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If there’s no red curb, can you legally park beside a fire hydrant?

Q: Chuck Call of Menifee asked if he can legally park beside a fire hydrant if there is no red curb there. He said some fire hydrants in residential areas in Menifee are not alongside red-painted curbs.

A: Nope, it’s illegal to park in front of a fire hydrant regardless of whether the curb is painted red or not. Some counties and homeowner associations simply don’t paint the curb red to avoid paying for repeated paint jobs after the red paint fades.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles Driver Handbook clearly says it’s illegal to park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or within 15 feet of a fire station driveway. Also, section 22514 of the California Vehicle Code says you can’t leave any vehicle within 15 feet of a fire hydrant unless the vehicle is attended by a licensed driver who is seated in the front seat and who can immediately move the vehicle if necessity; unless the local authority (city or county) adopts an ordinance reducing that distance and if the distance is less than 10 feet there has to be signage; or unless the vehicle is owned or operated by a fire department and is clearly marked as a fire department vehicle. Anyone who sees a vehicle illegally blocking a fire hydrant can call the police for enforcement.

Q: David Zarbok of San Bernardino County asked about the area of Waterman Avenue and Fourth Street in San Bernardino. East of Waterman, he said, the road is very rough and has been for several years. Zarbok thinks the area is in the county of San Bernardino and not in city limits. He asked who to contact to get this road repaired.

A: If the portion of the road is in the city limits, then the city of San Bernardino Public Works Department ( would be the agency to contact. Our reader can try emailing Daniel Hernandez, the city’s Public Works director, at or call 909-384-5140. Outside city limits, the agency to contact for county road maintenance would most likely be the San Bernardino County Department of Public Works ( or for a listing of contacts and phone numbers).

On the chance there’s a different agency responsible (perhaps Caltrans), the city or county can refer our reader to the proper agency. Caltrans has an office in San Bernardino and can be reached at 909-383-4631.

Q: Gary Stange of Beaumont reported there are some large potholes that need to be fixed on freeway overpasses and an onramp along the 10 Freeway in Calimesa.

A: Whenever we receive reports like this from readers seeking freeway maintenance for things like potholes, we steer them to Caltrans’ Maintenance Division online Customer Service Request system, ( Citizens can report potholes, graffiti, weed abatement, striping issues, and the like. It’s easy to use and you can be specific as to the location that needs attention.

Do you commute to work in the Inland Empire? Spend a lot of time in your vehicle? Have questions about driving, freeways, toll roads or parking? If so, write or call On the Road and we’ll try to answer your questions. Please include your question or issue, name, city of residence, phone number and email address. Write or call 951-368-9670.

Source: Orange County Register

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