MassBike Bikepath Snow Plowing Report
Wednesday, December 29, 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.

A foot or so of snow fell on Boston on Monday, and I didn't get back from a Christmas trip to Illinois until Tuesday afternoon, so the paths remained unchecked until Wednesday morning. There was some melting Tuesday and will no doubt be more today, with temperatures above freezing. Congratulations to the City of Boston and the Town of Brookline, who did a great job, and a lump of coal to the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation, which did nothing.

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
Wednesday, the roads were plowed to bare pavement through much of the park, though there was a lot of packed powder near the Bussey St. entrance and at the hairpin turns at both bottoms of Bussey Hill. I shoveled out the north side Arborway crosswalk.
Arborway "Bike Lanes"
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
1 mile of wide paved shoulder which is unmarked but usually clear of parked cars during rush hour
Boston Parks and Harvard University
The Arborway was plowed to the curb, so this very useful route, which avoids the dangerous trolley tracks on South St., was quite rideable.
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 by Wednesday morning, though I missed my avalanche shovel because I had to walk my bike around the bollards at Pine Bank which should be removed!. It was sanded on the hill between Willow Pond and Perkins St., and the drifting snow was mostly plowed off the path by Daisy Field.

Thursday(12/30) update: The city plowed between the bollards this morning, so the path is clear all the way. I shoveled the Eliot St. entrance to the path.
Monday(1/3> update: The bollards were removed today!!!!!

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
I forgot to look as I biked by; I'll check it tonight.
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 salted, so it was mostly bare or wet pavement.
B.U. Bridge
The west sidewalk was plowed by Wednesday morning, but the plowing ended at the Memorial Drive intersection.
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 unplowed by Wednesday morning, and it look unbicycleable. I road on Memorial Drive from the B.U. Bridge to Harvard Square. Complain to the DCR 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
SW Corridor was plowed. Much of it was almost bare, there were a few spots of 1-2" snow, and lots of thin-packed snow and ice. My guess is that it'll probably clear in a couple of days, but the accumulated stuff on the side will melt and refreeze.

The main issue with SWC is with the transitions at the street crossings. Many appear to not have been plowed, or else plowed back in by the street plowers. Inbound this includes (but I'm probably forgetting a couple) much below Green Street, the far side of Centre St (at Jackson Sq.) the near side of Heath Street (plow appears to have just died about 30 feet before the end), and both sides of Ruggles Street. I guess that's why we should all be doing Cyclocross -- to improve our mounting/dismounting and carrying skills.
-David Wean
Thank the DCR for plowing the path (and let them know how they can do it better) 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 usually not plowed.
If you use this path regularly and want the DCR to plow it, let them know at their feedback web page.
Cambridge Bike Lanes
Striped lanes of varying widths on major and connecting streets
City of Cambridge
There was enough snow to force cars away from the curb, and the bike lanes I saw were not always plowed.
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
We've had two plowable storms this year (3" and 2") and in both cases, the DPW has plowed and will plow for the rest of the winter. Clear and dry are the watch words today.
-Craig Della Penna
Norwottuck Rail Trail
Northampton to Amherst
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of State Parks and Recreation
As with last year, a portion of the Norwottuck Rail Trail from roughly Baker St. to S. Pleasant St. has been plowed since the December 26 snowstorm. The cleared section allows travel from the UMass Bikeway Connector to S. Pleasant St.
The entire UMass Bikeway Connector, along University Avenue, is also clear.
-Alex von Braun