MassPaths Bikepath Snow Plowing Report
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 (Updated to December 20)

Bike paths and lanes are integral parts 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. If they are not plowed while the snow is still soft, paths with significant foot traffic become unskiable within a day, and remain a mess for everyone until the ice melts.

It started snowing this afternoon and kept going into the night. Lots of workplaces were dismissed early, so people would be home before the peak of the storm, but I like to keep working until those people are off the roads, so I left five hours later, at 8:00, when the snow had let up and the plows were starting to catch up it. It was still cold, though, 17F when I got home at 9:30 and shoveled my walk. I stuck mostly to streets, and they were generally fairly clear, though seldom to bare pavement.

Please send updates and reports on the conditions of other paths in Massachusetts to Jessica Mink.

Arnold Arboretum
1.5 miles of park roads which are mostly closed to automobile traffic with no intersections
Boston Parks and Harvard University
Not checked, but I'm sure that it is plowed, though the surfaces will be icy.
Blackwell Footpath
A half-mile gravel path connecting the Forest Hills MBTA station and the South St. Arboretum entrance
Boston Parks and Harvard University
I didn't check it, but it is certainly not plowed and icy
Roslindale Bike Lanes
Two miles of bike lanes on both sides of Washington St. from Forest Hills to Roslindale Square and to West Roxbury on Belgrade Ave.
Boston Public Works Department
Narrow next to parked cars, but mostly usable
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,
Narrowly plowed.
Franklin Park Roads
Much of the park loop road is closed to motorized traffic and there are bike lanes on the main road.
Boston Parks and Public Works Departments
Not checked
Centre/South Bike Lanes
A mile of bike lanes through the heart of Jamaica Plain from Jackson Square and the Southwest Corridor to Forest Hills
Boston Public Works Department
Really clear in the center of JP, narrower in either direction, but still useful by providing space to stay clear of cars.
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
Plowed to a thin layer of snow. Really clear in some places, not so good in others. And the plow isn't really good at following the twisty path. I crashed Wednesday when my front wheel went over the edge and landed on some cleared pavement. Ouch! Clearer, but not perfect on Thursday. It had been plowed at least once since today's snow started, but the Brookline side had an inch or two less snow on it, so I went that way. There was a truck plowing the path southbound from Perkins St. when I passed by.
Perkins St. Bike Lanes
1.5 miles of mostly bike/ped-separated paths paralleling a busy 4-lane parkway; two intersections with traffic lights
Department of Conservation and Recreation
About one foot of bike lane is visible.
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
Pavement very clear on Wednesday night, but the barrier is still there. I rode the bike path Tuesday night while the snow was still falling, and it had only an inch or so of snow on it. Wednesday morning, the path looked clear to bare pavement from Route 9 south. The snow pile at the south end of the parking lot near Chestnut St. I trudged around last night might still be there.
Parkway and Netherlands Rd. Contraflow bike lanes
Two one-block contra-flow lanes plus and contraflow cycle track
Brookline Park Department and DPW
Both contraflow lanes are all bare pavement, and the contraflow cycle track at Netherlands Rd. has been plowed to a bikable layer of snow.
Muddy River Path
12-foot-wide 0.6 mile shared bike/ped path with no intersections
Brookline Park Department and DPW
Bare pavement with occasional small puddles which may freeze.
Commonwealth Ave. Bike Lanes
Connecting the B.U. Bridge to Boston University Boston Transportation Department
Clear to bare pavement around the B.U. Bridge
Brookline Bike Lanes
Town of Brookline
By Wednesday night, the lanes were clear except when next to parked cars when they narrowed a bit because the cars were parked into them. On Tuesday night, Harvard St. bike lanes were as clear as the rest of the street, snowy but usable.
B. U. Bridge Bike Lanes
Boston to Cambridge Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Plowed By Mass. Highway Department
About half of their width is clear to bare pavement, but the rest is filled with snow plowed off the road. They mostly work.
B. U. Bridge west sidewalk
Boston to Cambridge Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Plowed By Mass. Highway Department or B.U.
It looked fairly clear, but there was packed snow on the approaches.
Harvard (Mass. Ave.) Bridge bike lanes
Cambridge to Boston Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Plowed By Mass. Highway Department
No report, but probably clear
Longfellow Bridge bike lanes
Cambridge to Boston Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Plowed By Mass. Highway Department
Not checked yet, but probably narrowed.
Charles River Bikepaths
Narrow, shared bike-ped path with few intersections
Department of Conservation and Recreation
I tried riding upstream from the B.U. Bridge, but the path was impassable for a bike, a mixture of loose and packed snow which I abandoned as soon as I could. It was plowed by Wednesday morning, but with the blade too far off the ground.
J.F.K. Park
Wide, shared bike-ped path from river to Harvard Square
Department of Conservation and Recreation
Plowed and bikeable through a coating of snow. Bare pavement by Wednesday night.
Western Ave. Cycletrack
Cambridge Cambridge DPW
John Pelletier reports on Wednesday that The few feet of completed cycletrack along Western Ave is plowed and bare asphalt; it looks pretty good considering! The sidewalk is also cleared.
Western Ave. Cycletrack
Boston Boston DPW
John Pelletier reports on Wednesday that The buffered bike lanes in Boston looked like a mess... (funny how Cambridge can plow like 50 feet of cycletrack under construction but Boston can't even do one that is finished.
N. Harvard St. bike lanes
Boston Boston DPW
By Wednesday the lanes were clearer, except around parked cars Not very clear Tuesday night, but also not much worse than the rest of the street.
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
By Wednesday night, the approaches and the bridge were bare pavement. On Tuesday night, some of the bridge was clear, but neither approach was plowed at all. I walked.
Southwest Corridor Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path with poorly-designed intersections
Department of Conservation and Recreation
Not checked yet, but it looked pretty snow on Wednesday morning.
South Bay Harbor Trail
Bike/Ped path from the Federal Court House up Fort Point Channel to the Southwest Corridor
City of Boston
Not checked.
Neponset Trail
Mostly paved Bike/Ped path
Department of Conservation and Recreation
Mike Blackwell reported on Thursday: Plowed end-to-end, but up to 1 inch snow/ice remain in some spots. Milton side (Granite Ave to Central Ave) is more rutted. Easily navigated with studded tires, non-studded tire not recommended.
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, but probably plowed
Danehy Park Paths
City of Cambridge
Not checked, but probably plowed
Cambridge Bike Lanes
Striped lanes of varying widths on major and connecting streets
City of Cambridge
On Wednesday morning, lanes on major streets were at least partly plowed, bare pavement next to piled snow or cars parked well out from the curb. Aaron Pikcilingis reports: The Mt. Auburn St. bike lane through Harvard Square was snowy except where it's to the left of those bus stops.
Vassar St. Cycle Track
Buffered bike lanes from Main St. to Memorial Drive (almost)
City of Cambridge
Not checked.
Fresh Pond Bike Path
Parallel to Fresh Pond Parkway in Kingsley Park
City of Cambridge
Not checked yet
Alewife Brook Trail
Stone dust and boardwalk sections are never plowed. No report on the rest.
Fitchburg Cutoff Trail
No report on this trail which runs west from Alewife MBTA station.
Concord Ave. Cycle Track
Buffered bike lanes from Belmont to Fresh Pond Parkway
City of Cambridge
Not checked yet.
Alewife Parkway Bridge Sidewalk
Connection from Minuteman Bikepath to Fresh Pond and beyond
Department of Conservation and Recreation
Not checked yet.
Minuteman "Commuter Bikeway"

