1640.08  FIRE LANES.
   (a)   Designation. The Fire Chief or his or her designee may, with the approval of the Director of Public Safety, require and designate public or private fire lanes within the City as deemed necessary for the efficient and effective use of fire apparatus. The designation shall be made by a written order by the Chief or his or her designee, reasonably describing the location and extent of each fire lane, indicating the date of the order and bearing the signatures of the Chief or his or her designee and the Director of Public Safety. The original order shall be kept on file in the office of the Director of Public Safety and copies thereof shall be distributed to and kept on file by the Clerk of Council, the Chief of Police and the Fire Inspection Bureau.
   (b)   Parking obstructions. Designated fire lanes shall be free of obstructions and parked vehicles. It is a violation of this section for the operator of a vehicle to leave any vehicle unattended by the operator in a fire lane for any length of time.
   (c)   Citations.  Any police officer or fire official shall have the authority to issue a citation for obstructing or parking a vehicle illegally in a fire lane.
   (d)   Impounding. Any police officer or fire official shall have the authority to order an unattended vehicle left in a designated fire lane to be towed by any towing company licensed to do business in the City, and the towing company may condition the return of the vehicle to the owner upon the presentation of proof of ownership and the payment of towing and storage charges as allowed by law.
   (e)   Generally.  Fire lanes shall be constructed according to the following criteria:
      (1)   Length.  A fire lane shall be at least 18 feet long.
      (2)   Clearance. A fire lane shall have a vertical overhead clearance area of not less than 13 feet 6 inches high for the clearance of fire apparatus.
      (3)   Markings. Fire lane markings shall be on the vertical surface of a curb unless otherwise approved by the Fire Chief or his or her designee or authorized representative. Fire lane stripes shall consist of a red colored background at least six inches wide. “NO PARKING - FIRE LANE” or “FIRE LANE NO PARKING” shall be spelled out along the red background in four inch white letters.  This marking shall be at 25 feet intervals on the red border markings, to show the fire lane’s exact boundary.  Where the markings are determined to be inadequate in controlling traffic, the property owner or person in control of the premises will be required to post fire lane signs in addition to other required markings.
      (4)   Signs. A fire lane shall be designated with signs posted that read “NO PARKING - FIRE LANE” or “FIRE LANE NO PARKING” and shall be 12 inches wide and 18 inches high.  The signs shall be firmly affixed to a stationary post and the bottom of the sign shall be six feet, six inches above the finished grade. The signs shall be spaced not more than fifty feet apart.  Signs shall be installed on permanent buildings or walls or as approved by the Fire Chief or his or her designee.
      (5)   Maintenance.  A designated fire lane shall be maintained and kept in a state of good repair at all times by the owner or person in control of the premises. When restriping, additions to the existing fire lanes are not permitted without prior approval of the Fire Chief or his or her designee.
   (f)   Special considerations.
      (1)   Grade. The gradient for a fire lane serving a building not protected throughout by a complete automatic sprinkler system shall not exceed 8%.
      (2)   Bridges.  When a bridge is required to be used as access, or is part of a fire lane, it shall be constructed and maintained in accordance with the applicable standards with a design sufficient to carry the imposed load of a 60,000 pound fire apparatus. Vehicle load limits shall be posted at both bridge entrances when required by the Fire Chief or his or her designee.
      (3)   Gates. A gate installed across a street or fire lane shall be approved by the Fire Chief or his or her designee. Before any permits will be issued by the Building and Zoning Department for construction, plans shall be submitted to the Fire Division for approval.  (Note: Some properties or premises require the installation of a Rapid Access Key Box, per Chapter 1437.)
      (4)   Turn-around areas. Where it is not possible to connect a fire lane at both ends to a dedicated street, a turn-around area shall be provided. Dead-end streets or fire lanes exceeding 150 feet in length shall be provided with an approved area for turning of fire apparatus.  The required turning radius of a fire lane shall be determined by the Fire Chief or his or her designee.
(Ord. 28-1987.  Passed 5-11-87; Ord. 80-2006.  Passed 10-23-06.)
   (g)   The provisions of Sections 452.16 and 452.17 of the Traffic Code, governing proof of violations and waiver of court appearances, respectively, shall apply to the issuance of citations for and the prosecution of fire lane violations.
(Ord. 20-1988.  Passed 4-25-88; Ord. 80-2006.  Passed 10-23-06.)