MassBike Bikepath Snow Plowing Report
Monday, January 23, 2006

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.

This morning we got the maximum amount of snow forecast for the city. At 9:30, I shovelled four inches of wet heavy snow off my walk, and by the time I biked out, there was at least an inch more. Minor roads and intersections were often icy, but the non-DCR paths were mostly in pretty good shape. The DCR got out as the snowfall turned to rain, and on my way home, the paths were all clear.

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 roads were plowed, but the only bare pavement was right behind the plow because the snow was coming down pretty hard. I fell on the hairpin turn at the bottom of the north side of Bussey Hill on rough packed ice while I was fumbling with the downtube shifter on my bike. The roads should all be pretty bikeable after the snow stops. By Tuesday morning, there was mostly bare pavement, except along the base of Hemlock Hill. Icy turns on the main road were sanded.
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,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
Plowed by evening
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
The path was well plowed from Kelly Circle (the south end of Jamaica Pond) to the boathouse. The path around the pond was clear, but not the rest of the path along the Jamaicaway. I suspect the plow was coming from the other direction. By Monday night, the path was entirely plowed, and the curb cuts were sanded.
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
Both pedestrian and bicycle paths were plowed, and this time they plowed almost to, but a few tens of feet short of, Perkins St. at the south end.
Muddy River Path
12-foot-wide 0.6 mile shared bike/ped path with no intersections
Brookline Park Department and DPW
The paths was plowed and seemed to be salted as it was fairly slushy.
B.U. Bridge
The east sidewalk looked plowed, but not the west sidewalk which I usually use, so I rode in the road. By Monday night, the west sidewalk was clear to bare pavement.
Charles River Bikepath
Narrow, shared bike-ped path with few intersections
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
The DCR did not touch the path from the BU Bridge to Harvard Square until after the storm. On my morning commute, I took a lane on Memorial Drive and got soaked by passing cars covering me with slush. After the snow stopped, the DCR plowed the path so it was mostly clear by evening. It was too warm for icy spots, but there are some potential ones along the Memorial Drive exit to the BU Bridge, by the Riverside Boat Club, and just upstream of River St., all due to poor drainage.

From Kenneth Cheeseman as of 8:30am Jan 24:
The MDC path from Watertown on the South (Boston) side of the Charles had been plowed but was heavily obstructed by road debris from the road plow crews from Watertown to past the MDC rink on Nonantum Rd all the way to Soldier's Field Road.
On the way in east after that the path gets better with some areas plowed but not actually on pavement (the plow veered off the paved path onto lawn and dirt) with the usual flooding, ice and dangerous conditions on the western side of the Northeastern University boat house.
Rest of the way into Boston was relatively good.

Ask the DCR to plow the path during snowfalls at 617-626-1250. They only out their general email on their web site at

J.F.K. Park
Wide, shared bike-ped path from river to Harvard Square
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
Plowed and passable, but covered by an inch of snow by the time I biked through.
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
Not checked.
Southwest Corridor Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path with poorly-designed intersections
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
Not checked, but the draft DCR snow plowing policy would put much of this path at Level 2, "dedication of snow removal resources within first 24 hours after storm event."
Melnea Cass Bikepath
Separated Bike/Ped path
Boston Parks or Transportation Deparment
Not checked yet, but probably not plowed.
Neponset Trail
Mostly paved Bike/Ped path
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
Sometimes the park manager plows this path.
If you use this path regularly and want the DCR to plow it, let them know at 617-626-1250. They only out their general email on their web site at
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 yet, but probably plowed here and there.
Cambridge Bike Lanes
Striped lanes of varying widths on major and connecting streets
City of Cambridge
The lanes on major roads were fairly clear by evening. Some had already been plowed during the storm, but by no means all. Lanes next to parked cars will probably be more problematic as the cars are a bit further from the curb after this snowfall.
Fresh Pond Bike Path
Parallel to Fresh Pond Parkway in Kingsley Park
City of Cambridge
Alewife Parkway Bridge Sidewalk
Connection from Minuteman Bikepath to Fresh Pond and beyond
Department of Conservation and Recreation,
Division of Urban Parks and Recreation
Christopher Porter reports:
*Both* sides of Alewife Pkwy Bridge were cleared as of Monday evening, and there was additional plowing on the lower-priority segments on the south side of Fresh Pond Mall & across from Fresh Pond as of Tuesday night.
Minuteman "Commuter Bikeway"

Towns of Cambridge, Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford
This path is not plowed ever. (And it was not on January 25) Contact Clear the Trail to help get the Town of Arlington to plow their section of the trail.
Northampton Bikeway
East-west across the City of Northampton
City of Northampton
Craig Della Penna, who lives next to the path, reports 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,
Division of State Parks and Recreation
No report yet.