“Another Consequence of Snowy Sidewalks”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Melanie Cohen

“Dear PoPville,

The past two days walking home from the metro at around 5 I have encountered more than a dozen drunk men hanging around my neighborhood. It was a little unnerving yesterday to hear them aggressively yelling at each other (on the verge of blows) but I kept my head down and tried to avoid them as best I could. If it weren’t for their age I would have thought I had stumbled upon a tail gate or something, the atmosphere was so similar.

Fortunately, the sidewalks in my neighborhood are mostly clear (there’s a few piles that have caved in from the side of the road) but unfortunately the cleared area is small and only wide enough for one person at a time. Tonight, a man saw me coming and jumped over the snow bank in front of me and asked for money (not a theft, just begging) and when I said no he got aggressive and touching my arm saying “please, please just a few bucks for the store…” He didn’t move aside or stop when I asked, so I had to step into the ice covered snow to get around him and almost fell. Normally I take advantage of the full width of the sidewalk, but with the snow I couldn’t do that. My purpose in sending is just to remind everyone to be aware of your surroundings, and to keep your eyes open for one another. Also, shovel your damn sidewalks more than just one shovel length in width!”

9 Comment

  • “One shovel length in width” seems more than adequately wide. That is like 4 feet wide! ;-p

  • Good post, but wanted to comment on the picture. I live 4 blocks from here and this snow pile is insane. That intersection is already a cluster-f due to the construction and lane closures…I wonder who thought it would be a good idea to block yet another lane of traffic there. I reported this to 411 this morning and hope it gets removed soon.

  • I am confused. Drunks touching my arm and asking for money happens all the time in DC…. it is never pleasant but I mean… am I missing something?

    • Normally you can walk around them or avoid them before they get to you. This person is saying they were basically trapped by the snow on either side and the beggar blocked their path. Additionally, I’ve lived in DC for four years (and 8 in NYC before that) and have literally never been touched by a beggar, drunk or otherwise, so I’m going to go ahead and call bullshit on your pretend “what’s the big deal?” position.

      • 16 years in DC, have never once been touched by someone panhandling, either. Maybe Bruno is just extra cuddly looking.

        • I live in Mt. Pleasant and it happens all the on time Mt Pleasant Street, where scenes like this are common, notably in the bus park and by 7-11. Also on 11th Street when I walk home from work, near a cluster of liquor stores. And once someone recognizes you, etc etc etc. Maybe it’s because I walk a lot, and everywhere. Has no one ever approached you sloshed looking for “bus fare”?

    • Drunks don’t grab my arm either, maybe because the look on my face says I will get them institutionalized so fast it will make their heads spin. NOT COOL.

  • Ironically I was thinking one benefit of the snow was that those who loiter somewhat creepily or aggressively on corners had no room to do so.

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