MassPaths Bikepath Snow Plowing Report
Monday, February 5, 2014 (updated to February 11)

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 very early Wednesday morning and snowed till evening. The Observatory was closed, so I stayed home, read, cleaned, and shoveled. When I biked to work Thursday, everything was fairly clear, though the bike lanes were often blocked by parked cars and the paths were seldom plowed to 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
By Monday, the park roads were plowed to packed powder with occasional bare pavement and ice. Thursday night from the Forest Hills entrance, the road looked like it had been plowed to packed powder by.
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
Clear, but often blocked by parked cars.
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,
Not plowed very well.
Morton St. Buffered Bike Lanes
Cemetery Rd. to Harvard St.
MassDOT
I rode east from Cemetery Rd. to Canterbury St. early Saturday afternoon. The buffers and about half of the lanes were plowed, giving enough space to be totally out of traffic.
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
Phil Lindsay says they're mostly plowed, with problems at intersections that were cleared up by the weekend.
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
Like Roslindale, the bike lanes were clear, but cars were parked on them due to snow piled at the curb.
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 Wednesday, there was mostly bare pavement. Thursday morning, it was plowed to packed powder, and there was some bare pavement showing in spots by evening.
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
Mostly covered by snow, with maybe a foot or so showing, though the width improved through the weekend.
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
Plowed to packed powder by Thursday night.
Parkway and Netherlands Rd. Contraflow bike lanes
Two one-block contra-flow lanes plus and contraflow cycle track
Brookline Park Department and DPW
Lanes clear, and the contra-flow cycle track was plowed by Thursday morning!
Muddy River Path
12-foot-wide 0.6 mile shared bike/ped path with no intersections
Brookline Park Department and DPW
Plowed to packed powder, but a bit icy.
Commonwealth Ave. Bike Lanes
Connecting the B.U. Bridge to Boston University Boston Transportation Department
Very clear by Thursday morning, at least where there were no parked cars.
Brookline Bike Lanes
Town of Brookline
Harvard St. bike lanes were plowed, but cars parked into them all too often.
B. U. Bridge Bike Lanes
Boston to Cambridge Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Plowed By Mass. Highway Department
Clear by Thursday morning.
B. U. Bridge west sidewalk
Boston to Cambridge
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Plowed By Mass. Highway Department or B.U.
Clear but with a few icy patches on Thursday morning.
Harvard (Mass. Ave.) Bridge bike lanes
Cambridge to Boston Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Plowed By Mass. Highway Department
Not checked yet.
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
The Cambridge side upstream from the B.U. Bridge was ridable but very bumpy on Thursday morning. I avoided it at night.
J.F.K. Park
Wide, shared bike-ped path from river to Harvard Square
Department of Conservation and Recreation
Not checked, but probably clear.
Western Ave. Cycletrack
Cambridge Cambridge DPW
Plowed by Thursday night, though pedestrians and recycling bins partially blocked it in a few places.
Western Ave. Cycletrack
Boston Boston DPW
Westbound bike lane was clear. Eastbound cycle track plowed at west end, though there was a pile of snow blocking the entrance. Further along, it was unplowed and not usable at all.
N. Harvard St. bike lanes
Boston Boston DPW
Pretty clear when not blocked by parked cars.
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
Plowed to bare pavement.
Southwest Corridor Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path with poorly-designed intersections
Department of Conservation and Recreation
On Saturday morning, it was plowed to packed powder, with occasional bare pavement and ice from Forest Hills to Green St., and probably all of the way to Ruggles.
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
Lee Toma noted on Wednesday: All of it was plowed, but there was a lot of ice in Dorchester.
Somerville Community Path
Wide rail trail from Davis Square to Cedar St.
City of Somerville
Gus O'Leary reported on thursday: Good shape from Lowell to Davis, a little narrow with Peds, but workable and clear pavement.
Red Line Linear Park Path
Alewife MBTA station to Davis Square over Red Line
City of Cambridge City of Somerville
Gus O'leary reportred on Thursday morning: Generally good shape on the Alewife side of Mass Ave, Mass Ave and Cameron Ave crossings (ramps\brick paver section) were super sketchy (very glad for studs, wishing for a fat bike), the path proper on Davis side was no better than ok, varying very narrow or slushy.
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
Plowed, but often parked over.
Aaron Pik reported on Thursday morning: Brattle street bike lanes from Route 16 to Hawthorn were a mixed bag. Occasionally clear but mostly slushy or worse, especially around driveways and roads.
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
Gus O'Leary reported on Thursday morning: Good Shape, clear pavement for the main trail, CWD did a great job after whoever complained the last time spoke with them.
Alewife Brook Trail
DCR
Stone dust and boardwalk sections are never plowed. No report on the rest.
Fitchburg Cutoff Trail
DCR
Scott Loose reported on Friday: Brighton Street access to the trail is very poor as the narrow bike lanes are blocked with snow and the city hasn't done anything to clear them. The accompanying sidewalk was passable with snow tires.
From Belmont, the DCR plowed a narrow path through the deep snow. The bottom remains snow packed, bumpy, and rutted. It's passable with studs or perhaps deep treads. My Schwalbe Marathon Winters were good.
From the tie-in to Cambridge Park Drive to Alewife conditions looked worse. I bailed to Cambridge Park Drive for the remainder to Alewife and would recommend the same.
Concord Ave. Cycle Track
Buffered bike lanes from Belmont to Fresh Pond Parkway
City of Cambridge
Gus O'Leary reported on Thursday morning: Good condition FPP to Blanchard in Belmont, some residual snow, particularly at intersections, but probably rideable without studs.
Alewife Parkway Bridge Sidewalk
Connection from Minuteman Bikepath to Fresh Pond and beyond
Department of Conservation and Recreation
Gus O'Leary reported on Thursday morning: Atrocious South bound direction certainly un-ride able, tried to walk it and push my bike and fell a couple times (so probably not walk-able either), Northbound looked slightly better.
Minuteman "Commuter Bikeway"

