Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Neighbors Take Up Collections to Hire Private Snow Plow Contractors (Updated)

Even though the county has claimed that all neighborhood streets were plowed prior to Phase Two of Snowmageddon, residents of your author’s neighborhood are having to resort to pooling their money to hire private contractors to plow their streets. Here are actual exchanges from our Silver Spring listserv discussing the plans. We have deleted the neighbors’ names to protect their privacy.

Update: The Post profiled plowing (or lack thereof) on this street with no credit to this blog. Hey Post - your author lives here.

Title of Chain: how do we get jose to plow Brisbane

Neighbor #1: Mon Feb 8, 2010 2:43 pm
How do we get in touch with Jose who plowed some of the neighborhood streets? Also, does anyone on Brisbane want to try to get Jose and pay him for cleaning our street?

Neighbor #2: Mon Feb 8, 2010 3:11 pm
I’d chip in.

Neighbor #3: Mon Feb 8, 2010 5:52 pm
As would we.

Neighbor #4: Mon Feb 8, 2010 6:01 pm
I say if the second storm hits without us getting plowed, we should pool some fee from each of us and pay to get our street plowed. How does that sound?

Neighbor #5: Mon Feb 8, 2010 6:10 pm
He started on Belvedere close to 6 pm. It's slow work, even with the plow.

Neighbor #6: Mon Feb 8, 2010 7:38 pm
An aside- Some of the folks on Tilton tried "giving the plow driver a little extra monetary incentive" yesterday, and he politely refused. Good for him; bad for Tilton. So yes, maybe we should all try that website to report when our street has not been plowed; or hire a private plower; or band together in groups of human-snow-removers; or become less dependent on our cars, though I know that's not a possibility for many.

Neighbor #7: Mon Feb 8, 2010 7:40 pm
Sounds good to me.

Neighbor #8: Mon Feb 8, 2010 8:01 pm
I put my address into the website and a message appeared that plows were at work in our neighborhood and they should be getting to our street as soon as possible.

Neighbor #9: Mon Feb 8, 2010 8:34 pm
Also, a couple of us on Cody with 4wd SUVs are going to drive back and forth on our street every so often while it's snowing tomorrow so at least we have a few tracks made before the snowfall gets too deep. That way we're not starting from scratch while we wait for snowplows.

Neighbor #10: Mon Feb 8, 2010 11:06 pm
Count us in.

Neighbor #1: Mon Feb 8, 2010 8:08 pm
We just walked to Belvedere, and it was definitely plowed by jose, not the county, but unfortunately, he was gone by the time we got there, so if anyone sees him, please ask him to come to Brisbane. By the way, for some reason the county did plow Belvedere on the other side of Forest Glen, or is it someone else? It looked to us like the county job, though.

Neighbor #11: Mon Feb 8, 2010 9:12 pm
Who is this good samaritian jose? Did he really plow lower belvedere? Where
does he live, i would love to drop off a thank you card.

Neighbor #12: Mon Feb 8, 2010 9:17 pm
And how can you tell something was plowed by Jose and not the County. The plow I saw was on UPPER Belvedere, at Getty Park, the same one that did Tilton.

Neighbor #13: Mon Feb 8, 2010 9:53 pm
Jose came down our side of Belvedere three times. I’ve never seen a county plow with that level of precision. Most county plows have the MoCo logo on side of the plow. The plow that did such a great job on our side of Belvedere did not have the logo.

Neighbor #14: Mon Feb 8, 2010 10:22 pm
After driving down both Forest Grove and Woodland today, I'm curious about the level of plowing that I saw on the "cross streets": Myrtle, Sherwood, Sanford, and Tilton. It looked like some of these streets (Myrtle near Woodland and Sherwood closer to Forest Grove) were plowed to the street, while other roads like Tilton have several inches of snow and mush still. I know the county says they don't plow secondary neighborhood roads clean, so I'm wondering if this is an effect of the amount of cars parked along the road (giving the plow less room to work with) or if other, private plows or neighbors had gone over the street (before or after the county plow).

