State, bicyclists could sit down to figure out path plow policy

The Boston Cyclists Union reports DCR hopes to hold a forum on a review of the department's ice-removal policies for bicycle paths, last updated in 2006.

A DCR spokesman noted the number of bicyclists on state-owned paths, such as along the Southwest Corridor, has increased since then and that the state recognizes "the commitment" of year-round bicyclists.

Area bicycling groups protested this week after Universal Hub posted an e-mail exchange in which a DCR official expressed disdain for the idea of maintaining bicycle paths for the "0.05 percent" of bicyclists he claimed insisted wanted to commute on them immediately after snowstorms.

Ed. note: Please count to 10 before you reach for that Reply link. The past two discussions on this issue are kind of frightening for the level of disrespect and outright hatred; surely we can discuss and disagree on bicycling without descending to the level of posters on certain newspaper sites we could name. Right?



    Free tagging: 



    For all the whining and moaning and moaning about whining that went on recently about this topic, I think this forum can be a prime example of how we can deal with municipal issues in a civilized way.

    Hopefully this fosters a good dialog with the city/state groups and the cycling advocates.

    On an unrelated note, I haven't bike commuted in 2 weeks and I can feel my legs getting restless on the T. That being said, I do have more time to read UHub in the mornings!

    "municipal issues"

    By on

    No this is one issue, it's an issue near and dear to the out of touch bike community in Boston. And whose (few) members feel the city and it's residence should revolve around their desire to bike during/after major snow storms.

    Go out and by a gerbil wheel, problem solved.......

    You know what?

    That's called "seeking redress" from that document known as "The Constitution".

    But, hey, you were probably too busy planning your next bullying run against "some weirdo" to listen to that class in high school.

    Looks like you were doing the same when grammar and usage were taught.

    Out of touch...

    By on

    Interesting. I think I would direct that phrase more toward the thousands upon thousands of people who drive into the city for work, who choose to sit in traffic for hours a day, when they could use public transit (at least partially). Having said that, I do find endless debate between drivers and cyclists to be endlessly entertaining, especially when the news rarely reports on "cyclist rage". Can't say the same for "road rage", unfortunately.

    Heavy Sigh.

    By on


    "Thousands upon thousands" of people who drive into the city for work means, for many, they do not live in the city, thus they are not likely to take public transportation such as the MBTA. That is #1.

    #2...As someone who does take public transportation each day (both commuter rail and the MBTA), it can be no picnic with all the delays and break downs. And I have been lucky this winter. I have had some delays with the Red Line and my commuter rail train home broke down only twice, both times at South Station, so we could easily hop onto another waiting train. A few of my co-workers have not been so lucky. I can readily see how some folks, who want to get home before midnight, would ditch the city's public transit and just suck it up and drive to work.

    #3...Actually, the news does report on cyclist rage (i.e. I remember a story that appeared on UHUB about some guy using his U Lock as a means of persuasion) as well as road rage, bus rage and other assorted kinds of rage.


    By on don't really refute any of my points. If the people who choose to drive to work in the city also chose to "suck it up" and take public transit twice a week, there would be a significant decrease in the volume of cars jamming up the city on a daily basis.

    As for road rage via cyclist, I never said it doesn't happen. However, drivers are far more likely to pop off on minor issues. Just a fact.

    I do

    By on

    "Pop off" on minor issues like cyclists running red lights when I have the green light, yet I have to watch out for them even though they're not obeying traffic laws.

    Me too

    I especially hate it when some jaywalking git physically endangers me by stepping into my path when I have a green light, and then screams at me like I violated the law.

    I also get annoyed when drivers use the bike lanes and honk and scream at cyclists who "get too close to their car" trying to get around them, when the car shouldn't be there at all.

    Lets face it - the problem isn't cyclists. The problem is entitled massholes ignoring traffic laws while walking, driving, biking ...

    You really want to go there?

    By on

    Let's talk about drivers who do the exact same thing: gun it through intersections to make a yellow and end up running a red light, not even stopping at stop signs, speeding, flying off the handle and their percieved sense of urgency being impeded, etc.

    People who choose to bike can

    By on

    People who choose to bike can "suck it up" as well. Why do you assume the MBTA is the answer for everyone, you do not know anyone's personal situation or why they make the choices they do. It's none of your business. A few people taking the T would make Boston traffic a breeze! The people that drive in town know what they are getting into. You want to ride a bike or take the T be my guest, but don't make judgements of those who don't. MYOB.

