MassBike Boston Bikepath Snow Plowing Report
March 7, 2001

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.

It snowed and rained and snowed from Monday, March 5 through the morning of Wednesday, March 7, leaving a foot or a bit more of snow covering the city of Boston. My employer was closed Monday and Tuesday, so I didn't get to bike to work until Wednesday. A two-hour delayed start at work let me wait a couple more hours for the plows to do their work on the paths and bike lanes. The paths in Boston were clear, but on the Cambridge side of the river, no plowing had been done since the end of the storm. This was still true on Thursday, though the Muddy River Path in Brookline was plowed later Wedensday. I also took my bike out for exercise on Monday afternoon in the rain to see what had been done to the paths before the big snow arrived, and found that Boston and Brookline had cleared their paths, but the MDC had not.

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 road along Hemlock Hill from the Walter St. entrance is rough ice and will probably not melt for days. The roads on both sides of Bussey Hill are fairly clear, though.
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 packed powder. There was no fresh sand yet, but the surface was soft enough that bike tires got a grip.
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
I didn't try riding them, but it looked like they were plowed well before the snow stopped on Tuesday, because they were covered with too much snow to be ridable except as a challenge.
Muddy River Path
12-foot-wide 0.6 mile shared bike/ped path with no intersections
Brookline Park Department and DPW
By Thursday morning, this path was bare pavement, except under the Longwood Avenue bridge, where there is still rough ice. On Wednesday, this was really icy, with almost no pavement showing through. There was quite a bit of rough ice as well as smoother ice.
B.U. Bridge
The sidewalk on the west side was not plowed at all. Use the road.
Charles River Bikepath
Narrow, shared bike-ped path with few intersections
Metropolitan District Commission
The Cambridge side, upstream from the B.U. Bridge looked like it was plowed Tuesday morning, before the last 4-5 inches of snow fell. It was so rugged I decided to bike over to Mass. Ave., via Putnam Ave., my old commuting route before I discovered that the bikepath (when plowed) is significantly faster. This was still unplowed on Thursday morning.
Cambridge Bike Lanes
Striped lanes of varying widths on major and connecting streets
City of Cambridge
From Putnam Ave. to Harvard Square, the Mass. Ave. bikelane either had snow or parked cars covering about half its width. Where there were no parked cars, the city neglected to plow the bikelane's full width. On the first block of Concord Ave from the Common to Garden St., the contraflow lane was invisible under several inches of ice, so I dealt with Garden St. traffic. Tonight I'll check out the lane on Sparks St. on my way to the river where I hope the MDC will have run its Snowcat down the path during the day.
Southwest Corridor Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path with poorly-designed intersections
Metropolitan District Commission
On Thursday morning, the bikepaths were well-plowed, except at intersections, on the stretch I rode in Jamaica Plain. THe parallel pedestrian path was plowed except where it was the sidewalk, at the curb, when it was half-covered with snow from the street and unplowed to boot. It was unplowed Monday afternoon, but ridable through an inch and a half of slush.
Melnea Cass Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path
Boston Parks or Transportation Deparment
Not checked yet.