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North Andover Sidewalks

I called the town of North Andover offices the other day to find out if it was a law for homeowners with sidewalks in front of their homes to shovel after a storm. To my surprise, it is not. The gentleman I spoke to said that they would "hope" that people would be responsible and take care of it on their own as it's not the town's responsibility either.  I live in the Rock Road/Berkeley Road neighborhood and there is only ONE house on all of Rock Road that takes care of his sidewalk. In the last three years that I've lived here, not ONE of the others on Rock Rd. do anything about it. There is this one person, photos attached that has a path for his dog that he used his snow blower for but couldn't be bothered to go 12 more inches over to take care of the side walk. There is a school in the back of our neighborhood so there are children here that are forced to walk in the middle of the street to get to school. For me, the danger comes when I have to walk my dog in the morning and afternoon. Where there are sidewalks, I most definitely use them when they are clear. When I walk down Rock Rd., I too am forced to walk in the street. Will it take a dog or a child to get hit by a car to wake them up??
carey dorazio February 15, 2014 at 05:59 PM
Although I do feel that it would be nice for the gentleman to take care of the sidewalk, I think it takes a lot of nerve to make that request of someone else. My question to you is, do you have a shovel? If so, move your butt not your mouth.
Michelle Lynch February 15, 2014 at 10:06 PM
So, let me get this straight. You agree that homeowners should take care of the sidewalk in front of their property but you don’t feel that it is right to ask them to do so for the safety of those in the neighborhood? SMH… If I owned the house or lived in a home where there was a sidewalk, I would, 100% take responsibility and clear that sidewalk. I happen to live in one of the properties in the neighborhood that does not have a sidewalk. That’s the thing about Berkeley Road and Rock Road, one side has them and one side does not. So, it’s my responsibility, as a neighbor that walks my dog, to clear THEIR sidewalk? Where is the logic in that? Did you miss the part about how there is a walkway to a grade school at the end of Berkeley Road? The town is responsible for that walkway, but not the town sidewalks. I would rather be that person that has the nerve to ask someone to shovel their sidewalk to protect the children and others in the neighborhood, rather than stay silent and wait for a car sliding down the street to hit someone. Oh, to answer your question – yes I have a shovel, but one little shovel won’t clear sidewalks in front of 12 houses.
MikeA February 15, 2014 at 11:01 PM
Can we get some statistics here? How many houses are on the street and how many have theire sidewalks shoveled? I suspect that a small percentage are shoveling sidewalks. If that's the case, it's just not going to happen. We live in a car society. I see adults walking, running, and biking on our streets. It's extremely rare that you see a kid on the street/sidewalk let alone one walking to school.
carey dorazio February 15, 2014 at 11:47 PM
You did your part. You were concerned, you called the town. They responded that it isn't the law. I just disagree with the approach of publicly humiliating your neighbor by posting pictures and imposing your will upon others. If you are concerned about the children, you can take action. You can't "expect" others to share your concern. If this issue is of critical importance to you, maybe you should press further with the town.
Andy Beresford February 16, 2014 at 08:12 AM
I'm guessing Carey is a lazy bastard who doesn't shovel his walk either. If you want a "bad neighbor" story, mine tops them all! Count your blessings! And how dare you "impose your will upon others" Michelle! Imagine the nerve expecting people to have a sense of community! (that is sarcasm directed at Carey).
Patrick Cullen February 16, 2014 at 12:22 PM
It's your own tough luck that you purchased a home with no sidewalk and have to walk on someone else's. Next time, buy a house with a sidewalk and spend all day burying yourself in the snow. If you ever took unwanted pictures of my house and put them on a public forum without discussing it with me, we would have serious neighborly issues for the remainder of your time in the neighborhood. You soccer moms love to talk about the children, the children, the children. I wouldn't let my kid walk alone to school in a town that provides buses. The town responded to your inquest and replied that it's currently not against the law to leave your path covered with snow, end of story. Get over it and walk to the moon for all I care.
Andy Beresford February 16, 2014 at 04:24 PM
I think Patrick needs to get laid.
Michelle Lynch February 16, 2014 at 07:00 PM
Thanks for you comments Patrick. If I were a "Soccer Mom" I think that would offend me. I don't like soccer and I'm not a Mom. Just a concerned resident.
Lyndsay Goldstein Dowd February 16, 2014 at 07:13 PM
Every town I've ever lived in before North Andover required residents, even renters to clear their sidewalks. This includes NY, Colorado and several MA towns. Is it really that terrible that you take care of what is in front of your home? I don't think so. Our current neighborhood doesn't have sidewalks so it isn't an issue for us but we all help each other when someone is away or hurt. It's easy to look the other way. Try and be a good neighbor. The goodness always comes back and makes us have a stronger community.
