,” wrote Christopher Christian. “You can also add to your list those that block the fire hydrant on Constitution (Avenue) that are watching their kids play sports.”
The only handicapped space available to customers is in the parking lot across the street, and it is barely noticeable due to the erosion of painted pavement markings.
“Some people are sick. MS. Etc. And yes it’s hard for them to walk,” wrote Cicero. “They should put two handicapped spots out front. They have none.”
“I’m sure having MS is painful… However, burning to death is painful too, or watching your house burn down is painful. Time is of the essence in a fire. Perhaps petition the Borough Council or (police) for a handicapped spot,” Matt Brady wrote.
This isn’t the first time the parking situation at the post office has been criticized.
“The Pennsylvania Vehicle Code…states that a car cannot stand or park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant,” wrote Joshua Gillem. “This law exists to ensure that fire engines will have immediate access to hydrants in the event of an emergency. Just think about what the result might be if a fire broke out while your car was parked next to a hydrant, and you weren’t able to start it to move it out of the way? It’s a long shot, but things like this can and have happened.”
As a deterrent, “maybe if the police gave out a few tickets it would stop people from parking in front of the fire hydrant,” wrote Janice Harkovich Henn on Thompson’s post.
How do you think the parking issues that have been observed should be addressed?
Should police be more aggressive in ticketing or towing cars parked next to the fire hydrant? Should on-street handicapped parking spaces be added? Or do you feel the concerns about public safety and handicapped accessibility are overblown?
Tell us by posting a comment.