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How do we curb fire hydrant problem?

Photo+by+Paige+Laskiewicz
Photo by Paige Laskiewicz

Photo by Paige Laskiewicz

Photo by Paige Laskiewicz

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Have you ever been running late to school and seen that one perfect parking spot right in front of the sidewalk on Oakton? Well, it is not really a parking spot. Hiding behind a large tree and sitting next to some faded yellow lines there is a red fire hydrant. A ticket for parking in that particular spot is $50.

“I have seen probably one to two parked in that spot per month – all too close to the fire hydrant. Not all are ticketed when I drive by in the morning. But I have seen about five to six cars with tickets,” said Mrs. Julie Crawford, a resident of Arlington Heights.

Mrs. Crawford went in to talk to Dr. Deborah Scerbicke, Dean of Students, about the issue, so it was only right that Mr. Bill Sanford, Dean of Students, should get the same opportunity. After showing Mr. Sanford a picture of the fire hydrant from two angles, one straight ahead and one from a possible angle of a driver, he noticed how easily the fire hydrant became hidden from view.

“I don’t think the curb is marked well enough, and the tree makes it even more difficult,” said Mr. Sanford.

Especially in the winter, when the snow plows push all the snow onto the curb, the faded yellow lines become invisible to drivers who do not know better. In Illinois, snow is a definite, and the fire hydrant was completely covered in the banks of snow this year.

Despite the obvious concern, the deans have no control over anything beyond the sidewalk is not Saint Viator property or responsibility. It is the village’s responsibility.

“From a school standpoint, we may be able to put a notice on the parking flyers we hand out or maybe even put a sign up,” said Mr. Sanford. “It would probably be temporary and that still may not be very effective because we would not be able to put it on the grass by the street. It would have to be on the other side of the sidewalk.”

Adults on one hand may know better that such a perfect spot would have some sort of catch, but new drivers running late to school would just pull into any spot they could find. Students agreed that the curb should be painted better and a sign should be put up if possible. After hearing that just one woman sees one to two people parked there per month, apparently only one to two people at most complain about getting a ticket there per year. However, only one student has ever brought it to the attention of the village. Even then, the village would not consult with the school on the matter. So what can be done about this injustice? Will anyone ever speak up to finish this unresolved matter?

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How do we curb fire hydrant problem?