MassBike Boston Bikepath Snow Plowing Report
Tuesday, February 18, 2003

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.

Boston got a a record 27-1/2 inches of heavy snow by Tuesday morning, pretty much shutting down the city. The streets were pretty clear by noon, but I didn't have to go to work until Wednesday, so I didn't check out the paths until then. The paths were *all* plowed, but they were not all ridable by the morning after the storm. The Muddy River Path was by far the best this time.

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
The main road up Bussey Hill from Bussey Brook is torn up for water main construction, so I've been using Walter St. and the paved shoulder of Centre St. (or the right lane when the shoulder is covered with snow) to the entrance at the top of the hill. The entrance parking lot was totally unplowed, and I stopped to help push out a car which had pulled in despite the deep snow. The park roads were well-plowed to packed powder over ice and quite ridable though a bit tricky. There was *no* bare or even wet pavement showing through.
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 path was plowed sometime before the snow stopped and was really unridable. Wednesday morning, I made it to the boathouse with some effort and switched to the pedestrian path next to the pond. There weren't too many people on it, and I was extremely polite when passing them. The bikable part of the path was quite narrow but not too difficult. Wednesday evening, I biked the whole Jamaicaway path. It was clear maybe 75% of the way and impassable on wheels for only two or three short stretches, around Willow Pond Ave. and the Pinebank bollards.
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
Wednesday morning, both the pedestrian and bicycle paths were totally untouched by plows. There weren't even footprints on the bikepath. By evening, the pedestrian path was plowed, at least on the northern end near Route 9.
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 and spread with a mixture of salt and sand. There was pavement showing through sometime. A day of sun cleared up most of the trail to bare pavement.
B.U. Bridge
The bridge road lanes are narrow, and the sidewalks are wide and relatively unused by pedestrians.
The western sidewalk and aproaches on both sides of the bridge were clear. The roadway is clear, too.
Charles River Bikepath
Narrow, shared bike-ped path with few intersections
Metropolitan District Commission
This path was plowed before the storm ended, and there was too much snow to bike through on Wednesday morning so I cut through Cambridgeport. By evening, there was a clear, though very narrow, path about 90% of the way from Harvard Square to the B.U. Bridge. I dismounted only around Magazine Beach, but mostly plowed right through.
Southwest Corridor Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path with poorly-designed intersections
Metropolitan District Commission
Michael Babcock reports on Thursday: the Corridor has been plowed and the sun, on most stretches, has opened up at least a foot width of pavement. there are areas that don't get sun such as behind the police headquarters that are a bit treacherous, but overall, surprisingly good.

That said, all the crosswalks are a mess, to the extent that I'm thinking about walking it with a shovel and doing some clearing.

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 may be plowed from Port Norfolk to Granite Ave. Discussions are under way as to whether the entire path should be plowed.
Cambridge Bike Lanes
Striped lanes of varying widths on major and connecting streets
City of Cambridge
Cars are parked way out from the curb due to the huge amount of snow, so bike lanes next to cars are extremely unsafe right now.
Fresh Pond Bike Path
Parallel to Fresh Pond Parkway in Kingsley Park
City of Cambridge
Not checked yet.
Red Line Linear Park
Over the Red Line from Alewife Station to Cedar St.
Cities of Cambridge and Somerville
Not checked yet.
Minuteman Bikeway
From Cambridge through Arlington and Lexington to Bedford
Each town
This path is not usually plowed, except sometimes from Lake St. to Alewife Station.