If you’re able-bodied and getting stir-crazy at home, consider doing what the city won’t and shovel a patch of road, a bus turnout, or other useful piece of infrastructure. I was able to do about 12-lane feet in an hour with a mediocre shovel, so in a sufficiently dense neighborhood, some collective action could actually make an appreciable difference in a particularly difficult spot, such as a steep hill.

Something like this is more productive than yet another round of Grand Theft Auto, and helps dispel our rep as a bunch of liberals waiting around for big government to help us.

12 Replies to “Crazy Ideas Department”

  1. To my neighbor who shoveled the bus stops on NE 8th: thank-you

    Everyone reading this: I require the use of a wheelchair to get around and when plow drift is at bus stops, the operators can’t get me on or off. Think about those of us who need that little bit of extra help

    Mr. Duke: thanks for posting this entry. It makes a world of difference to us :)

  2. I just came back in from an hour of shoveling my sidewalk and I see this post. ^_^

    Nobody around here shovels the sidewalk probably cause nobody walks around here. They shovel their driveways though.

    1. This happened to me too. I ended up shoveling the neighbor’s sidewalks too. One of the perils of living in suburbia, I guess.

  3. Excellent. It’s been so long since we’ve had a good snow like this, I’ve lost track of my snow shovel. May have left it behind during our last move.

    But I’m definitely going to be prepared for the next one, whenever it comes. Good shovel or two and large bags of salt — city may not like it, but if I’d salted the road in front of my house, at the top of a steep hill, I could’ve prevented a couple of crashes. City says since our street is not an arterial, it can be ignored, even though it’s a neighborhood collector with a 15% grade!

  4. The end of my street has had a nasty snow berm since the main arterial was plowed. I spent a good half-hour shoveling away some of the snow yesterday, but since the rain has appeared it’s turned into a slushy mess. I think I’ll burn some calories and get some exercise tomorrow by working on it a little bit more. Maybe I can expose some additional pavement and give the cars around here a little more chance of making it onto the street.

  5. I’ve been out shoveling today too–Our alley and the side street. It is a great way to say merry christmas to our neighbors. My son and I shoveled out three metro buses that became stuck in front of our homes the past two days. It was great to show him how simple acts can serve hundreds of commutes that were now able to get home via these buses.

  6. See the two Joel Connelly columns and Times articles for the whining Old Seattle perspective. These guys like to armchair quarterback the entire snow mess. Thanks for adopting a more can-do approach, Martin! I have faith the next generation of Seattleites will take care of the city a lot better than the last generation has.

  7. Here’s a legal question. I live in a block of townhouses on NW 85th. I don’t own a snow shovel. Am I obligated to shovel the sidewalk? Is the landlord?

    Also, if you’re going to be driving around be helpful! Last night my dad was taking me home (from my Grandma’s in Woodenville) and we stopped twice to push cars that had gotten stuck blocking the arterial, and once to help a car that had spun around and was stuck on the median on N 130th. Major kudos to the guy with the tow strap! Seriously, if we had all just called 911 and waited around for the fire department or something, traffic (and buses) would have been backed up for a long time. you help people!

    Also, yay for Metro drivers!. I know people have had issues with the snow routes, but I caught the 48 to the U-district and came back today with no problems today and felt so safe knowing someone else was handling the tricky road conditions.

  8. Wow,
    I just came back from the beach. Miami is so warm right now, I can’t even imagine snow. I salute your collective action, but am confused by this snow concept.

  9. Thank God the snow is pretty much gone… What a nightmare but as always, we all made it through it. I am new to the blog and saw the, “Crazy Ideas” post so that I would drop mine in. I actually don’t think it is crazy but maybe some one will. We have been manufacturing and installing transit signage and Kiosks for Metro for over 20 years and though we have worked on some minor changes including the colored arches on the models downtown the units themselves have remained the same for so long. All the kiosks are made up of aluminum construction with white painted panels. The paint, (Actually Powder-coat) has really help up well. I have see the King County has really been using the new MLK logo and I would like to laser cut some sample overlays to incorporate into the current Kiosks. I would even be happy to do some at no cost just to show my support for the leaders of King County for making such a bold move. If anyone would like to see what it would look like you can link to us view the URL listed or the signage and maintenance dept. should have us on file. I am not sure who handles the art work for King or Metro but maybe help me pass this along.


    Scott Henshaw
    Willow Bay Mfg.
    (425) 820-6090

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