Snow Shoveling Snobbery

by Jimsey

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.


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3 responses to “Snow Shoveling Snobbery”

  1. Ben says :

    I see nothing wrong with that response. Although if they don’t really care about shoveling, I wonder if they really care about cig butts on their lawn. And what are you doing smoking while jogging?

    I remember my dad has had an ongoing battle with the 7-11 near him over clearing the streets, culminating in an awesome letter to the paper. It didn’t work, but it was amusing. You’d think a place open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week all year would find time to shovel at least once.

    Anyway, I’m all for the polite thank you, that goes a long way.

  2. Lachlan says :

    My sidewalk is always spotless come winter time (thanks in small part to the Elling snow shovel – it still sees good use), but that’s only so I avoid the fine.
    When it’s snowing, I spend about 1 hour shovelling sidewalks. 10 minutes to clear mine, and then about 50 minutes shovelling snow onto the sidewalks of elderly people in my area who are miserable old assholes. I’m hoping for the broken hip/pneumonia/death trifecta will result from this.

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