MassBike Bikepath Snow Plowing Report
Monday, December 19, 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.

Ten days after the thunderblizzard, the less-plowed paths are still icy, but the well-plowed paths are as good as the best streets.

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 roads were plowed, but the flats, especially along Hemlock Hill, were very icy. The hairpin turn at the bottom of the north side of Bussey Hill was snowpacked with no sand. By Monday, December 19, there was sand, but only at the hairpin turn. Along the base of Hemlock Hill, the road is still quite icy.
Arborway "Bike Lanes"
1 mile of wide paved shoulder which is unmarked but usually clear of parked cars during rush hour
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
These are clear to the curb most of the time, with ample space the rest of the way.
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 is sandy, but dry, with no ice.
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
They were plowed, but the plowing ends at the parking lot on the south end.
Muddy River Path
12-foot-wide 0.6 mile shared bike/ped path with no intersections
Brookline Park Department and DPW
This has been dry pavement for a week.
B.U. Bridge
The bridge and Boston approach are clear, but there is still a bit of ice on the Cambridge side.
Charles River Bikepath
Narrow, shared bike-ped path with few intersections
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
The Cambridge side path was plowed from the BU Bridge at least to Hawthorn St., a half-mile upstream from Harvard Square. Sometimes the bare/wet pavement was only a narrow strip between patches of rough ice left over from last Monday's unplowed snowfall, and in a few places, the pavement was totally covered by ice. I stayed on my bike for the whole stretch, though. Jon Niehof reported last week that the Nonantum Road sidepath was cleared but the state of the Esplanade path from BU to Fairfax St. is not known. It is still a deathtrap in places. The cold weather later in the week brought path-covering ice in several places, making it unsafe for runners, walkers, and bikers.

Ask the DCR to plow the path sooner after every snowfall, at 617-626-1250. They only out their general email on their web site at

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
Plowed to bare pavement, probably by Harvard.
Lincoln St. to Cambridge St. MassPike Bridge
Bike/Ped connection from Harvard Square to Allston's Harvard Ave. district via Franklin St.
Massachusetts Turnpike Authority
Cleared right after the storm, but not the approaches.
Southwest Corridor Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path with poorly-designed intersections
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
By Tuesday afternoon, the path was almost entirely clear from Roxbury Crossing to Forest Hills, though there were four or five icy patches where care needs to be taken. The DCR's policy is to plow paths which are used to get to schools or the MBTA, and this path qualifies for during-the-storm plowing, while the Charles River paths do not.
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 617-626-1250. They only out their general email on their web site at
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
On Friday night, they were as icy as the roads. On Monday, the ones I used were pretty clear. Lanes next to parked cars will probably be more problematic as the cars are definitely further from the curb after this snowfall.
Fresh Pond Bike Path
Parallel to Fresh Pond Parkway in Kingsley Park
City of Cambridge
Plowed by Monday morning.
Alewife Parkway Bridge Sidewalk
Connection from Minuteman Bikepath to Fresh Pond and beyond
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
Icy but plowed.
Minuteman "Commuter Bikeway"

Towns of Cambridge, Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford
This path is not plowed ever. Here is John Allen's report as of Sunday, December 18:
Minuteman trail in Arlington and Lexington: not plowed as of yesterday (Sunday, December 18) and in really tough shape for any common form of human-powered locomotion, with about 4 inches of partially packed snow, surface melted to ice, deep bootprints, etc.
Contact Clear the Trail to help get the Town of Arlington to plow their section of the trail.
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
Alex von Braun reports: The Norwottuck Trail section from roughly Baker St. to S. Pleasant St. appears to have been plowed after the largest last snowfall, but but has some newer, crusty snow on it. It is very bikeable on studded commuter tires.

Other Norwottuck Trail sections in the vicinity appear not to have been plowed.

The UMass Bikeway Connector is generally clear of snow up to its connection with the Norwottuck, save for a few short sections.