MassBike Bikepath Snow Plowing Report
Tuesday, January 25, 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.

The Blizzard of '05 dropped well over two feet of snow on my commuting route by the end of the day on Sunday. My employer was closed Monday, so I only rode a 7-mile loop around Roslindale and through the Arboretum, where the roads were plowed. Tuesday, I took my avalanche shovel and cleared a few places on the way to work. Everyone plowed, but the DCR didn't plow after the storm was over, and the Charles River path was unrideable. I'll check it out on the way home. All in all, the paths were pretty clear considering how much snow was dumped on them.

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
By Monday afternoon, the roads were all packed powder and quite rideable. The Arboretum plows the sidewalk to the Arborway crosswalk, but they don't plow the curb cut in the median or the curb-cut sidewalk between the frontage road and the crosswalk. With my trusty yellow avalanche shovel, I cleared two feet of packed snow off the walks. It took close to an hour, but everyone who came through was really nice.
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
It looked clear, but I'll find out how well Tuesday night.
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 is the first time this winter that the path wasn't plowed from Eliot St. to Perkin St. The parallel pedestrian path along the pond and past the Sugar Bowl to Perkin St. was plowed (to packed powder) widely enough for bicyclists and pedestrians to share, so it was easy to get through. From Perkin St. to Route 9, the bikepath was plowed to packed powder, and the snow was piled so high next to it that for the first time this winter, there was no drifting. The curb cut in the Route 9 median hadn't been cleared, so I put together the avalanche shovel and got it down to almost 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
Not checked yet.
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 to packed powder and rideable except for a bit of very loose snow on the Park Drive end.
B.U. Bridge
The sidewalks were unplowed. Watch out for two pretty bad potholes on the right edge of the Cambridge-bound roadway.
Charles River Bikepath
Narrow, shared bike-ped path with few intersections
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
They ran the Snowcat through, at least from the B.U. Bridge to the Eliot Bridge on the Cambridge side, but they did it before the snow stopped falling, and the path is pretty much unrideable. I made it from the B.U. Bridge to Magazine Beach before I gave up and rode to Harvard Square on Memorial Drive, where traffic wasn't too bad at all.

Let the DCR know they should plow the path after the storms, too, 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 clear as usual, though there was a bit too much snow around the Memorial Drive entrance and curb cuts.
Southwest Corridor Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path with poorly-designed intersections
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
Not checked yet.
Melnea Cass Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path
Boston Parks or Transportation Deparment
Not checked yet, but probably not plowed.
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.
Somerville Community Path
Wide rail trail from Davis Square to Cedar St.
City of Somerville
Not checked, but probably plowed.
Red Line Linear Park Path
Alewife MBTA station to Davis Square over Red Line
City of Cambridge City of Somerville
Not checked yet, but probably plowed here and there.
Cambridge Bike Lanes
Striped lanes of varying widths on major and connecting streets
City of Cambridge
The snow was heavy, so cars are probably pretty fare from the curb. I'll check some of the paths on the way home.
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 might be plowed from Alewife to Arlington Center.
Northampton Bikeway
East-west across the City of Northampton
City of Northampton
Craig Della Penna, who lives next to the path, reports that it is the intention of the DPW to make it passable ASAP after a storm. If the storm is significant, then they plow it repeatedly --sometimes 10-12 times during the course of the storm to ensure its usability.
Norwottuck Rail Trail
Northampton to Amherst
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of State Parks and Recreation
Not checked yet.