MassBike Bikepath Snow Plowing Report
Thursday, January 6, 2005

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.

Last week's snow was totally gone from the paths and streets of Boston by Wednesday. It started snowing early this morning, and there were around 3 inches on the ground by the time I shoveled our walks at 7:15 am. It kept snowing all morning, though not especially heavily. Congratulations to the City of Boston, which had the Jamaicaway path cleared by 9:30 and to the Division of Conservation and Recreation, which had a SnowCat out on the Charles River Bikepath in Cambridge after 9:00.

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 to packed powder by the time I went through, shortly after 9:00 am. You need to watch your speed at the hairpin turns at both bottoms of Bussey Hill. The Bussey St. and main Arborway entrances were open and clear, but it is likely that the other unplowed entrances will be a slog.
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
I'll check this on the way home, but it was clear near the crosswalk Thursday morning.
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 the time I biked through on Thursday morning. The Pine Bank bollards were removed during the day on Monday!, so the only problems were some (but not all) of the curb cuts at intersections. I slipped off the path just uphill from Willow Pond Ave., where the plow missed part of the path on a turn, and went down. I didn't land on my cell phone or camera, and the snow was soft, so nothing was damaged.
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 unplowed but bikable at 9:30 on Thursday morning. I was surprised that Brookline hadn't plowed it yet, and expect it to be clear by the evening commute.
B.U. Bridge
The west sidewalk was unplowed Thursday morning at 9:30, but it should be plowed by evening.
Charles River Bikepath
Narrow, shared bike-ped path with few intersections
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
When I looked from the B.U. Bridge, the path was unplowed, but as I was about to ride around the rotary and get on Memorial Drive outbound, I spotted a DCR SnowCat coming toward me down the path. I followed its track all the way to Harvard Square, and the path looked clear at least to the Eliot Bridge. I don't know about the Boston side or the rest of the Cambridge side.
Let the DCR know you appreciate their plowing the path at their feedback web page.
J.F.K. Park
Wide, shared bike-ped path from river to Harvard Square
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
This path was plowed well, as it almost always is. I think Harvard does the plowing, but I'm not sure. Anyway, it's safer to ride that the extremely rough surface of JFK Boulevard and bypasses Harvard Square if your headed north or west of it like me.
Southwest Corridor Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path with poorly-designed intersections
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
No report yet, but it probably will be plowed by tonight.
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
The bike lanes looked better plowed this week than last week.
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 for this storm, but Craig Della Penna, who lives next to the path, reports that the Northampton DPW will plow it for the rest of the winter.
Norwottuck Rail Trail
Northampton to Amherst
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of State Parks and Recreation
No report for this storm, but there has been a good record of plowing in Amherst.