Community Transportation

Reader Poll: Should Cycle Tracks Receive Priority for Snow Plowing?

In support of year-round bicycling, the City of Boston has prioritized resources toward the plowing and salting of its cycle tracks.

In the latest snowstorm, the Connect Historic Boston cycle track in downtown Boston and the North End was cleared before much of the roadway, city-owned sidewalks, corner curbs and parks. This tweet shows Boston Public Works plowing the cycle track on Staniford Street during last Thursday’s storm:

What do you think? Should the cycle track receive priority for clearing following snow emergencies? Vote in our poll and add your comments in the section below.

Note: Web polls are not scientific, representing only those readers who choose to vote.

41 Replies to “Reader Poll: Should Cycle Tracks Receive Priority for Snow Plowing?

  1. No offense but does this really need a vote. Our Elderly can’t walk down the street, but a person on a bike can ride on the bike path? WOW! The North End is a mess in more ways than one. The priorities are very distorted. So when is the bike registration and excise tax law go into effect to pay for the upkeep of these bike lanes……

  2. The best part is they pushed the snow from the bike paths to the parking spots and cross walks .. Makeing a tight three lane road even tighter.. All seven bikers that used the path this week yelled when pedestrians had to use them as well..

  3. At least only do one lane AFTER the storm. That way one lane can be used for the snow on the sidewalk that is still not cleared in places by the bike path. This path had already made the traffic patterns very dangerous when there are not piles of snow. Poor use of resources.

  4. I can’t believe that the bike lane has taken presidant over the sidewalks and streets. The plowing of the streets and the walkways were a disgrace is this what we have to look forward to all winter?

  5. Are u kidding me, the bike lane 1st. I live in Casa Maria they never even plowed the Ambulance space, the space is so high with snow still!!!! How about the elderly we could not even get out on to the street, they plowed over the exits!!!! Sorry but we were here before the bikes, they should help us 1st!!!!

  6. The city (Marty) doesn’t care about the elderly or kids. They aren’t paying the rents and property taxes that the majority of people who use the bike paths pay.

  7. Unacceptable! When emergency vehicles are unable to navigate streets in order to get to their destination whoever is making the decision on priority snow removal in the North End should be replaced.

  8. There is no doubt that the bike lanes need to be cleared along with streets and sidewalks. Giving them priority over other areas is foolish. Why would the city prioritize the needs of a very small group of bicyclers over the vast majority of Boston residents? Is anyone ever held accountable for such decisions?

  9. Biking in when it’s 10 degrees out is so fun, definitely deserves priority…. lol, what a joke this is…

  10. Let’s honestly assess this situation.

    Has anybody actually suggested that removing snow from bike lanes should take priority over removing snow from streets?
    Is there any evidence that removing snow from bike lanes takes resources away from streets or sidewalks?
    Are the bike lanes in the North End currently clear of snow?

    1. Point well taken. Unfortunately, the article states that bikes lanes are given priority and the photo indicates that the bike lane on Staniford is being cleared before the thoroughfare.

  11. I can attest that the bike lane was cleared days before the city sidewalks on Atlantic Ave. and in Christopher Columbus Park. It also gets salted which the sidewalks and roadways do not. so yes, I think there is evidence.

  12. This town is a complete MESS !!!!!!!! I tried to walk 3 blocks and couldn’t get there easily !!!!! I had to ask someone for help to cross to the street at a wheelchair ramp !!!!! It was a small mountain to climb over !!!
    Yes, I am elderly, but there are some poor souls that can’t go out at all !!! Not everyone shovels, or if they do, they do a 10 inch path!!!! When I have a Doctor’s appointment, I cannot go from my shoveled doorway to the taxi’s door~~~ there are too many mounds of snow to cope with !! Also watch out for the KILLER ICE-CYCLES from the rooftops !!!

    They want to discuss~~~BIKE LANES ???????

  13. The question is should bike lanes receive priority. I think the results show what most would expect, that they should not be given priority. It doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be kept clear. Roads priority, bike path next. Both can and should take place. Sidewalks are you’re neighbors responsibility, not the city.

    1. Disagree. Roads are the top priority and then sidewalks and intersections. Honestly, the bike lane should be given the same priority as clearing the dog park ie, when everything else is done, we get to those down the priority list.

      1. You say disagree, however you’re basically agreeing with me. Roadways first as a priority (intersections and city owned sidewalks included). Many comments here were about walking down the street which I presume are neighborhood streets. These are the responsibility of our neighbors. If the city is making a push to get less cars on the road (which they are), then the bike lane will need to be addressed as well, just further down the priority list.

    2. City of Boston property owners are responsible for clearing their property three hours after the snowfall. Tickets issued if not cleared.

