We received this suggestion for an Open Thread topic from a BHB reader who wishes to remain anonymous. It’s about being kind to your neighbors, being courteous and maybe SHOVELING YOUR SIDEWALK after a blizzard. Here’s the full email:
I’m writing to suggest a special edition of Open Thread Wednesday titled something like: “Open Thread Wednesday – Blizzard Etiquette 101″. The purpose would be to have a place to vent about, and make suggestions to eliminate, all the relatively minor, but very aggravating, inconveniences of the storm which are caused, not by big city agencies, but by our very own neighbors.
I was out and about in the Heights quite a bit today, and have a long list of vents, but for the most part they are not NYC level problems; they are neighborhood problems which should, IMO, be solved by the nabe, and could easily be solved with a little respect, courtesy and diligence. Here are some examples:
* businesses that don’t clear sidewalks, and I want to name names, such as CVS on Henry St. which never clears the Love Lane sidewalk, and Ann Taylor on Montague which was a mess today, as were some others on the north side of Montague;
* residential buildings that don’t clear sidewalks, and I want to give street names and numbers, (and print out the BHB blog post and leave it under their door);
* residential buildings on corners that don’t keep a path to the street clear, (so, when you get to the corner you have to climb a mountain or slog through a foot of slush to get to the street):
* pedestrians who do not in any way accommodate those approaching from the opposite direction on an 18″ wide shoveled path, by, for example, stopping at the beginning of the narrow path to let another pass through, or at least attempting to do “the squeeze”, so two individuals can use the narrow path at the same time;
* pedestrian lack of empathy for, and assistance to, the obviously infirm, examples from today including: showing great impatience with our slower-moving, cane/walker assisted neighbors, not yielding the right-of-way on narrow paths when a less agile pedestrian is approaching, not offering assistance on snow hills and slushy corners, etc.
* parents who allow children to play/sit on their snow coasters, sleds, etc. on these narrow walkways, oblivious to the fact that pedestrian traffic is backing up because the little ones are blocking the path for all, (and especially, those parents who become insulting and hostile when a blocked pedestrian says “excuse me” and asks the child to move out of the way).
I think this would be a worthwhile topic for the blog, because I truly believe that many offenders are not necessarily inconsiderate, but perhaps just unaware, so raising awareness might do a little good in improving conditions for all in the Heights.