MassBike Bikepath Snow Plowing Report
Wednesday, January 26, 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.

Another day, another 6 inches. Today it snowed all day, so evening conditions will not be the same as morning conditions. This morning, the best-plowed paths were easier to ride on than back streets and not much worse than secondary through streets. The City of Boston wins for the Jamaica Pond and Jamaicaway paths.

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
When I rode through around 9:30, the roads were plowed, but far enough from bare pavement that I passed a couple of skiers. It was pretty easy biking, though.
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
Last night, the shoulder was about half plowed; this morning it looked a bit worse. With all of this snow traffic is moving so slowly that riding in a car lane won't cause much of a backup.
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
By last night the bike path was plowed from Perkin St. to the Boathouse, but it wasn't touched by the time I rode through this morning, so I used the parallel pedestrian path along the pond and past the Sugar Bowl to Perkin St., which was plowed to packed powder. From Perkin St. to Route 9, the bikepath was plowed to packed powder, and the high snow piles next to it were preventing drifting.
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 earlier than the Jamaicaway path. It was tempting to get off at Longwood, but I persevered and it got worse. There was lots of loose snow, but the plows were out, so it should be good by the evening commute.
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
It didn't look too good from the bridge, so I rode through Cambridge.

Let the DCR know they should plow the path after the storms, 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
Not checked, but probably clear.
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
It was hard to see the lane lines through the fresh snow, but the bike lanes on Mass. Ave. near Harvard Square were rideable. The Waterhouse St. and Concord Ave. contraflow lanes were invisible under deep snow and/or parked cars.
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
The Norwottuck Trail section from roughly Baker St. to S. Pleasant St. was plowed after the Jan 22/23 blizzard, but not after the preceding snowfall. It is thus bikeable, but rough with some underlying ice.
The UMass Bikeway Connector is generally clear of snow.
-Alex von Braun