    Road rage happens w/ cars and bikes. People are more aware of car incidents because.... There are many more cars than bikes.

    I didn't say "everyone"...

    By on

    Another commenter dealing in absolutes.

    If divers know what they're getting into, then they should check their impatience and aggression and deal with the fact that they're in the city, not on 93.

    Everybody should..... The

    By on

    Everybody should..... The impatient and aggressive component may be completely unrelated to driving, but you have drawn your conclusions.

    You missed their point though, MatthewC

    By on

    Public transportation is not a viable option for everyone

    Some people have mobility issues that make it easier to simply drive; while the T is certainly more wheelchair friendly now than it was thirty years ago, that doesn't mean it still isn't more of a hassle than taking ones' own vehicle. Some people have severe anxiety and can't tolerate being in crowded spaces for long periods of time. (And telling someone with a mental illness to "suck it up" is a terrible thing to do, so don't start.) Some people have jobs that require them to haul stuff around.

    Some people do not live in areas with good access to public transportation. Why do they choose to work in the city then? Maybe that's the only job they can get. Some trains run very infrequently, and additionally, commuter rail is expensive. (While it is true that owning a car is expensive also, it can be used in more ways than, say, a Zone 7 pass.)

    It can be argued, however

    That the more our infrastructure supports non-car modes of commuting and transportation, the easier it will be for those who have no choice but to drive.

    I've never seen this more obviously played out than when I was in Germany and Switzerland - lots of public transit, lots of bikes, and reasonable levels of traffic in the most congested urban areas (mostly taxis) because few people needed to use cars.

    When we make car use unnecessary for most trips that our citizens make, we make life easier for the minority of people who lack other options.

    Thank you!

    By on

    You get it! Thank the gods someone gets it! I feel like people can't see past their own dependence on their vehicles to see things clearly.

    You just don't get it, do you?

    By on

    A gerbil wheel isn't going to get anyone to their place of work, to the dentist or to the store. It's not about entertainment, it's about being able to go where you want/have to go.

    Just keep spouting that crap, man. Eventually YOU will be in the minority.

    I dunno. A big enough gerbil

    By on

    I dunno. A big enough gerbil wheel (or ball, even), could work. Just roll over the snow, with a radius and width much greater than bicycle tires, and the inner surface stays dry so you always have traction there. Protects your bike from corrosion, too. Stopping would be a trick, though.

    Anyone remember Deweys

    By on

    Anyone remember Deweys hamster on Malcom in the Middle? It got out in its ball, and for the next two seasons it would randomly roll by when they were filming outside.


    By on

    2010 census data showed something like 35,000-40,000 daily bike commuters in the Boston Area - and we know that that number has only grown in the past 4 years. Many people do stop riding in the winter, but there still are enough of us put there who use DCR managed paths on a daily basis to justify adequate snow removal.


    surely we can discuss and disagree on bicycling without descending to the level of posters on certain newspaper sites we could name. Right?

    Absolutely not. I should boycott this site just for you suggesting that.

    Everything having to do with transportation and government spending is completely black and white. There can never be nuance. To see someone else's point is a sign of weakness. Compromise is the devil's work.

    You'd think with all the hot air people spout when the topic of bikes is brought up the snow would have long since melted by now.

    To hell with melting it!

    By on

    We should make the bike riders eat the snow! Just shove their faces right down in it until it's gone! That'll shut them up!

    this post was in no way meant to be taken seriously


    Require cyclists to mount flamethrowers. Nothing could possibly go wrong with that.


    By on

    They shouldn't.

    Here we go!

    By on

    I can't wait for the comments from the angry bears who think that any time a "cyclist" dares to open their mouth to say something, they're "whining".

    And I can't wait

    By on

    For the anonymous bike "advocates" to continue the the hyperbole, the personal attacks, and the drama. Go ahead--count this as a "victory." For this avid cyclist--a four-season-biking, Ibex-wearing, fender-sporting nutcase--it seemed completely over the top and unnecessary. I'd have much rather seen a friendlier, more cooperative tone towards the DCR and I have a sad feeling that this whole episode has earned the biking community more dismissive eye rolling than anything else. I don't think anyone considering bike commuting is going to see this as a great tipping point or make them feel any safer on the streets of Boston.

