BOSTON (CBS) – That was a nasty storm last Thursday, no doubt about it. Once it all froze over, it was no fun to shovel out.

And in the wake of the storm we are once again treated to the spectacle of the great space-saver wars, where folks in congested areas where parking is scarce feel entitled to reserve the spot they shoveled until the snow melts.

This is an illegal appropriation of public space, and after years of looking the other way the city of Boston has banned it outright in some neighborhoods and set a time limit in others. It’s a solution that seemingly has yet to take hold. But while it makes for a good perennial wintertime story, to me it’s a sidebar to another part of the storm’s aftermath.

I took a long walk with Buddy the Lab Tuesday along major streets in my town, and I would say about two-thirds of the homes I passed showed any sign of an effort to shovel the sidewalk. Some of those were still an ice-and-snow obstacle course. The remaining third hadn’t ever been touched, and in a few despicable cases, the homeowner had shoveled the driveway and a path from the driveway to their door, but had left pedestrians out front to their own devices.

A woman walks on a Boston sidewalk days after a storm (WBZ-TV)

This is much worse than the space-saver phenomenon because it directly jeopardizes public safety. It’s a nightmare for schoolkids, seniors, folks pushing strollers, and others forced out into dangerous streets. And four days after the storm ended, including some above-freezing temps, there’s no excuse for it beyond laziness and selfish indifference.

Forget the space savers.

How about showing just a little bit of responsibility for your own property?

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