MassPaths Bikepath Snow Plowing Report
Monday, December 3, 2007

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.

This morning, the snow started falling early in the morning so that there were a couple of variably plowed inches by rush hour. All of the paths I rode over except the one owned by the DCR were plowed and passable. It will be snowing all day, and freezing tonight so the wet snow could be worse tomorrow.

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 to bare wet pavement.
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
I didn't look this morning, but these pseudo-bikelanes should be clear by evening. The plows get most of the width and cars straying over the fog line keep them clear.
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
The path was plowed all of the way from Eliot St. to Route 9. There was some slush on the trail where cars had driven on it, but overall it was quite clean. There is no danger of drifting from Daisy Field with snow this heavy! By nightfall, there was a thin coating of snow and ice, including some black ice. It will be hazardous in places in the morning unless Boston Parks Department salts/sands it, which they might.
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
Theses paths were plowed by evening, but there was a thin coating of ice forming.
Muddy River Path
12-foot-wide 0.6 mile shared bike/ped path with no intersections
Brookline Park Department and DPW
The path was plowed, but not all of the way across, and there was quite a bit of slush in some places, and a thin coating of ice was hardening by evening.
B.U. Bridge
Easy connection to Charles River bikepath Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
The sidewalks were plowed very well, probably by Boston University. THey were still pretty clear by the evening commute.
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 unplowed from the B.U. Bridge at least to Hawthorn St., where I got off. It was possible to bike through the inch or two of slush, but they didn't get to it before it froze tonight, and the path is lost to all but ice bikers until it warms up. Jon Niehof reports that the DCR did plow the path in Brighton and Newton along Nonantum Road, though it looks like the plow didn't make it downstream to Cambridge.

Ask the DCR to plow the path during snowfalls at 617-626-4973, or email them

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.
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
Not checked.
Southwest Corridor Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path with poorly-designed intersections
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
Not checked, but the draft DCR snow plowing policy would put much of this path at Level 2, "dedication of snow removal resources within first 24 hours after storm event."
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
If you use this path regularly and want the DCR to plow it, let them know at 617-626-4973 or contact DCR Community Affairs.
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
Not checked yet.
Fresh Pond Bike Path
Parallel to Fresh Pond Parkway in Kingsley Park
City of Cambridge
Not checked.
Alewife Parkway Bridge Sidewalk
Connection from Minuteman Bikepath to Fresh Pond and beyond
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
No report yet.
Minuteman "Commuter Bikeway"

Towns of Cambridge, Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford
Jack Johnson reports on Tuesday morning that
...the Minuteman Bikeway in Arlington is being plowed on a trial basis this winter. It was plowed for the first time yesterday (but not sanded) from Alewife Station to the Lexington border, and it's icy in spots due to the freeze last night.

The trial plowing project is happening only in Arlington this winter--not in Lexington or Bedford. More details are posted at
[Now for Lexington, at least from Lexington Center to Arlington.]

Stony Brook Reservation
Hyde Park
4+ miles of paved bikepaths
Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
These paths aren't plowed because they get relatively little transportation use and because they are used by cross-country skiers like me.
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
No report yet.