  14. Several handicap residents are trapped in their apartments due to the city’s plowing policy that blocks all handicap ramps in our neighborhood with mountains of snow. No effort is been made to clear drains and remove snow so the rain storm coming late this week doesn’t flood our basements and neighborhood. None of the corners where some of our busiest cross walks are have been cleared by the city. Trash removal during the storm and around the holidays was a disaster. During the storm there were plenty of plows driving around the streets but most of them were not plowing. The attitude of those responding to the storm emergency was deplorable.
    The Mayor and the city’s management team are inept at their duties they stand behind all the initiatives that have eroded the quality of life in our neighborhoods. The bicycle lanes are a waste of money, our money, they congest our streets, contribute to polluting the environment while cars idle endlessly while stuck in traffic. Poorly ingeniar bicycle lanes have caused several fatal and non-fatal accidents and the list goes on. Government should consult with their EMPLOYERS THE TAX PAYERS before they embark as all in projects that add to the cost and erode quality of life in our city.

    1. How many city workers do you think we have? It’s a city, with thousands of streets and piles upon piles of snow after a storm like that. Realistically what you’re suggesting is next to impossible across all neighborhoods and streets within the city limits. Go grab a shovel……

    2. i would love it if all 10,000 people living in the north end decided they had to have a car because then you would have something to really complain about. ultimately, boston needs this bike lane and many more across the city. the city cannot absorb any more cars.

      1. You are clueless, I an a senior citizen who needed to get a prescription filled, It took me 25 minutes to walk a normally five minute adventure, The bike lanes should not be given priority over streets and sidewalks and handicapped ramps, You are like that annoying kid who always needs attention.

      2. I agree, modern cities are moving toward getting more bikes in the city and fewer cars. Some places are converting old rail lines to bicycle paths. They look for opportunities to reuse these things. With a little more foresight the Green Way would have been a great opportunity. All that wasted so called art work .

    3. Aren’t property owners responsible for clearing their adjacent sidewalks as well as handicap ramps? Plows will and have always plowed people in. Part of living in the Northeast is dealing with the plow operators and their sinister snow mountains.

  15. I live in the Prince Building. My balcony looks out onto the marina between Commercial Wharf and Lewis Wharf. I saw the bike path being cleared at the same time as Atlantic Avenue. I saw a business doing its mandated civic duty and clear the sidewalk in front of its building. I DID NOT see any clearing where the sidewalk passed the marina and where the sidewalk passed the Sargent’s Wharf parking lot! Who is responsible for those areas?
    What I don’t understand is why, in extreme circumstances such as what we just went through, people can’t be KIND!
    The only safe area for the people walking to work, the runners, the dog-walkers, the baby-carriage-pushers, the suitcase-pullers, the skate-boarder the bicyclists (feel free to add others who HAD to be out there in those temperatures the next day) was the bike-path. C’mon … that’s a no-brainer!
    On a bright note, and I wish I had taken a photo, I saw 5 young boys aged about 10-11+ armed with snow shovels, being led by an adult, who were definitely on-a-mission. It seems like the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, church youth groups, etc. should put down their iPads, turn off the television, rally and make themselves incredibly helpful in this type of situation.
    It’s a community effort and just maybe the constant griping and complaining would lessen.
    Be reminded folks, you knew about this storm and were warned to prepare for it. Just stay inside and communicate via phone or computer, check on your neighbor, share your food, stock up on your medication … anything else? Unless you just moved to Boston from San Diego-type country and had no idea what you were in for, you’ve been through this before and looky-look, you survived again!!!
    Oh … my vote? – In extreme situations, such as what we just went through, the bike lane should be cleared and SHARED by all.
    Thank ya … xox

    1. Meredith, You totally missed the point. No one is saying leave the bike path unplowed. But there were several streets that are used by all of the people you mention above that were impassable while the path was plowed. Deliveries couldn’t be made. Elderly couldn’t get to their appointments.

      While you were viewing the storm from your balcony high above Commercial St., others were sludging around Hanover and it’s side streets in 13 inches of snow on unplowed streets.

      During the Winter of 2015, I think the city did a tremendous job in the North End. However, this storm was a disaster in regards to clean up and plowing.

  16. This is simple case of hysteria. There is no priority. City plow operators plow continuosly all night . The snow builds up in between rotations. Some one simply spotted a bike lane being plowed at a time when the street wasn’t plowed and made up the priority story simply to incite. The same equipment used to plow streets isn’t the same equipment used to plow bike lanes. That should be obvious from the picture. If you have a problem with the way streets are plowed that is a separate issue. This being a blizzard, you might want pray for global warming or move to Florida.

    I love snow. I would never live in a place where it doesn’t snow.

    1. I missed the point? Let me ‘splain : the poll asked about clearing the bike lane and I felt it was fine to do. Actually, it was a boon for the many people who needed to walk along Atlantic Ave. I saw the street being plowed at the same time as the bike-path. No ‘prioritizing’ there. As T-Mobile wrote, “The same equipment used to plow streets isn’t the same equipment used to plow bike lanes.” I also agree with your last sentence, T-Mobile.
      I stand by my vote.

  17. Well i for one agree with Maria (Maria Apts i watche an Ambulance driver trying to take a patient home plows dumped snow in the ambulance spot and She was trying to make a path with a broom to get the patient out of the cold and into the building Now thats disgraceful I agree with Janet and Jorge Mendosa!

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