Neighbor #15: Tue Feb 9, 2010 7:41 am
Actually, Sherwood (at least the top half between Forest Grove and Dameron) was shovelled by about 10 neighbors who worked for the better part of Sunday to clear the road. We shovelled so that one of our neighbors could get out (she was about to be a grandma again and needed to babysit her grandson), but it was also an excellent community building exercise. Speaking of exercise, many of us were quite sore the next day!

Neighbor #16: Tue Feb 9, 2010 9:11 am
When the county plow came down lower Tilton yesterday afternoon, he made at least two passes down the street -- once to plow and the second to sand. I managed to flag him down and get him to make an extra trip in front of my house -- the problem is that there were cars parked on both sides of the street and so it was really hard for him to plow anything. By getting one neighbor to move his van, the plow was able to maneuver a bit more, but only with extra effort. My guess is that the streets that haven't been plowed as well are the ones with lots of cars parked -- with so many cars, there's not a lot of room for one of the big plows and even less room for the plowed snow to go. If you are able to get all the cars to park on just one side of the street, this could help with the plowing after this next storm that's coming thru......(and maybe someone will have better luck than me with convincing the folks in the 1700 block of Tilton to do so.....)

Neighbor #17: Tue Feb 9, 2010 9:35 am
Moving all the cars to one side of the street would be great except for the fact that the reason there are cars parked up and down both sides of the street is that so many of us dont have driveways. there is not room on one side of the street for all our cars. Plus, at this point, many of us with smaller cars can't move to the other side of the street because we keep getting stuck since the street has not been plowed.Sort of a catch-22 It seems to me the county should have equipment to deal with the streets such as Brisbane. It's not as if they don't know such streets exist. Just a bit of frustrated venting.

Neighbor #18: Tue Feb 9, 2010 3:50 pm
Having cars parked on the street isn't the only reason for not getting plowed. I live on the 1500 block of Woodman Ave--everyone has a driveway and the snow could be piled across the street on parkland. We have seen neither plow nor sand truck.

New Chain: plowing Brisbane

Neighbor #1: Tue Feb 9, 2010 8:39 pm
I've found some private guy to plow brisbane. He is going to come by and look at the street condition tonight and give us a price. I told him the stretch between Forest Glen and August, since that's all that I am willing to go around to collect. So, anyone who lives on Brisbane between those two streets, please reply if you are interested.

Neighbor #1: Tue Feb 9, 2010 8:55 pm
I've found someone with a plow, this is his offer: “Hello [name withheld], I would charge you $300 for the street. I will also offer a special offer to everyone on your street of $15 per driveway. Hope to hear from you, Pete [name withheld]” If we can get 10 or more people to pitch in, I think this would be quite reasonable. I can call him tomorrow.

Neighbor #19: Tue Feb 9, 2010 9:01 pm
Any takers for LOWER BRISBANE ST? I will be willing to collect $$. Please email me. ([Name withheld], would he give better rate to add lower Brisbane St too?)

Neighbor #19: Tue Feb 9, 2010 9:33 PM
I came home at 7 pm and the entire Brisbane St was HORRIBLE. I'm assuming none of it was plowed.

Neighbor #1: Tue Feb 9, 2010 10:00 pm
Yes, I just walked there, it's bad. There are actually two guys with whom we spoke. One just drove by to look at the condition. Since the first one quoted $300, we told the second one the same price for our stretch. I think you should negotiate with them yourself, but we'd probably get a better rate if we hire the same one. I am waiting to hear from our neighbors, so we can make a deal with either one of them. I will keep everyone posted.

Neighbor #1: Tue Feb 9, 2010 10:03 pm
We are getting some positive replies from a few neighbors, so if we get 10-15 people to contribute, let's decide when would be a good time to do the cleanup, since it is going to snow all day tomorrow, and through the next night?

Neighbor #20: Tue Feb 9, 2010 10:24 pm
Anyone on Tilton interested in pursuing a similar private plowing service? If Pete is in the neighborhood, might help us out, as well… my back and neck are getting sore from shoveling sidewalks and the street.

Neighbor #21: Tue Feb 9, 2010 10:32 pm
[Name withheld], [name withheld] and I are in for sure!

