MassBike Boston Bikepath Snow Plowing Report
January 22, 2002

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. Paths with significant foot traffic become unskiable within a day, and remain a mess for everyone if they are not plowed while the snow is still soft.

It snowed 4-5 inches in the city Saturday night, then rained on Monday afternoon and froze hard on Monday night. I skied on Monday, Martin Luther King Day, and biked to work on the ice on Tuesday morning. There was black ice all over, and it was one of the most dangerous rides I've made for a long time; I fell down twice. Most of the paths had been bplowed since Saturday's snow, but only the Jamaicaway path was sanded.

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
I didn't bike through on Monday, but last Friday, there was still a lot of ice from last weeks storm, so I suspect conditions aren't too good. I skipped on Wednesday, but there were only a few avoidable icy patches on Friday.
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
Plowed and sanded, but there was ice on the sand from melting snow, so there were several tricky places. The bollards at Pinebank still create an extra hazard. The path was totally clear by Wednesday.
Olmsted Park Paths
3/4-mile of mostly bike/ped-separated paths built over Riverdale Road, across Leverett Pond from the Jamaicaway.
Brookline Park Department
Unplowed and unsanded as of 9:30 am Tuesday. The ice was really rough from pedestrians, so I wouldn't even think of trying it.
Muddy River Path
12-foot-wide 0.6 mile shared bike/ped path with no intersections
Brookline Park Department and DPW
This path was plowed, but not salted or sanded. In the morning it was all black ice, with a tilt toward the Muddy River which made it almost impossible to stay upright. After an unexpected fall, I walked to the Longwood T station and took the street. By evening, the ice had melted and there were only very small patches of ice. This path should have been sanded! It was dangerous for pedestrians as well as cyclists. The path was totally clear by Wednesday morning.
B.U. Bridge
After seeing the condition of the Muddy River Path, I took streets through Brookline and Allston, skipping the B.U. Bridge and most of my route along the Charles River. By evening, it was totally clear.
Charles River Bikepath
Narrow, shared bike-ped path with few intersections
Metropolitan District Commission
The riverbanks were bare of snow, and the path was totally clear and dry, at least upstream from Harvard Square. It must not have slushed here like it did at higher elevations.
Southwest Corridor Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path with poorly-designed intersections
Metropolitan District Commission
Lots of black ice in the morning; it had been plowed over the weekend, but Monday's rain froze. I fell onece and took the streets. By evening it was thawed some, but there was still ice in places; I stayed on the street. Wedesday night, it was clear all the way from Roxbury Crossing to Forest Hills.
Melnea Cass Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path
Boston Parks or Transportation Deparment
Not checked yet.
Neponset Trail
Mostly paved Bike/Ped path
Metropolitan District Commission
This path is not plowed.
Cambridge Bike Lanes
Striped lanes of varying widths on major and connecting streets
City of Cambridge
This snow narrowed the streets a bit, so cars were parked up to the edge of the bike lanes. The Hawthorn St. lane, one of the wider ones around, was perfectly clear.
Fresh Pond Bike Path
Parallel to Fresh Pond Parkway in Kingsley Park
City of Cambridge
Plowed promptly.