MassBike Boston Bikepath Snow Plowing Report
Friday, December 6, 2002

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.

The snow started on Thursday afternoon and continued until early afternoon on Friday. This storm, the City of Boston has definitely done the best job of plowing, wth three passes on the Jamaicaway path. The MDC seems not to have touched the Charles River paths as of Friday night; maybe they'll get around to them over the weekend. Riding home on streets Friday night reinforced the value of well-plowed paths as comfortable places to bike in bad weather as I bounced through slush-filled potholes in heavy motorized traffic.

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 park roads were plowed, but not to pavement. It was smooth going though parts turned icy over the weekend. By Monday, there was bare pavement on the east-facing hills, but pretty bad ice along Hemlock Hill from the Walter St. entrance.
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 was plowed at least twice and maybe more. It was the only path plowed by the Thursday commute and was plowed again and sanded by Friday night. The snow banks between the bollards at Pinebank were soft enough that I plowed right through them, though judging by the absence of other tracks by Saturday afternoon, nobody followed me. There was some bare pavement, and the sand should keep the path from becoming too hazardous when the slush freezes. By Monday, the path was almost entirely bare pavement, with sand making event the few icy patches navigable.
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
The bike and pedestrian paths were not plowed by Saturday afternoon, at least on the Route 9 (northern) end.
Muddy River Path
12-foot-wide 0.6 mile shared bike/ped path with no intersections
Brookline Park Department and DPW
This path was plowed, but not to bare pavement. It was a bit icy Friday. By Monday, there was at least a narrow strip of bare pavement over most of the length of the path.
B.U. Bridge
The approaches have some bare pavement, but the bridge wasn't shovelled by Friday midday, and going was tough. By Monday, the bridge was clear, but the Cambridge approach was extremely icy.
Charles River Bikepath
Narrow, shared bike-ped path with few intersections
Metropolitan District Commission
This path was not plowed, on either side of the river, by Friday night. Sometime over the weekend, the MDC ran a snowcat over the Cambridge side of the path, at least from the BU bridge to the Andersen Bridge. There were still a few icy patches, especially around the BU Bridge. [Friday, it was really rough going to be avoided by all but the most intrepid ice biker who is not in a hurry.]
Southwest Corridor Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path with poorly-designed intersections
Metropolitan District Commission
It was plowed once, but well before the end of the storm. On Saturday, it was rough going, but passable, worse than the Muddy River Path, but better than the Charles River.
Melnea Cass Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path
Boston Parks or Transportation Deparment
Not checked yet.
Neponset Trail
Mostly paved Bike/Ped path
Metropolitan District Commission
This path is not plowed.
Cambridge Bike Lanes
Striped lanes of varying widths on major and connecting streets
City of Cambridge
Between slush and icy by Friday evening. Fairly clear by Monday
Fresh Pond Bike Path
Parallel to Fresh Pond Parkway in Kingsley Park
City of Cambridge
Not checked yet.
Minuteman Bikeway
From Cambridge through Arlington and Lexington to Bedford
Each town
This path is usually not plowed at all, but it has been reported to be plowed from Thorndike Field (next to Route 2) to Lake St., the first stretch in Arlington.