Letters to the Editor

Share shoveling

January 11, 2010


To the editor:

For those of you who didn’t have to shovel the snow that fell during this Christmas/ New Year’s season but use the sidewalks we shoveled for you … you owe us big time!

That was heavy, wet snow that took forever to shovel. Some of us even put down sand. But blizzard conditions blew snow back over the sidewalks we’d already shoveled. And now it’s snowed repeatedly. So a bunch of us keep shoveling.

But what’s Thursday’s lead article? Ticketing for not shoveling — tickets based on people’s complaints. And the Sound Off question? “What number do I call to complain about my neighbor not shoveling his sidewalk?”

To all of you complainers: Have you ever shoveled your neighbor’s sidewalk while doing yours? If you live across the street and don’t have a sidewalk, have you walked across the street and shoveled your neighbor’s sidewalk? Or, if you saw your neighbor out there, grabbed a shovel and come over to help? Or, if you don’t have a shovel, offered to take over for a bit? Or even been a snow shoveling volunteer?

Yeah, sure you have.

We sidewalk “owners” get zero benefit from having a sidewalk — just time and hard work and expense and complaints. But we can’t remove the sidewalk and eliminate our city-mandated responsibilities because those sidewalks aren’t really ours. We have zero control over them. We’re just “maintenance men.”

EVERYONE should be responsible for sidewalks because they’re open to public traffic, just like streets. Until then, try being a good neighbor yourself.


Laura Wilson 8 years, 4 months ago

Excellent letter. I didn't ask for the sidewalk and when my parents built the house forty years ago there was no sidewalk there. All I use it for is to push the lawnmower along to get from one part of the lawn to the other.

While some people are going around ratting out their neighbors, there are some decent people left in the world like the young man who, just finishing shoveling his grandparents' driveway down the street, stopped and helped me get all the plowed up ice out of the end of my driveway last Friday.

George Lippencott 8 years, 4 months ago

Marty_McFly (Anonymous) says…

Why? Are you defending laws applied after the fact that affect a minority? Sounds despotic. Have you thought about the ramifications of this ordinance. Who do we demand services from next? Maybe you??

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 8 years, 4 months ago

That is why I live in the county, among many other reasons. Thank you, Lynn

mr_right_wing 8 years, 4 months ago

Thank you for being a ordnance-abiding property owner who is living up to his responsibility. Thank you for all the other laws and ordinances you follow as well. Hip-hip-horray for you!!

barlowtl 8 years, 4 months ago

Reading these comments I realize how blessed I am that live where I do, there are what I refer to as "snow angels" in my neighborhood, a rural cul de sac on a lake. I am 78 and live alone and I don't always see these angels but I sometimes wake to the sound of the scraping of the shovel and I always see the results. I can't shovel but I can bake cookies. God's angels not only know how to shovel, they love cookies!

Meatwad 8 years, 4 months ago

Sidewalk owner who get's 'zero benefit and only work and expense' Kendall Simmons makes me so sad. He seems to have no concept whatsoever of just doing something for the sole purpose of being a good citizen. I wish he would go live where there are no sidewalks. As someone who once fell hard on an icy sidewalk, I would happily shovel my sidewalk (I do my neighbors sidewalks too if I'm out there before they are) whether or not it was a law. Shoveled sidewalks are less dangerous for people to walk on and I'm happy to do my small part to help people be safe. I benefit from knowing that people can walk safely and that's all I need.

Meatwad 8 years, 4 months ago

Ladyoneill is just as misguided and selfish. Your sidewalk is not all about you. I wish people would just want to shovel their sidewalks because their fellow citizens need to have a safe place to walk. I'll bet if she fell on an unshoveled sidewalk, she would change her tune. I see people walking in the streets because of unshoveled sidewalks.

Meatwad 8 years, 4 months ago

Luckily there are a lot of good hearted, unselfish people out there who want to keep their sidewalks safe. If you have a neighbor who can't shovel, please help them out to keep their sidewalk safe. Several people on my street need help and other neighbors help them. I'm happy to say my entire block is safe and walkable.

Kendall Simmons 8 years, 4 months ago

Good grief!

I wasn't complaining about my husand and I having to shovel our sidewalk. Heck, we put down sand, for crying out loud. Does that sound like we're just doing the minimum legally required? And we've shoveled and sanded our sidewalk long before we knew it was the law. We also have helped our neighbors for years.


It's called "being a good neighbor".

Rather, I was complaining about those people whose preferred choice is to complain...rather than to be a good neighbor themselves. People who choose to complain, rather than help.

It's too bad some people have difficulty reading for comprehension. Oh well.

Jimo 8 years, 4 months ago

After some number of days, anyone should be able to shovel a public sidewalk and present a bill to the property owner for a statutorily set rate.

misticj 8 years, 4 months ago

I'm lucky I live outside the city limits.

ConcernedGStudent 8 years, 4 months ago

Back off this "anti-sidewalk" speak. Sidewalks serve a wonderful service to the kids, families, dog walkers, paper routers, bike riders etc. The city should certainly lighten up on the enforcement of tickets over this issue. They can't seem to manage this load of snow either.

The article is right on the issue that "many hands make light work." I certainly agree.

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