Sunday, February 10, 2013

Do Your Neighbors a Snowy Solid

We in NYC had our first real snow storm of the season - about 8 inches with about 12 inches in some places. Right away I remembered the really annoying part of snow in NYC. It's not the roads and it's not the unshoveled sidewalks - that's actually the second most annoying thing about NYC snow storms.

No, the most annoying thing starts 1-3 days later, when the snow inevitably starts melting, and icy slush puddles accumulate at nearly every sidewalk corner where you have to cross the street. Suddenly, what is usually second nature to me becomes a major hassle. Does that look like virgin snow or is it more like an icy marsh, waiting to suck me down and flow into my boots, guaranteeing me an uncomfortable rest of the day (which may be quite young when the incident occurs).
The worst part of this is at night when the temperature is far below freezing (for instance, last night it was around 18 degrees after a day around 33 degrees), and those two-foot-wide puddles become two-foot-wide ice rinks, often uneven ice rinks because the slushy icebergs have become the peaks and valleys of your own Antarctic ice shelf. Talk about dangerous.

If you want the pedestrians that pass your house or store to throw grateful smiles instead of cursing your fortunes, please consider doing the following:

1) If your property is on the corner, instead of just clearing the sidewalk, also clear a pathway from the curb into the street. Yes, I know this isn't your responsibility, it's the City's, but can't we all get along?

2) If there is a rain gutter in front of your property, please try to clear a little channel from the gutter to the corner.  Just a small channel of 3 inches will help the melting snow clear out a little faster and will keep icy pools from forming so widely at the corners.

Please consider doing your NYC neighbors these snowy solids and we will thank you, in our hearts, if not as we pass by and see you doing your bit to help us all out.  Be safe everyone!

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