Snowblowing Etiquette: How Far Do You Go? : The Two-Way When it comes to snowblower etiquette, the owner and the neighbors both have parts to play.
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Snowblowing Etiquette: How Far Do You Go?

Do the right thing. Chris Kleponis/Getty Images hide caption

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Chris Kleponis/Getty Images

Do the right thing.

Chris Kleponis/Getty Images

Though I grew up in the snowbelt along the southern tier of western New York state and have been through my fair share of blizzards, I've never owned a snowblower. So it hadn't really occurred to me that the machines might cause some social situations.

The Chicago Tribune, though, tackles that apparently touchy subject this morning.

It seems that a couple questions arise in snowbound cities:

— If you've got your snowblower out already, should you do some of your neighbor's sidewalk too?

— And if your neighbor does that for you, what do you owe in return?

The Tribune's reporting indicates that if you've got a snowblower, it's customary to clear the sidewalks and driveway of neighbors who can't do the job themselves. The elderly, those who are sick, etc.

And, if someone does that for you, it's just good manners to offer them a gift — even something as simple as money for the gas it took to do the job.

The Tribune also points out that for the snowblower owner, doing a little extra work for others may smooth over potential problems:

Although the overzealous snowblower operator can irk residents by firing up a loud machine before sunrise, those who receive a clear sidewalk are grateful and may find themselves with a dilemma: how to respond.

So, snowbound folks, what's your take on this? Feel free to express yourself and share your stories in the comments thread.

Talk of the Nation touched on blizzard ethics earlier this month.