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Will Fire Trucks Be Forced To Use NYC Bike Paths?

NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- It was supposed to be an "ah ha" moment for Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan -- an admission that changes had to be made to the controversial Columbus Avenue bike lane.

Unfortunately, it turned into more of an "oh no" moment.

One of the changes the commissioner is considering is to allow cars to park in front of certain fire hydrants, and force fire trucks to use the bike path.

"What we're going to do is work with the fire department to see if in the floating parking we can allow some parking there," Manhattan DOT Commissioner Margaret Forgione told CBS 2's Marcia Kramer.

When asked how many spots were candidates for such a move, Forgione responded "at every hydrant it would be one or two parking spaces that potentially could be restored."

The changes could be affected on every block from 77th to 96th streets.

Forgione said she was "not sure" how the fire department would react to allowing people to park in hydrant spaces.

On Monday however, FDNY Press Secretary Steve Ritea responded tersely with the following statement:

"Fifteen feet on all sides is necessary to provide quick access to a hydrant and blocking hydrants can't be permitted under any circumstances," the statement read.

Questioning also abound over what would happen if more than one fire truck responded to a fire.

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