Shovel the sidewalk!

Published February 14, 2014 by justicewg

Walking around town you notice that the majority of people are out shoveling the sidewalk in front of their house, even after they have gotten so sick of the shovel they are ready to move to Puerto Rico (do they have snow? If it is possible, they probably have some now).

Some people though just will not shovel. They might have some reason – might be too old to be out risking a heart attack, might have some physical disability. Still, as a home owner, you have the responsibility to get the sidewalk shoveled, it is the (probably not enforced) law. You can afford a house, hiring somebody to shovel shouldn’t be that hard.

I thought about knocking on some doors and asking some Grandview residents just why they didn’t shovel their sidewalk. But – people who don’t care about the safety of the people using their sidewalk probably don’t have any problem telling me to stick my head in a snowbank. So instead, I took some photos and I’ll try to guess why these people can’t be bothered to shovel. These pics were all taken on Friday, at least 5 days after the last snow.

tattered flag

These people obviously care about the way the house looks, the place is well maintained, but nothing is shoveled. Lots of people have used the stairs, but they didn’t try to keep them clear. I’m going to guess this house has some elderly residents who have kids who hate them. Note the flag, a strip has torn almost off and is stuck to the porch roof.


I saw this a lot – three houses in a row with no shoveled sidewalk. I’m guessing the first guy doesn’t shovel, the second guy says “if he doesn’t have to shovel, then I don’t either”, and on down till we find an owner with a functioning sense of responsibility.

These people also have another sign of the jackass, they have shoveled the steps from their own porch down to the street, but don’t touch the sidewalk. My suggestion – if your neighbor does this, go out at night and throw snow onto their steps.


They had the energy to build a snowman in the front yard, but they can’t clean off their own steps? People are weird.


These people did shovel, I just like the igloo. A few more days of snow and we will all be living in igloos.

corner house

I know that owning a house on the corner seems unfair. You have three times the sidewalk that any other house on the street is required to keep clear. But you knew that when you bought the place. And there are a lot of responsible corner house owners who do a great job. You don’t have to do it all at once, but at least you can try (and you didn’t have any issue with keeping your own steps clear, did you?)

bus stop

The houses on the main streets have an extra responsibility, those sidewalks are used by a lot of kids going to school. At this corner, there is also a bus stop. People will be standing on this slippery sidewalk waiting for a bus. Hope they don’t have any mobility issues, because this homeowner also failed to cut any paths from the sidewalk, through the deep piles, to the street. You are on your own, hope you have ice mountain climbing skills, lowly bus riders.


These wonderful people are moving out, but they didn’t clear off the sidewalk. So now the movers have to traverse a 20 foot section of sidewalk carrying heavy stuff, with snow and ice under foot. Oops! Sorry they dropped your family heirlooms and trampled them into the snow. If I was a mover I would tack on an extra 50% for unshoveled sidewalks.

Did I feature your house in this photo story? Have some lame excuse? Use the contact form in the “About” section, or comment below. And yes, my sidewalk is so clean you can eat off it. As long as the things you are eating are frosty deserts with a light dusting of snow.


6 comments on “Shovel the sidewalk!

  • This is a serious issue. Another problem is raking leaves into the street, this should be a fine. And while I’m complaining about the disregard for city ordinances is DOGS in the parks.

  • A new snowfall covering a once shoveled walkway is not weird. Do you want to know what weird is? Weird is having the time to walk around the neighborhood taking pictures of citizens’ houses…. some even showing inside windows (we have a name for that)… and then cast stones from the safety of the internet and behind a camera. If you have the time to walk around taking pictures (which you obviously do) and you have such concern for your neighborhood, why not offer to help shovel some sidewalks? THAT would go a lot further in making this community a better place than a cranky old man snapping photos. You may have forgotten what it’s like to have young children but I don’t think you had the time to stalk the neighborhood. And I think I speak for all parents when I say that if shoveling snow is your first priority, you’ve got your priorities mixed up. —

    • If you look through the photos, you will see nothing inside any house. I checked. I also blurred the house numbers on one home, because they were so evident. All of my shots were taken from the street, just like Google street view. Also the County Recorder office has a photo of your house, updated every few years. If you are getting up in arms because there is a picture of your house on the internet, you have a big battle with the government and Google ahead.

      All of the houses had packed snow on the sidewalk, obviously deep from many snowfalls unshoveled. I see many of these unshoveled sidwalks because I am a walker, one of those weird people who are out using the sidewalks, even on snowy days. Or at least I tried to use the sidewalk, when the snow gets packed down into a sheet of ice because of weeks of no shoveling, it becomes so hazardous most people go around it by walking in the street. Thanks to irresponsible people I have to chose to risk getting hit by a car in preference to using the ice rink in front of their house.

      What the hell does having kids have to do with shoveling the sidewalk? I didn’t have any trouble when I had young kids. In fact, those kids were my helpers. Maybe you need to get to know some of those older kids on your street, I’m sure they would shovel your sidewalks for a reasonable price.

      You are correct, I am a grumpy old man. Get off my lawn. And get onto your own sidewalk, and shovel it the next time it snows.

      (Edit) Speaking of grumpy, if it gets your goat to have your house on this website, request to have it removed. I’m trying to get the general group of sidewalk slackers exposed, and by leaving your sidewalk unshoveled, you opened yourself to this criticism.

      • Many people depend on our sidewalks daily for school/work commutes, recreation, deliveries, etc. I feel the author has a valid point and solidified his argument by stating: “at least 5 days after the last snow.” This should have allowed sufficient time to clear the sidewalks. Although some homes in the photos may be recognizable, he did not publish the exact address and/or name(s) of the homeowner(s).

        The number of snowfall events coupled with the duration of extreme low temperatures definitely challenged many residents that try to keep the sidewalks clear. I agree there are a few legitimate reasons for not shoveling: away on vacation/work, health concerns, lack of proper equipment, or simply lack of time, etc. In many of these cases arrangements can/should be made to assist with snow removal: neighbors, friends, relatives, or hiring someone. Unfortunately there are too many residents that regularly choose to not to clear sidewalks.

        Everyone is busy with work, family, and/or other commitments. I live on a corner lot, so I have much more than the average sidewalk to shovel, yet I try to keep the sidewalks as clear as possible. This also includes the mounds of snow displaced by the snow removal trucks at the intersections and crosswalks. We all expect businesses and schools to clear snow for our own comfort and safety, why not expect the same from fellow residents?

        Just in case anyone is wondering: No, I am not the “grumpy old man” that made the original post. 🙂

    • Perro replied to a two year old post that few people will read again, so I don’t think it matters what he (she?) thinks, but maybe this ignorance displayed here is the explanation for a lot of people who don’t shovel. Homeowners own the property all the way the street, and are required by the city to maintain the sidewalk, paying for the replacement of it if necessary. The law requires owners to shovel (ORC 723.011), as mentioned in this story the law is rarely enforced, but it is on the books.

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