Don’t Crap Your Snow in the Street

My neighbor crapped his snow into the street
Originally uploaded by carlweaver

My neighbor decided that the snow-clearing job at his house was not good enough, so he crapped some into the street for good measure. Because that’s where it belongs or something, I guess. I don’t know why. It’s just plain annoying.

People, if you need to do a bit more shoveling to clean things up a little, throw the snow somewhere it makes sense, like into a yard or onto another snow pile. Heck – I’d even pile it by one of the many cars that still has not been extricated from its parking spot.

Don’t throw it in the street. That’s just dumb. We want it to be out of the street, remember?

Carl Weaver is a writer and brewer for and has been making beer and wine for more than 20 years. He is also an avid photographer and writer and just finished his first book, about a trip he took to Thailand to live in Buddhist monasteries. He considers himself the last of the Renaissance men and the luckiest darned guy in the world. Follow him on Twitter.

21 thoughts on “Don’t Crap Your Snow in the Street

  1. Saw someone doing this on Champlain Street in Adams Morgan the other day. I asked him to put it somewhere else. He said it melts better in the street. Uh huh.

  2. Actually – The small amount of snow you are showing in that photo will melt in a few hours and be done with. The person in Adams Morgan is indeed correct, it will melt faster in the street now that the street has been cleared. Why is that Americans are so short sighted about things that make sense? Maybe it’s our faulty educational system… maybe it’s our need to be in a rush and judge other so quickly. Deep breaths people, deep breaths…

  3. agree with brendan. the amount of snow your neighbor put in the street will have zero effect on your driving experience

  4. I was on a bike on Champlain Street. Piles of snow across the street do, in fact, hinder my ability to ride safely. The low that night in DC was in the 20′s…so refreezing into ice was a real problem. Bottom line: it’s just inconsiderate to throw your snow in the middle of the road when there are plenty of other, less disruptive places to put it.

  5. I vote with Brendan. The snow will disappear faster if it is spread out. The snow is melting at a rate or 1-3 inches a day with the above freezing day-time temps and direct sunlight. Plus the tire traffic causes it to melt faster. Snow piles will take forever to disappear.

    Unless you volunteer your yard for snow crapping…

    Sorry bikers… maybe chains on your bike tires?

  6. No, chains aren’t necessary…because the roads are plowed. Until, of course, someone throws snow onto the road. The goal here isn’t to melt snow as fast as possible by spreading it thin; the goal is to get snow and ice out of the way of people using roads, sidewalks, trails, etc. so we can all return to normal.

    Putting snow into the road would serve to defeat that purpose.

  7. Though maybe you all are correct that this specific snow will melt, i understand what the post is trying to say.

    There are streets near me where people are dumping large amounts of snow into streets where it is NOT melting and causing very dangerous conditions for drivers.

    I understand people want some room in their front yards but it is not going to do any good to dump LARGE amounts where automobiles are driving by.

  8. Having moved to DC from the great white north (New England), I’ve been constantly amazed by how stupid people are in DC when it comes to dealing with snow and ice. Yes, it’s true that the snow will melt faster in the street, but that’s not BETTER. During the time it takes to melt, it’s a nuisance.

    How can people be so freakin’ lazy?

  9. Rob, the thing is that it’s not laziness that motivates people to do extra shoveling. It baffles me too. laziness would be simply leaving it where it was. This is impotent industriousness. That boggles my mind even more.

    Time and heat will melt the snow. We don’t need a bunch of snow tenders thinking they are doing something positive by putting it in the street. It makes for dangerous driving, biking and walking. Yes, walking. Remember, this is apparently a city of idiots who can’t be bothered to shovel the sidewalks but see their way clear to shovel it into the street.

  10. And we’re rushing to melt our yard snow in the street so that we can do what? Are we planting grass? Hosting a bocce tournament? It’s February people, you’re supposed to have snow in your yard. I guarantee that if left in place it will melt in time for all yard events.

  11. If there’s nowhere else for the snow to go, then yes, the street may work because it will melt faster there than on a huge pile on the sidewalk or on the shoulder of the road. But why does it need to melt faster if it’s on your lawn? I say, if it’s not in the way now, leave it where it is. As someone who grew up in Alaska, I promise it will melt eventually.

  12. Ah, I love the “I grew up in the great north, and thus everyone else are idiots and lazy in winter” line.

    I grew up in NE in a poor-ass town that handled snow like DC – badly. Unfortunately, we got a lot of it, but the kids had to go to school so budget choices were made. Now, if DC had a powerful snow removal program like Boston, NYC…any other northern city. Then this discussion is moot.

    But when blizzards hit my MA town, and the town did crap about it except make huge snow piles at intersections. We had to spread out the snow gradually so our cars can move. Anyone out there driving? Traffic is horrendous because entire traffic lanes are blocked by snow… let’s get this snow melted!

    It does suck for bikers but cars will pass through the spread out snow just fine. Besides, snow melts causes water which causes ice. Bikers are just screwed by mother nature.

    Now stop being self-righteous and at least recognize that, even if you disagree because it violates your world-view that snow needs to be in black and yellow shit piles, a person who is spread out the snow is trying to help.

  13. What Jeff said. Unbunch your obsessive-compulsive panties for a bit. That snow you took a picture of is probably already gone, isn’t it?

  14. They’re right- it’ll melt faster in the street.

    And then turns into ice. Which isn’t very helpful.

    Use the lawn, people, come on.

  15. I saw someone doing this yesterday who explained he was concerned about getting a flooded basement from the snow up against his house melting in the predicted rain. But it looks like the house in the picture is on a hill and shouldn’t have this issue.

    Hopefully today’s crappy weather will melt a lot of the increasingly ugly piles and make us all a little less grumpy.

  16. Yes, the snow I took a picture of is gone by now but that’s not the point. Generally this is a stupid thing to do. Like Elizabeth pointed out, keeping the runoff away from the house is important, but simply shoveling the snow from where it exists and will melt in short order on its own, to the street, where it causes problems for others, is stupid.

    In the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston things are a bit different. The plows come by, pack the snow onto the parked cars, and then people dig out their cars and repatriate the snow to the street because there are no lawns at all there.

    Here we have lawns in most places, even if they are small. If not, there are big snow piles everywhere. Put the snow there. Pile it next to the curb. And as a general rule, if it is already there and not bothering anyone, leave it where it is. If it needs to be moved for one reason or other, such as to increase visibility, move it somewhere sensible. Putting it in the street is not a good solution. Putting it back in the street creates more problems.

    Mother Nature has a plan for all this snow. It will melt in due time. Believe me when I tell you that it will all be gone before long without people, well-intentioned though they may be, spreading the snow in the street and causing problems for others.

  17. Well, I disagree with the idea that spreading snow in the street makes it worse (I will concede that it makes winter suckier for bikers). But I guess at the end of the day, I do not shovel (I pay the elderly woman next door to shovel my walk) so I will bow out.

  18. Jeff, look at that photo. The road was cleared. If it hadn’t, there wouldn’t be a complaint. Your argument is self-defeating.