Andy Beresford February 16, 2014 at 08:30 PM
What a bunch of selfish jerks men are nowadays! You guys should be offering to help, not displaying your bitterness from being rejected by soccer moms. Here was a recent story of a baby that almost was killed because a sidewalk was not shoveled:http://www.eagletribune.com/latestnews/x1196432768/Stroller-dragged-100-feet-under-truck
Meredith Varcarolis February 16, 2014 at 08:31 PM
Wow! I can't believe people are getting bent out of shape over someone asking them to TAKE care of their property or what is in front of it. For those of you that think other people should do the heavy lifting of their property and then yours, then you are real jerks. I can understand if you have a medical issue, but if you don't want to shovel your side walk, then buy a town house or condo and pay the HOA fee for someone else to do it. It is and always will be a homeowners responsibility. Guess someone will have to get hurt and then sue a couple of the jerks to get the message across. We all have had bad or poor neighbors, but what I just read from some of you is just pure nasty. Hope karma gets you all that think someone who is a concerned neighbor should be treated with such disdain.
Patrick Cullen February 16, 2014 at 08:39 PM
Michelle, you're a concerned resident who showed her concern in the most disrespectful way possible. Instead of just talking to the person directly, you put it in the patch and creepily took pictures of their house. Andy doesn't even deserve a response.
Michelle Lynch February 16, 2014 at 08:56 PM
I didn't creepily take photos of the house, as you can see, I did it in the light of day... I also DID speak to them directly. And my understanding of the Patch is to speak out and discuss what is happening in North Andover. Have a great week everyone and above all, stay safe!
Andy Beresford February 16, 2014 at 09:06 PM
Patrick you should be really mad at Google Street View then. And I'm sure with your "If you ever took unwanted pictures of my house and put them on a public forum without discussing it with me, we would have serious neighborly issues for the remainder of your time in the neighborhood" threat, we are all devastated you don't live next door!
Patrick Cullen February 16, 2014 at 10:14 PM
Andy, I was not making a threat. I was stating that I have no respect for neighbors who feel like it's their right to tell me what to do with my property by trying to publicly humiliate me. I don't think I could ever have respect for that. The funny thing is I actually agree with the overall point that sidewalks should be cleared and I take care of my property. I strongly disagree with neighbors taking pictures of my house without my permission and calling me out on some website. You obviously have no problem talking big on a website and resorting to immature comments. My initial comments were out of anger because I feel bad for the person who lives in the house in the pictures. I don't rush to judge them by assuming they are just lazy homeowners. The town of North Andover has not made it a law to clear your sidewalk, so if you feel so strongly about it, get the selectman to make it a law. Being a good neighbor is not publicly attacking them.
Andy Beresford February 17, 2014 at 07:08 AM
I don't think a picture of the outside of someone's house is an invasion of privacy. And my comments are funny so step off. I have the best "bad neighbor story" ever but I better not post it without checking with you uptight guys first!
Michael Quinlan February 18, 2014 at 11:50 AM
The town does clear some sidewalks that are used as access to schools. I have seen the small tractor after various storms. Not sure how it is determined which sidewalks get cleared by the town. (I suspect it has to do with the amount of traffic on a particular street. For example, Salem Street is cleared for quite a distance.) You could get a petition to get a change to the bylaw covering snow removal on sidewalks. Call town hall for info. I don't think many signatures are needed. Then it has to be considered by Selectmen and, if approved, put on the Town Warrant for a vote at Town Meeting. (May be running out of time to make 2014 Warrant.)
Shawna L Bernard March 12, 2014 at 10:29 AM
With all the time it took you to post these ludicrous and wildly inappropriate comments, you could have shoveled every sidewalk in the neighborhood yourself! Thanks for the pictures of my home...it looks quite nice from that angle, though as the sane people on this thread mentioned, it is by all means an invasion of privacy and shows the petty and shameful kind of person you are. Kindly stop accosting my husband in his own driveway while he's behind a snowblower in the middle of a brutally cold snowstorm. As for this comment: "Andy Beresford February 13, 2014 at 07:54 AM We need more residents like my father! At 77 (I think) as soon as it snows, he shovels out the hydrant across the street, the storm drain, a path for the mailman, the oil delivery guy, then his own walk. And if any of your lame neighbors get mad at you Michelle I will take care of them!" You'll take care of us? Is this site monitored by police? Since the poster included pictures of our home, I can now be afraid that you will indeed come here and "take care of me" for not shoveling my sidewalks. I'd better report this is a threat. And for the person who asked for statistics? Let's put it this way: I have not seen one house in the neighborhood (which is made up of several streets) with shoveled sidewalks. (If there are any, maybe the crazy person with the camera can take some pictures of those.) And since most of them have children and don't complain, but the person posting these hostile remarks does NOT have children and is the only one who has, I think that also says a lot about how much of an issue this really is. In fact, I DO have a child--one who walked to school for four years--and never once had a problem with a neighbor over the course of those four winters. I also know the majority of families in the neighborhood, but never knew this person's name. Just saying. I do know that years ago, she told a friend of mine who was outside with my dog, who is a Canine Good Citizen, by the way, that he was "aggressive"--and badgered my friend while he was letting my extremely well-behaved and friendly dog out for me in my own yard. What's funny is that while she was badgering my husband, again, in our own yard--shouting and pointing in his face--guess who was keeping her dog entertained? He must not be that aggressive, as you didn't seem to mind him playing with your dog while you embarrassed yourself and harassed us for a second time. And speaking of statistics, you may want to bring a ruler with you next time you walk by my house, as I'm quite sure the sidewalk is a bit longer than twelve inches. In fact, why not just walk somewhere else?
