Letter to the Editor: Snow Issues in Ward 7 Somerville

Dear Somerville News Weekly Speakup Editor,

photo:The car ticketed in this photo is directly in front of the neighbors house I was writing about and is parked illegally, on even side which is towable.

I am a Teele Square Resident of Ward 7, writing about a situation I had with a neighbor a few years ago during a snow storm. With another big storm on its way, I’m anticipating the same issue will lead to my having to shovel a 4×7 foot island of snow.

It’s important to note that there’s history with this neighbor and his arrogant behavior and demands of neighbors and the city.

First, I would like to point out we had both worked together at the same college but in different departments. One day he asked if I was still there, which I thought was odd. He’s always been intrusive like that and very arrogant to deal with, so I just kept my distance.

Also, he and his wife have lived here for over ten years and believe they may have resided in a home owners association because they feel entitled to stop landscapers from working on other neighbors homes as they consider the “noise”, as disturbing the peace, they ask what color you’re painting your house, if they approve of the color, dislike our dogs because they bark. We are all responsible dog owners and 3 minute barking doesn’t ruin anyone’s day.

They also disallowed city workers to trim sidewalk trees because they want our street to look like Brookline’s enchanted forest.

A hurricane some years ago that knocked over mature sidewalk trees should be enough to convince any rational person that tree trimming is a matter of preserving the health of the trees. Most importantly, it provides safety for pedestrians, motorists, and avoids possible damage to parked cars.

Not only was it becoming a potential hazard by leaving our sidewalk trees neglected and overgrown, taxpayers paid for the workers to do the work which was incomplete.

A neighbor who wanted the sidewalk tree in front of her house trimmed shared that the couple followed the workers around arms folded, instructed them to cut a few small branches here and there but the trees looked like that hadn’t been touched.

The island of snow:

This same neighbor made arrangements with one of our former aldermen to have the snow plow driver redirect the plow in order that he wouldn’t have to shovel his driveway.

He was also promised a smooth pebbled driveway for his inconvenience but the developer never followed through.

Instead, the neighbor was left to remove his chopped up asphalt which remained in his driveway for months. It’s possible the pebbles were paid at his expense but that remains unclear.

Our two neighborhood streets form a “T” shape. The neighbor resides close to the center of the “T”. In years past, the plow driver would cover all areas of the streets, now they only make turns in order to avoid the driveway which leaves a large triangle shaped wall of snow which abuts my property. Pedestrians and motorists cannot travel this area due to the wall of snow that stands in their way.

The neighbor generally leaves his car in front of his house so the plow can only make a right not a left turn. With a scarcity of parking spaces, he hardly uses his driveway.

I have addressed this issue with the alderman and waiting to see how the city DPW handles the plowing today. I’ve notified SPD but haven’t been able to speak to anyone yet.

Bottom line:

If a fire apparatus were to come down our street with an island of snow obstructing their path during an emergency, the triangle of snow will impede their ability to get through this intersection.

I’m asking that they instruct this neighbor to abide by our traffic and safety policies, park in his driveway, shovel his damn snow like the rest of us instead of demanding plows dig out his driveway and to cease-and-desist on his entitled behavior.

We all must shovel our driveways where it meets the street. What makes him so special?

I say, “Get Over It! If you’re too lazy to shovel, hire someone”.

We taxpayers are paying for services so the privileged don’t have to, and they have no concern for wasting our hard earned tax dollars when hiring city workers to show up and not do the job.

What else are they doing behind our backs?

If he wants to live in his own private kingdom- “There’s the door!”

If you have a similar story to share please write a letter to the editor. Collectively, we can make a difference.

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