NEW YORK (AP) — The city wasted no time in mollifying motorists angry over a case of meter madness.
A parking meter in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn was so close to a fire hydrant that parking there meant risking a $115 ticket.

State law requires that cars park at least 15 feet from hydrants — leaving only 12 feet, 5 inches between the meter and the buffer zone. Only a tiny car such as the Mini Cooper, measuring just 11.9 feet, could fit in that space; a Ford Taurus would be about 4 feet too long.

The city removed the meter on Tuesday, following a front-page headline in the Daily News.

"We took the meter out," said Tom Cocola, a spokesman for the city Department of Transportation. "We try to listen to the public."

That was too late for George Akopoulos, 47, who co-owns a restaurant nearby. He said he got a ticket a month ago but paid it to avoid a hassle. Others, such as Bob Restaino, 64, have unsuccessfully fought their tickets.

"This is a disgrace. I put money in the meter, went to lunch and got a ticket. I was parked legally," Restaino told the Daily News.

Restaino, who is retired, called the newspaper in frustration after spending three hours in parking court Monday.

But Tuesday was a new day for him. He was autographing copies of his picture in the paper for neighborhood residents and fielding calls from the BBC, the British broadcasting network.