Neighbor #21: Tue Feb 9, 2010 10:33 pm
Also..sounds like winds will stop Thursday maybe Thursday afternoon? Any other thoughts?

Neighbor #19: Tue Feb 9, 2010 10:40 pm
Please email me off-line if you live on lower brisbane st and would like me participate in hiring a private plower to do lower brisbane st. I will see if I can get the same person doing uppper brisbane to do ours at the same time and give us a discount. I will need to get 10-15 takers to help pay for it.

Neighbor #1: Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:47 am
seems like we have 10 people and may be more for the Brisbane cleanup. Thanks for all of your replies. We just now have to decide when, When is it supposed to stop exactly? tonight or overnight?

Neighbor #20: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:58 AM
Hi, [name withheld]: Several people on Tilton have also indicated an interest in having our street plowed, and I believe with [name withheld] and [name withheld]’s help, by tomorrow I’d be able to find enough for a hopeful, similar arrangement for Tilton. When you decide to have the plow there, can you let me know (or give my number to the snow plower) so we can coordinate? My cell phone is XXX-XXX-XXXX and home is 301-XXX-XXXX [Names withheld]: When you get outside, please talk to others on Tilton who might want to do this. Assuming you find others, please add them to the list. Hopefully, we can work out a similar arrangement with the snow plower when he is plowing Brisbane.

Neighbor #1: Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:05 am
yes, absolutely. We have two guys, actually, we are trying to decide between them. Just to let everyone know, we found both on craiglist, so we are not recommending them, we dont know how good they are. One is Peter [name withheld] (XXX) XXX-XXXX, and another one (he actually drove by to look at the street last night with his plow), Freddy [name withheld] (240) XXX-XXXX, but Peter is the one who gave us the $300 quote for the stretch of 20 houses of Brisbane, between Forest Glen and August. Freddy wanted more money, but he also agreed to $300. In any case, you have their numbers, and I am thinking of making arrangements with either one of them for coming out late this evening or tomorrow morning. Let's keep in touch and coordinate it between our two streets.

Neighbor #1: Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:10 am
My husband [name withheld] and I will probably collect money later today when the snow slows down a little bit. As of now, we have 11 people for sure, who replied, which makes the fee about $30 per house. I think that's what we'd want to collect, and if we get a little more, we'd give to the guy, so he does a better job. If anyone wants to stop by our house, that's fine too, XXXX Brisbane.

Neighbor #1: Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:31 am
HI Peter, We want to schedule you for tonight or tomorrow morning. we have another side of Brisbane street interested as well, that is about 25 houses, I say. also another Tilton street is interested. Please give us a call, we might lose power, but the phones should work.

Neighbor #21: Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:46 am
Hi Friends,

I have information from the 1900 block of Brisbane St and Alcan...they had a private plow last nite and all paid the is some important info to think about before we do it..believe it or not, MOST of all the houses on 1900 Brisbane and Alcan moved their cars to one side of the road and the man plowed, then there was a great effort to move cars to other side of road and he finished the plow job. Obviously, there were a few cars that did not neighbors helped dig out the plowed snow from the entry-side of these cars..but, they did all come together and did a great job..i wonder if at least our stretch of Brisbane St from the top of the hill down, would be willing to make this effort to get a better plow job for our money...???

I realize their are older neighbors not able to do this in some homes..but we could band together and try. It did take my friends husband on upper Brisbane 1900 section time to knock on all doors first and give them the heads up and decision to join in.. We should probably do this for notification.

Given the snow and wind and uncertainty of power..i think we should think about a late Thursday if not a Friday morning plow time to give us a chance to try to maneuver some cars ....

If not..just realize the job that is done is essentially down the center and in some areas in front of homes w/ no cars....I do not want people disappointed with their money outlay..

The [name withheld] Family organized their effort last nite and it worked!

Neighbor #8: Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:55 am
We're in for anything.

Neighbor #8: Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:01 am
If there is anyone out there on august interested in arranging the 2 blocks from georgia to brisbane, we could actually have a clear stretch in and out of the neighborhood.

Neighbor #22: Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:38 am
Is this lower Brisbane, too? The 1600 block? Because I know I will chip in if it we have some other neighbors, too. No driveways in this block, just some really awful road surface.