Towns of Cambridge, Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford
Bruce tried again Friday night: Since it was so warm today, I decided to risk riding the trail home this evening and was pleasantly surprised. I rode from Bedford Depot to Water Street in Arlington.
It is almost entirely down to bare pavement with a few exceptions. There are still a few areas where the trail narrows by a foot or two, and a few random ice patches. There is also considerable flooding where the ice has melted, but since it's not expected to drop below freezing until Tuesday, that will probably not be a problem.
Problem areas include the troublesome Wiggins to Westview stretch which was still quite slushy, but will probably clear over the next day or two. The gate is open at Westview, and doesn't align with the opposite side, and you need to cross a muddy patch of about 6 feet. The aprons crossing Woburn Street in Lexington and Mill Street in Arlington still have quite a bit of snow on them. At Woburn Street, the small part of the path that parallels the road is still icy. Seasons Four through Great Meadows is now mottled and annoying to ride. Bridges in Arlington still have ice on them.

Bruce Kulic reported on Friday morning: The path was generally ridable from Mill Street in Arlington to Bedford Depot, but not comfortable in most areas. Bridges are icy. 128 bridge surprisingly ridable in outbound track. Ice generally around gates. Some aprons to the street not cleared, most notably Mill Street and Hartwell Ave.
I have 700c x 35 touring tread at 60 lbs. Avoided use of brakes. Will not ride path home tonight in the dark, except to cross 128; will use Rt 4/Mass Ave instead.
Here is the breakdown of each section, as well as I can remember.
Mill Street to Lexington Line: 50% clear, long stretches fully ice covered.
Lexington Line to Great Meadows: Mostly Clear.
Great Meadows to Seasons Four: Mostly ice covered.
Seasons Four to Woburn Street: 50 % clear. Single track varies in width and position.
Woburn Street to Hancock Street: Mottled.
Hancock Street to Route 4: Mostly clear often dry, a few patches of ice remain.
Route 4 to 128 Bridge: Mostly ice covered. Single track in some areas.
128 Bridge to Hartwell Ave: Mostly clear and dry.
Hartwell Ave to Westview: Mostly hard packed snow, some single track.
Westview to Wiggins: NOT RECOMMENDED. 1" of ice with frozen footprints and tire tracks that will divert your wheel.
Wiggins to Depot: Mostly hard packed snow, some double track. Surprise snowbank next to Budd Liner car. Leave path before depot building.

Upper Charles Reservation
Watertown, Newton, Waltham
4+ miles of paved and unpaved bikepaths
Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation
Not checked.
Revere Beach Reservation
Shared use paths (or very wide sidewalks)
Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation
Elmer Cat reported: I use the Revere Beach Reservation pathway each day to bike from Oak Island to the Wonderland Blue Line station. The wide, concrete-paved path runs along the ocean, parallel to Revere Beach Boulevard, for about three miles from Elliot Circle to Point of Pines.
I am happy to report that the state did a good job of plowing and salting the path following the past two storms. In fact, it's in much better shape than the local streets in my neighborhood.
Northern Strand Community Trail
Everett and Malden
Shared use path
Everett and Malden DPW
No Report.
Stony Brook Reservation
Hyde Park
4+ miles of paved bikepaths
Mass. Department of Conservation 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. There are marked narrow bike lanes on Enneking Parkway through the reservation which are probably clear.
Former Metropolitan State Hospital
Belmont, Waltham
paved bikepaths
Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation
Not checked yet.
Assabet River Rail Trail
Hudson and Marlborough, so far
Town of Hudson, City of Marlborough (so far)
Not checked, but probably not plowed.
Northampton Bikeway
East-west across the City of Northampton
City of Northampton
Craig Della Penna, who lives next to the path, has reported 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
No report.