MassBike Bikepath Snow Plowing Report
Monday, January 12, 2004

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.

Somewhere between one and two inches of snow fell on the Boston area during the early morning hours of Monday, January 12. It was just enough that sidewalks had to be shovelled, and it was soft enough to pack and cause travel to be difficult on foot or bicycle. The City of Boston and the Town of Brookline did an OK job, not bare pavement, but very ridable, but the Division of Conservation and Recreation continued to ignore the bikepaths they are supposed to maintain.

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 by Tuesday morning. The hairpin turn at the northern base of Bussey Hill remained slippery Tuesday.
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 on Monday morning, but not to pavement. There was little enough snow that it was easy to ride right through the bollards at Pine Bank where the path was unplowed. The plow followed the pavement past Daisy Field, so no dirt biking was necessary this time. By Tuesday morning there was a lot of bare pavement.
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. By Tuesday morning, there was a lot of bare pavement.
B.U. Bridge
The sidewalks were totally unplowed on Monday morning, so I got to find out just how hard it can be to ride on an inch of packing snow. Tuesday morning, the sidewalk looked like it had been plowed during the day on Monday.
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 on the Cambridge side at all; it will be ridable until the hard freeze scheduled for Tuesday night, at which point it will become quite treacherous. If you want it plowed, let the DCR know at their feedback web page.
Southwest Corridor Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path with poorly-designed intersections
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
It was unplowed Monday night, except for a short stretch around the Jackson Square MBTA station which allowed me to avoid the Centre St./Columbus Ave. intersection. It was ridable on soft snow, but when it freezes Tuesday night, the path will become dangerously slippery. If you want it plowed, let the DCR know at their feedback web page.
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
This time there was not enough snow to force cars away from the curb, so the bikelanes are pretty usable.
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
It may be plowed in Arlington, as far as Varnum Street, but don't count on it. The rest of the path westward is unplowed on purpose.
Northampton Bikeway
East-west across the City of Northampton
City of Northampton
No report yet.