So this happened. Not today. It was a few five years ago and no it didn’t hit my house. It fell across the sidewalk that leads through the Deep Dark Scary Woods into the schoolyard. I heard it from inside my house and I’m the fourth house down the block. It’s a good story but maybe one for another day.

What I’m cranky about is that according to Next Door Neighbor (which I have mixed feelings about), people are using the city’s “fix-it” app to tattle on their neighbors for not clearing their sidewalks of snow “immediately” (I think 24 hours is the time limit). This results in big fines for the “offenders”, many of whom are actually shoveling but apparently not doing a picture perfect job.

I am a long-time early morning walker and I totally agree that people should be clearing their sidewalks AND putting down some kind of de-icer. I wear ice cleats now but over the years, I have fallen a couple times. Both times, I was galumphing along on what seemed like “grippy” snow, then suddenly encountered a sidewalk pane with a slick coating of ice hidden under the snow. Ka-whomp! What hit me? I revisited those locations under cover of dark and stealth salted them.

It’s always been possible to report people for poor snow removal but now that all it takes is a click or a tap, I think it’s too easy to do. I also don’t think the clickers and the tappers are thinking their actions through. There are any number of good reasons why a neighbor of any age might not be able to keep up with perfect clearing. I dunno why we can’t relax a bit and give them some slack, especially in this stay-home pandemic winter. I mean, it often takes DAYS for the city to plow the STREETS.

Also, most of us in the older Planet Ann Arbor neighborhoods don’t have a whole lot of sidewalk to shovel. Why not just shovel your NEIGHBOR’S walk if you suspect they aren’t simply being neglectful? Back in the day when we had older neighbors, I did that a few times just for the joy of being outside in the dark under the stars, throwing snow around. BTW, they were well capable of doing their own snow but they were entranced and gave us WHINE!

I have used the fix-it app once. It had nothing to do with winter precipitation, except that the tree in the pic fell during an ice storm. No one was injured in that incident and the city came out directly to tape it off and then clean it up. But. The street light that keeps the vampires and werewolves away went out and didn’t come back on. A few months later, I learned about the fix-it app, took a pic of the street light pole’s serial number and filed a fix-it request. In about a week the light was back on!

I think that kind of thing is a GOOD use of the fix-it app. Tattling on neighbors about imperfect snow removal? Not so much. It’s winter and this is the Great Lake State and we have to pull together! I bet neighbors are helping neighbors in Texas.

One Response to “Cranky”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Tattling appears to be some people’s hobby these days. I get really tired of the Next Door app, especially those who try to create drama “A man was walking through our neighborhood,” “There was a strange van driving around” etc. The latest is about hearing big booms, and OMG what could they be? We live next to a military base, and it’s easy to check their website to see that they are doing trainings and maneuvers. Too many seem to use the site to seek attention.