snow what?

Ottawa’s most influential and popular citizen blogger asks the following question on WestSideAction:

Do your neighbours do anything special for winter sidewalks? Do YOU do anything for your neighbours?

I took the time to answer because it’s fun to compare an urban community (loosely-defined as Lebreton to Dow’s Lake to Westboro) with an inner Greenbelt suburb like Bells Corners:

– Out here in the inner suburbs nobody lifts a finger to work on the sidewalks – we don’t have many! In car-centric Bells Corners pedestrians are scarce.

City crews clear our roads and sidewalks immediately after a storm – here in the former City of Nepean we like our core services, especially the ones that serve the automobile.

But there’s still a community element to digging out after a storm – it’s just focussed on driveways rather than on sidewalks.

People often chip in to help each other out. It’s not unusual to see a guy with a snowblower going around helping neighbours after a particularly nasty storm. When I was away in Montreal to play hockey a neighbour I hardly even know snowblew my place just to be nice (which I appreciated, since an unplowed driveway in Bells Corners is a sure sign to thieves that no one is home).

Even people with a driveway contractor, like seniors who get half the cost subsidized by the taxpayer, can use help after the monster plow has passed and filled in the driveways with heavy snow.

Nobody in Bells Corners complains about City plows pushing snow into the bike lanes- we don’t have any!

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