MassBike Boston Bikepath Snow Plowing Report
Thursday-Friday, March 6, 2003

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.

Boston got 6 inches or so of snow from late morning to evening on Thursday. There was enough snow on the ground that the evening commute was pretty hard, with loosely packed snow on the streets and a bit too much snow for safety on unplowed trails. I fell quite a few times, usually by trying to get back on a bikepath after riding off its unseen edge which was buried by snow or crooked plowing. By late morning on Friday, all of the paths were plowed with the remaining ice melting fast.

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 main road up Bussey Hill from Bussey Brook is torn up for water main construction, so I've been using Walter St. and the paved shoulder of Centre St. to the entrance at the top of the hill. The park roads were pretty clear except for the sharp turn at the bottom of Bussey Hill which is perpetually in the shade.
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 once during the storm, though not always along the pavement, so I fell at least once when my tire got caught on the edge of the path. On Friday morning, there were firetrucks blocking the path (due to ice rescue training, I think), so I missed the ballards by riding the pedestrian path. On the way home, I had to deal with the mud around the bollards at Pinebank. The path was mostly dry by Friday evening, but really sandy.
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
It looked like at least the Route 9 end of the bikepath was plowed this time, though it never got plowed after the last storm.
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 by Thursday rush hour, this path was really clear by Friday.
B.U. Bridge
The bridge road lanes are narrow, and the sidewalks are wide and relatively unused by pedestrians.
The sidewalk was plowed clear by Friday late morning,
Charles River Bikepath
Narrow, shared bike-ped path with few intersections
Metropolitan District Commission
The MDC plowed the path by late Friday morning, though it was still really icy between the Riverside Boat Club and the B.U. Bridge Friday evening. I rode through, but not everyone would wish to.
Southwest Corridor Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path with poorly-designed intersections
Metropolitan District Commission
I didn't ride this path until Saturday morning, when it was plowed clear except for a number of places where snowmelt had frozen. By midday on my return trip, it was pretty clear.
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 wasn't plowed, but discussions are under way as to whether the entire path should be plowed.
Cambridge Bike Lanes
Striped lanes of varying widths on major and connecting streets
City of Cambridge
Cars are parking further and further out from the curb with each storm, so bike lanes are less than their full width and should be selectively avoided.
Fresh Pond Bike Path
Parallel to Fresh Pond Parkway in Kingsley Park
City of Cambridge
Not checked yet.
Red Line Linear Park
Over the Red Line from Alewife Station to Cedar St.
Cities of Cambridge and Somerville
Not checked yet.
Minuteman Bikeway
From Cambridge through Arlington and Lexington to Bedford
Each town
This path is not usually plowed, except sometimes from Lake St. to Alewife Station.