Snow Shoveling Snobbery
An article from the Chicago Tribune prompted this. In short, The Active Transportation Alliance (note: I’m doing this from memory since their website is down), a pro bike/foot/bus/train organization is encouraging residents to post a flyer on neighbor’s doors of those who shovel snow or who do not. I don’t need to lecture anyone here on the issues involving uncleared sidewalks, but I definitely grumble and I definitely remember those who don’t shovel. As an active jogger and car independent person, I constantly rely on sidewalks, and more importantly, clear sidewalks for my livelihood.
Now since I cover a lot of sidewalk in my average week, I do certainly notice the routine offendors who don’t shovel. Instead of a flier approach that Active Transportation takes, I do a few things:
1) If I’m out jogging/walking and I actively see somebody shoveling, I say “thanks for shoveling!” in passing.
2) Businesses that do not shovel will never, ever see a dollar of my business. For example, Niko’s Gyros will never see me as a customer, in winter or any season. Resurrection Health, St. Elizabeth Hospital’s physician offices on Western Ave will never see me pay a visit (oddly, the actual hospital’s campus was fine).
3) When it comes to residents who don’t shovel, there’s really only one thing I do: dump my cigarette buts in your treelawn. Two doors down from me is a newer 2-unit condo building. I have seen the residents, they both appear young and able, thus no excuses to clear the sidewalks. Lights are also constantly on, so I know they’re around. I hope they enjoy the tens of hundreds of cigarette butts they find in their tree-lawn come the spring thaw.
Am I little out of line on this? Perhaps, its still littering at the heart of it, but my small little social deviation brings me a smug sense of satisfaction.