MassBike Bikepath Snow Plowing Report
Monday, December 15, 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 Sunday afternoon after much of last week's snow had melted, turned to rain during the evening, and froze hard by Monday morning, a real southern New England storm. In Boston, there were 2-3 inches of new stuff on the paths by morning, and even main streets were icy. Boston and Brookline plowed their paths, though Brookline did a better job on the Muddy River path than Boston did on the Jamaicaway path. The DCR did not plow the Charles River or Southwest Corridor paths at all as far as I could tell. Streets continued to be narrowed from the piles of snow remaining from last weekend's bigger storm.

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 pretty icy. Wednesday's rain cleared off most of the 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 great to ride while the snow was coming down, as it was almost totally clear from the big storm. It was plowed, but not really continuously bikable until Wednesday night after the rain cleared off more of the path.
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 have still not been plowed.
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 totally clear by Wednesday morning.
B.U. Bridge
Last week's snow was plowed off the sidewalks by midweek, and this week's snow was blown or melted off by Wednesday.
Charles River Bikepath
Narrow, shared bike-ped path with few intersections
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
I don't think the path has been plowed at all this year, but it has been cleared by the wind and the sun, except for the stretch between Magazine Beach and the Cottage Farm pumping station, just upstream from the BU Bridge. It was ridable by the end of the week before this storm, and clear enough to ride even the bad stretch by Thursday morning.
Southwest Corridor Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path with poorly-designed intersections
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
It wasn't plowed after this storm at all, as far as I could tell, creating really hazardous conditions for the students who walk on it from Green St. Station to English High Schoool on Monday morning, when I biked along it on parallel roads to get downtown. It probably cleared off after Wednesday's rain.
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 still parked far from the curb into the bike lanes, often blocking them entirely.
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
Not checked yet, but mostly unplowed. From Varnum St. to Alewife Station is often plowed, so it should be clear after this week's warm weather.
Northampton Bikeway
East-west across the City of Northampton
City of Northampton
The city's two specialized pieces of equipment (6 wheeled snow blower and a plow with bulldozer treads) made their rounds during the most recent storm of Sunday December 14th and by Monday afternoon the trail was clear of snow and mostly dry.

-Craig Della Penna