Thursday, February 18, 2010

Any suggestions for clearing alleys?

Got this from a reader, it's a good question. Anybody have any suggestions or recommendations?
Are you aware of any service to plow or remove snow from alleys in Columbia Heights? Ours is packed with snow, and I'm not sure there are any coordinated neighborhood efforts. I'm sure of people all gathered together, we could chip in $10 or so to pay a company to remove the snow - instead everyone's just shoveled their own paths, piling double the snow for those who may need to come by afterward.

Do you have any thoughts? I was tempted to rent a Bobcat earthmover and do the work myself - but if everyone benefits, I'd like to see everyone contribute.

Just wondering if you're aware of any social or community efforts to this (and it may have saved the person whose car caught on fire).


  1. probably doesn't help you in columbia heights much, but we have someone in trinidad who has a bobcat and will clear alleys for a reasonable rate. check the tweet here.

  2. This is an easily executable idea that just needs someone to organize it. Do a quick flyer, make enough copies for everyone who backs up to the alley on both sides, distribute them door-to-door and be (or find someone to be) the point-person for collecting donations. I'm sure all your neighbors would be very grateful and you'll have built a community network for any future such efforts (and if you're talking about the alley behind the 3400 block of 13th Street between Monroe and Otis, I'm in!).

  3. I can't believe you still haven ot addressed this problem. I shoveled my alley along with two other neighbors the day after the first storm and again the day after the second storm. Most of it is melted now. So my advice - grab a shovel and stop being such a wimp.

  4. The problem is not that of just shoveling the snow. The alley between Euclid and Fairmont (Sherman and Georgia)is a rather steep hill. You can't just pile the snow up on the sides because it melts and then ices over the areas you just shoveled. The snow and ice will need to be physically removed and placed in a sunny location. I don't know anyone physically capable of carrying large amounts of snow down a hill by hand. Only a bobcat will be able to clear this alley.

  5. The ice problem is somethign imaginary that you have invented as an exuse - so that you can continue doing nothing to solve your own problem. But if you're dead set on move the snow to a "sunny location," then just bet some of the meatheads down at the WSC that they "can't do it." That may sound dumb - but then again, you're the guy looking for a good deal on bobcat drivers using a little-read blog. Why not try, I don't know - the yellow pages?

  6. The snow melts. The temperature drops and freezes the water. This is not my imagination. It is fact.

    Or am I just imagining the existence of gravity and its ability to make melting snow water run down a hill?

    Or maybe Anon lives in a world without gravity?

  7. Gravity is not the issue here. Your unwillingness to chip in even a minute of hard work to address a community problem is. Rather than take to the alley with a shovel, you sat inside your house for close to two weeks hoping your neighbors would solve the problem for you. Now, you propose the craziest idea of all - hiring a bobcat driver?

    Here's the thing - when snow falls we all have a responsibility to do our part - THE DAY AFTER THE SNOW FALLS! Perhaps if you had shown some initiative and shoveled just the area behind your house - maybe a few feet more - your neighbors would have followed suit? That's exactly what happened on my block.

    As far as the ice - that hasn't been a problem on my block because of two other phenomenon you neglect to mention in your brief survey of our physical world - namely evaporation and drainage.

    Seriously dude - your argument is empirically denied by everyone who did their part to shovel out. It's just time to get a shovel man!

  8. You are wrong again. I am one of two houses that actually shoveled the alley behind my house. But I can't control gravity and drainage of melting snow.

    It melts. It runs downhill and hits more snow that has not been shoveled. So it freezes.

    So you are the idiot that does not understand the problem.

    And since you mention the neighbors maybe I should point out that most of them are Howard students that don't care to pitch in. They know someone else will do it for them. Plus they are renters and do not care about long term living on the block.

    So there are no neighbors to help. So maybe before you just make assumptions you should shut the hell up you stupid douche.

  9. whoa whoa, let's relax, folks. I don't think it's a renter-vs-homeowner situation. At least on my block, both dug out the sidewalks equally.

  10. The first Anonymous is quite clearly an online troll, and thus should be ignored.

  11. Saw this on the New Columbia Heights Facebook page:

    I have talked to to a few private contractors that do snow removal and they were too busy last week but they maybe freed up now one is salas young 202-538-7797


Please don't advertise in the comments, and please enter some kind of name when you comment instead of being anonymous.

If the post is more than 28 days old, your comment must be approved first.