MassBike Bikepath Snow Plowing Report
Monday, December 8, 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.

The snow started on Friday night and continued until early afternoon on Sunday, leaving 19 inches in the part of Boston where I live and up to 3 feet in the suburbs. The bulk of the snow fell on Saturday, so main streets were pretty clear by Sunday morning. Sidestreets and sidewalks are another story. The City of Boston did a pretty good job of clearing the Jamaicaway path, Brookline cleared the Muddy River pretty well, and the MDC had much of the Southwest Corridor plowed by Monday night. Streets were narrowed as cars parked far from the curb and snow cleared from parked cars spread into the travel lanes.

Note the addition of the Northampton Bikeway this year

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 park roads were plowed, but not to pavement. It was mostly smooth going with bare spots on south and east facing hills. There was some rough ice.
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 except between Pinebank and Perkin St. There was snow drifting across the path just north of Pond St. and along Daisy Field (just north of Willow Pond Ave. The snow was soft enough that I had to get off and walk a few times.
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
The bike and pedestrian paths were not plowed on Monday morning, at least on the Route 9 (northern) end.
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 to bare pavement. It was rideable for its full length.
B.U. Bridge
The sidewalks were totally unplowed and traffic was heavy, so I didn't even cross the river here.
Charles River Bikepath
Narrow, shared bike-ped path with few intersections
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
This path was not plowed upstream from Harvard Square. It was plowed for a short distance south, but I couldn't tell how far.
Southwest Corridor Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path with poorly-designed intersections
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
It was plowed and ridable between Roxbury Crossing and McBride St. in Jamaica Plain, though there was quite a bit of rough ice on Monday night. The last stretch between Forest Hills and McBride St. was totally unplowed. As the alternatives are snow-narrowed Washington St. and the extremely dangerous icy, unused trolley tracks of South St., this is a major mistake on the part of the DCR.
Melnea Cass Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path
Boston Parks or Transportation Deparment
Not checked yet.
Neponset Trail
Mostly paved Bike/Ped path
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
This path is not plowed.
Cambridge Bike Lanes
Striped lanes of varying widths on major and connecting streets
City of Cambridge
Cars are often parked far from the curb into the bike lanes.
Fresh Pond Bike Path
Parallel to Fresh Pond Parkway in Kingsley Park
City of Cambridge
Not checked yet.
Minuteman Bikeway
From Cambridge through Arlington and Lexington to Bedford
Each town
In Arlington, it was plowed as far as Varnum Street, but not to bare pavement. In Cambridge, the bikeway did not appear to be plowed, but a parallel sidewalk (between Alewife Station and the Route 2 bridge) was plowed. The sidewalk connects to the bikeway under the Route 2 bridge.
-Scott Smith
Northampton Bikeway
East-west across the City of Northampton
City of Northampton
After being open for 19 years, the City of Northampton Bikeway is finally going to be plowed. Now since this path is maintained by the city's DPW, they have a certain mindset when it comes to maintenance. For example, we all thought it would be plowed in one fell swoop after the storm finished.
NO. What happens here is that they treat it like a street and once a plowable depth is reached, then they start to plow [or snow blow as the situation dictates] and they continue to plow every couple of hours until the storm is finished and then they go over it one final time.
The conditions currently as of noon on the 9th are: mostly bare pavement with some shaded section with a loose coating of snow.
-Craig Della Penna