MassBike Boston Bikepath Snow Plowing Report
January 26, 2000

Bikepaths are an integral part of the bicycle transportation network, and these reports are provided to encourage their use by bicyclists who might otherwise not venture out in the snow, and to encourage their proper maintenance (which includes snow plowing) by the responsible agencies given in bold type below.

Yesterday it snowed all day and rained into the evening. This morning, I left for work around 10:00 am--I worked for a couple of hours after we closed yesterday and waited this morning until the paths were likely to be plowed. They were all plowed, but conditions varied. Please send updates and reports on the conditions of other paths in Massachusetts to Doug Mink

Arnold Arboretum
1.5 miles of park roads which are mostly closed to automobile traffic with no intersections
Boston Parks and Harvard University
Ice Bikers Only! There was no bare pavement this morning, and the ice wasn't thawing at all. I took my first ice fall of the season going around a corner at about 5 mph. I did get up to 12 mph coming down Bussey Hill toward the Jamaicaway, but I had to run into the edge of a snowbank to slow down at the bottom. No salt here--the trees' interests rightly come before the traveller's.
Jamaicaway Bikepath
1.5 miles of mostly bike/ped-separated paths paralleling a busy 4-lane parkway; two intersections with traffic lights
Boston Parks Deparment
This was all plowed and salt/sanded. The City of Boston did a great job, with bare pavement and/ore slush almost all of the way. There is deeper snow at intersections and 4-inch curbstones block the path where the plow went around the bollards opposite Moraine St.
Olmsted Park Paths
3/4-mile of mostly bike/ped-separated paths built over River Road, , across Leverett Pond from the Jamaicaway.
Brookline Park Department
These were not plowed.
Muddy River Path
12-foot-wide 0.6 mile shared bike/ped path with no intersections
Brookline Park Department and DPW
A salt/sand mixture has created a slushy surface where there isn't bare pavement. This is the first day I've seen Boston get the Jamaicaway path clearer than Brookline got this path, but they're both very ridable. The Boston side of the Muddy River was plowed to packed powder.
B.U. Bridge
Snowy approaches, with ice on the sidewalk over the water. None of it was too thick, so there might be some melting today.
Charles River Bikepath
Narrow, shared bike-ped path with few intersections
Metropolitan District Commission
The Cambridge side was plowed from the B.U. Bridge at least to Harvard Square, where I got off today. There was a lot of bare pavement, though it was only one Snowcat wide. There was a lot of rough ice around the Weeks Footbridge, where the drifting from the last storm was worst.
-Doug Mink

I took this from Copley Square to Cambridge St. Tuesday afternoon around 4 PM. The path had been plowed, but apparently before it had stopped snowing. One of the things I never understand is that they plow the path but not the overpasses or the approaches - I had to push the bike from the end of the Dartmouth ST. ramp to the path. The plow may not be able to go around the corners of the overpasses, but they could at least plow up to it and perhaps to the top of the first ramp. I also noticed that the plow exited onto Storrow where the path goes under BU Bridge on the boardwalk. I can only assume that the plow can't negotiate the corners on that, although based on the footprint it doesn't seem all that large a vehicle. I decided to ride on Storrow also to where the plow reentered the path. The quality of the plowing was mixed.
-Charles Hansen,>

Southwest Corridor Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path with poorly-designed intersections
Metropolitan District Commission
Tuesday night, for the first time ever, I gladly yielded to an MDC vehicle on the path. This time it was a Bobcat clearing the way.
For some reason, however, as they plowed they left about an inch or so of snow. It was rideable at the time, but I wondered why they didn't lower the bucket a little bit more and scrape it clean.
Thursday morning, as expected, the path is pretty much a sheet of 1" thick ice -- a fine ride with studded tires, but slow.
My theory is that they've had so much success with the new Kelly Rink behind Stony Brook station that they're experimenting with the concept of a 4 mile linear rink.
-David Wean
Somerville Rail Trail
Mixed use path from Davis Square to Cedar St.
City of Somerville
Very well plowed and fairly clear of ice.
-Michael Hering