Shawna L Bernard March 12, 2014 at 10:29 AM
PS...Get a life.
Andy Beresford March 12, 2014 at 11:33 AM
Oh lighten up, we just wanted to argue. Shoveling a walkway is the least of the problems facing our town. But glad you could finally show up to the conversation!
Meredith Varcarolis March 12, 2014 at 11:40 AM
If this was FaceBook people would be defriending left and right. Take care of your sidewalks folks. Do it for yourself, your neighbors and the mailman. Forget about pics of a house in the snow, because it looks like many homes around here. We should have more pride in how we treat others and our properties.
Shawna L Bernard March 12, 2014 at 12:09 PM
Let's take a picture of your house and see if you feel the same way. And if you live in this neighborhood, is your sidewalk shoveled? We should see pictures of it if so since there aren't any done in this neighborhood to my knowledge. If this was Facebook the pictures would be reported and the threat would be, as well. Since it's on this forum, it becomes a police matter.
Shawna L Bernard March 12, 2014 at 01:20 PM
And you may not be glad I showed up to this conversation after all. Mr. Beresford. I don't take kindly to being threatened and then told to "lighten up". That's an extremely disrespectful way to address fellow citizens in a town you clearly care so much about.
Meredith Varcarolis March 12, 2014 at 02:17 PM
Shawna, first off, I don't care if someone takes a picture of my house. If I wasn't doing my job as a homeowner and was asked by a neighbor to please shovel my driveway and then ignored them, because other people don't like to shovel or it isn't required by town law, then maybe I would deserve to be outed. Second, we do not have a side walk on our side of the street and the side that does gets cleaned by the town. However, our neighbor across from us still snow blows it before the town does. We are by the schools and all the kids and joggers use the side walks. See, we actually care about our neighbors and the people around us. You are obviously one of those self centered people that lives in their bubble and gets put out if they approached and asked to do something outside that bubble. You are also one of those people that blows everything out of proportion by wanting to get the police involved. Congrats for looking like the b**** you really are.
Andy Beresford March 13, 2014 at 09:03 AM
Oh snap, it’s on! I am totally videotaping this for WorldStarHipHop.
Andy Beresford March 13, 2014 at 05:21 PM
It snowed today. Who's going by Rock Road for an update?
Shawna L Bernard March 13, 2014 at 06:41 PM
It's shameful that this is what you people spend your time doing...and Meredith? You're pathetic. I will not respond again. As I said, it's a police matter now.
Meredith Varcarolis March 13, 2014 at 07:49 PM
Shawna, I am not the shameful one who has an opinion about neighbors who don't want to do their part for their town or neighborhood. You also seem to confuse how shameful you must be for wasting your precious time on these posts too. See, I know you will get this, since we get email notifications. I felt compeled in the begining, since it is an issue with pedestrians. We don't have enough sidewalks in places and then they are not shoveld. It is dangerous and it is also not my responsibility to shovel what is not on or next to my property. By the way, you mentioned your husband has a snowblower, so the sidewalk should be an easy situation for him, especially in front of your house. As for the other neighbors, it is up to them. We should never hold ourselves to the same status quo as others and always try to be our best selves. I think that is what your neighbor was hinting at. Anyway, I just saw the post and thought it was meaningful, since we all do rely on each other in some way, shape or form. Someday, you might need Michelle and she will shut the door right in your bloody face. Good day, Good night and Fare well. I still think you are more pathetic than I and a now raging b****.
MikeA March 14, 2014 at 10:03 AM
I think that most if not all sidewalks - where its the residents who are "responsible" for shoveling - are un-usable. Even if all residents were diligent, you'd still have the family on vacation and you'd have several families whose kids do a lousy job etc (even the town done sidewalks can be slippery for several days). Once you have one or two houses with un-shoveled sidewalks, everyone will use the street instead of the sidewalks - its a well plowed, sanded, direct-route asphalt oasis! So if there's already several sidewalks that are un-shoveled and practically no one is using the sidewalks, why should everyone else "waste" their time shoveling their sidewalks? You could slip and fall. You could have a heart attack moving that heavy snow. (One good reason is that your friendly neighbor might take a picture of your house and post it on the Patch). But this is what I LOVE about the Patch. What other website provides timely, useful, and comprehensive information about what's happening in North Andover while also managing to help bring us together as a community? Before the Patch, all we had was Town Meeting.
Andy Beresford March 15, 2014 at 05:34 PM
Well I have the ultimate "Neighbor from Hell" story, but now I better not post it considering the way some people react! Something about the internet seems to turn people insane.

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