MassBike Bikepath Snow Plowing Report
Monday, January 10, 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.

Most of the paths were plowed before the slush started falling on Friday. In the city, most of the preciptation fell as snow so wet it created deep slush which hardened both Friday and Saturday nights. The slush thawed on Sunday, so some of the paths, such as the Southwest Corridor which seems to have been plowed late Thursday, were fairly clear by Sunday night. Unhappily, the Charles River path was cleared only once, early in the storm, so by Monday morning, it was a combination of slush and ice which got to be too much for me.

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 variable this morning. Along Bussey Brook and Hemlock Hill, the road was a sheet of rough ice; I rode it using my right foot as an outrigger. The road over Bussey Hill was clear to wet pavement, except at the hairpin turn on the north side which was sanded ice and not too bad. A crew was breaking up the ice on the sidewalk from the main entrance to the Arborway walk light when I rode through.
Wednesday update: There is still a little ice along Hemlock Hill, but the Arboretum roads are genderal totally clear.
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 Monday 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 and sanded by the time I biked through on Monday morning. The curb cuts at intersections were even pretty clear. There were patches of ice but they were small and seldom extended all the way across the path. It sure is nice to sail past the Pinebank road where the bollards no longer prevent plowing 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
It didn't look like the path had been plowed since the slush fell, but it might be passable by 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, sanded, and maybe salted a bit, so it was totally clear.
B.U. Bridge
The west sidewalk was clear enough to ride on.
Charles River Bikepath
Narrow, shared bike-ped path with few intersections
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
By Friday night, the hardening slush made the path pretty difficult. This morning, it varied between (slightly) rough ice and slush. I could ride on either one of them, but the combination sent me onto Storrow Drive from the B.U. Bridge to Harvard Square.
Wednesday update: The path is still very icy downstream from Western Ave., especially between Western Ave. and River St. and between Magazine Beach and the B.U. Bridge. It might melt in today's rain, but until it does, it's for icebikers only.
Let the DCR know they should plow the path after each storm 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
It was clear enough to ride Sunday night, except for a rough patch near Williams St. Watch for black ice when it's below freezing, though.
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
The Bikeway Connector (parallel to University Drive) is plowed but often with substantial portions of glare ice, especially near the Norwottuck connection.

The Norwottuck Trail section from roughly Baker St. to S. Pleasant St. has NOT been plowed as of 1/10/05; this was the only section so maintained last winter, to my knowledge.
-Alex von Braun