Towns of Cambridge, Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford
Tuesday, Bruce Kulik reported: [I] rode the entire length between Mill Street in Arlington and Bedford Depot 10am-11am.
Arlington: Mill Street to Lexington Line. Generally clear and dry. Some areas of hardpack and ice remain. Estimated 80% clear. Conditions slightly worse beyond Trader Joe's.
Lexington: Arlington Line to Westview. Generally hardpack and ice. Some areas with substantial frozen tracks that will divert your wheel. Occasional clear and dry areas. Estimated 10% clear. Portion from 128 to Hartwell mostly clear and dry.
Bedford: Westview to Bedford Depot. Not usable in a practical sense. Thick softpack. Slippery and slow. Difficult and unpleasant passage.

Monday, Bruce Kulik reported: Bedford Street to 128. Light layer of new snow on heavier layer of hardpack. Slippery surface. Just OK with 700x35 touring tread. Snow slowed me down considerably compared to street operation. Chose Minuteman because I'm not fond of the Rt 4./Rt 128 interchange or the stretch from 128 to Hartwell.
128 to Westview. Light layer of new snow on light to no hardpack. Surface was fine. Approached normal speeds comfortably. Slippery sharp left turn at Westview. Westview to Wiggins. New snow on heavily rutted surface. Unpassable in a practical sense. Slowed to 4 mph. Recommend using Maguire detour instead. I bailed out at Wiggins and went over to Route 4/Great Road instead which was clear and not very damp.

On Sunday, Tod Holland reported: Got out on the old GT Karakoram running studded Nokians today, riding out the Minuteman as far as Bedford Street, Lexington, a 14-mile round trip with temperatures in the 20s. After Wednesday's storm and subsequent plowing, the Minuteman wasn't the fastest route to anywhere (not that it ever is, really), unless your destination was Winter, in which case the you were in luck. Riding conditions featured packed snow, loose snow, smooth ice, bumpy ice, and bare pavement, in random combinations, an interactive surface. Two of the Arlington bridges--over Grove Street and Forest Street--were sporting loose snow over bumpy ice, an attention-getter when hit at speed coming off an adjacent strip of bare pavement. Idem the pile of loose snow someone left across the full trail width just east of the Maple Street bridge, in Lexington. [pictures]

Bruce Kulik reported from his car on Thursday morning: Mill Street crossing in Arlington obstructed by plow detritus with ad hoc path around the blockage. Path appeared to have been plowed but was fully covered in a layer of packed snow.
Hancock Street and Bedford Street crossings in Lexington. No obstruction in aprons, otherwise path conditions same as above.
Hartwell Avenue in Lexington. Quite a bit of slush in aprons, otherwise path conditions same as above.
Bedford Depot. Mound of snow again blocking terminus to sidewalk passage.

Rod Holland reported on Wednesday night: Rode the Minuteman tonight between Arlington Center and Lexington Center. While Arlington had enough snow-and-ice patches to make me glad I was running studs, conditions on Lexington's section of the trail were often down-right challenging. There was a surprising amount of deeply-rutted ice, not something I've seen much of on the Minuteman before. While the Nokian W240s handle that sort of surface about as well as anything does, there were several times when I just let myself coast to a stop in bad patches, and once when I got off and walked the bike for a few yards. The worst of the rutted ice was between Bow Street and Fottler Avenue, with another bad patch near the Maple Street bridge, but there were others. This will get buried under tomorrow's fresh snow, a lurking hazard.
On the upside, there were coyotes and a great horned owl calling at Brown's Homestead, Lexington.

Upper Charles Reservation
Watertown, Newton, Waltham
4+ miles of paved and unpaved bikepaths
Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation
John Allen reported on Monday: Riverwalk Moody Street-Prospect Street; no plowed
Gold Star Mothers Bridge (Prospect Street to Maple Street): West sidewalk plowed.
Mt. Feake Cenetery: Roads plowed, need to walk around the gate at the Sawyer Road (Brandeis commuter rail station) end in packed snow.
No report on Waltham to Watertown stretch.
Revere Beach Reservation
Revere
Shared use paths (or very wide sidewalks)
Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation
Elmer Cat reported on Thursday: The pathway is clear, and the crosswalks were cleared better than usual this time, but they used an inordinate amount of salt. There's a strip of excess salt running all along the path, and huge piles sitting here and there. My bike chain will need an extra serving of WD-40!
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.