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Is it me or has snow fatigue completely set in? I don’t even have energy to panic. I haven’t left my apartment in days. Showering has become a victory. But I do have energy to bitch about drivers still getting themselves stuck in the snow. All I hear out my window are cars revving in place.

So who’s ready for more snow?

Thankfully, there is “Dan.” Dan has written up a series of etiquette tips that have been posted on various neighborhood listservs. I found these in the Takoma DC listserv.


As someone that was raised in a cold-weather climate (Michigan) and endured many long winters there, I wanted to share with you some commonly accepted points of etiquette that people should be reminded of (feel free to add or reject as you see fit, this is just my experience):

1. If a neighbor helps a neighbor shovel, payment is not required (unless agreed to in advance), but an offer of food/drink is.

2. Any shoveling assistance that is provided without requesting payment in advance is presumed to be offered free of charge (see etiquette 1 for how the recipient should respond).

3. If someone has taken the time to shovel a parking space and a “place holder” is left (i.e. a chair, cone, etc.) respect their effort and keep looking. Conversely, an unmarked parking spot should be considered free for the taking.

4. If two cars meet on a street that is too narrow for them to pass side by side, the car that can more easily get out of the way should do so (into a parking spot, cleared driveway, etc), but the car that was given the right of way should pass, and wait to ensure the car that gave the right of way can continue. If it cannot, you should stop to help them. EXCEPTION: Should the cars meet on a snowy/icy hill, the downhill car ALWAYS gives the right of way, since it is easier to back down a hill than up it. If the hill is narrow but otherwise clear, then the normal etiquette applies.

5. A capable pedestrian that sees a stuck vehicle should stop and offer to help.

6. If you are driving and see a stuck vehicle and can safely stop to help, you should.

7. Do not park/leave your car where it will be an obstruction to the road.”

Feel free to add to Dan’s tips in the comments.