    Your point?

    By on

    If it was to prove mine, then congratulations. You win.

    There will be a "friendlier, more cooprative tone" when drivers stop freaking out because a cyclists chooses to ride in the street vice the silly "bike lanes" where they can easily end up slamming into a driver's carelessly opened door. There will be a "friendlier, more cooprative tone" when cyclists feel that they can ride the 2-3 miles (1.5 miles, in my case) to work without some cranky person who's been battling traffic for an hour damn near running them over. There will be a "friendlier, more cooprative tone" when people like you stop rolling their eyes and concede that legitimately bike friendly cities are just better places to live.

    What part of "I am a cyclist" do you not get?

    By on

    I do not own a car. We are a five-bike household. We ride the SWC virtually every day. And yet here you are not preaching to the choir but screaming at, lecturing and belittling the choir. I understand the issues we face very well but why you're blaming the DCR for road rage, traffic, bike lanes, etc is honestly beyond me. And seriously--if you want to frame every bike issue as a hostile battle, and try to dismiss and marginalize someone like me, feel free but you're doing nothing to advance the broader cause of happier, safer biking in the city.

    Oh--I'm sorry.

    By on

    I thought this discussion was about the DCR not adequately clearing the SWC bike path. I didn't realize it was a rage-filled free-for-all to address every problem that Boston bicyclists face. The "friendly and cooperative tone" I mentioned referred clearly to the emails to the DCR and the subsequent "campaign"...the one we're discussing. Apologies if that wasn't straightforward enough for you.


    By on

    I can understand about the "cranky person", especially if that person has been "battling traffic for an hour". No excuse to run a person over but I am pleased to see that you understand that being stuck in traffic can make some people seem less reasonable.

    I am sure you must have days that you are all of us, right?

    I just wish cyclists would stop for me as I cross the crosswalk as I walk from my place of employ to the nearest T stop. It happens all the time. Any ideas, MatthewC, how I can get it done?

    You sound like you know the cyclist community pretty well so any advice would be very much appreciated.

    Lack of enforcement of laws

    Crankiness certainly is no excuse for running a person over but "I didn't see them" is a perfectly acceptable excuse around these parts.

    Trust me, I ride all year in the city and it drives me up the wall seeing fellow cyclists run reds and break traffic laws. It does no service to me or the cycling community because it just gives us all a bad name. I've called out riders about it before, as recently as last month. You know what the response was from some Berklee clowns that I called out for running several lights on Comm Ave? "Why does it matter to you? Why is this any of your business?" My response? "Because you clowns give me a bad name, you run reds and cut of traffic and I'm just waiting for the day that you blow a red and hit ME as I'm legally going through the intersection." Then I think I threw out some mean spirited comments about them being underemployed after leaving Berklee, not my proudest moment. So yeah, I get cranky too.

    And don't pretend that its only cyclists the run reds, ignore crosswalks and such. Are you doing your part to make sure cars are stopping at reds or giving right of way to pedestrians?

    There is a serious lack of enforcement in this city, for all vehicles, by the BPD and other law enforcement officials. Call you senator/state rep, goto public forums, make a big enough stink about this. In only a few days of advocating for snow removal on bike paths, the biking community was able to use their energy to get a forum to re-evaluate snow removal policies.

    Hi Spin,

    By on

    I rode, back in the 80s, fairly regularly (In the summer, I commuted twice a week from Norwood to Cambridge). When I hit JP, I jumped on the bike path around the pond, rode to the Emerald Necklace (Brookline), all the way to Kenmore Square, crossed through the crazy traffic to the river, and then rode along the path to Kendall Square. As a cyclist, I was hit by a car once but, other than that, I never had any issues with car drivers or jaywalkers. But, in all fairness, there were less cars on the road (and no SUVs). As you may imagine, not too many folks rode back then - we were few and far between. I belonged to a few cycling groups, did my part to complain to the DCR when the Charles River Bike Path was not in good maintenance, et. al. I think bike commuting is a valid mode of transportation and do believe that we all can share the roads.

    As I have posted, at this particular crosswalk, I have no issues with cars not stopping but only cyclists (unfortunately). I am fully aware that all types of vehicles break traffic laws.

    Why stop there?

    I just wish cyclists would stop for me as I cross the crosswalk as I walk from my place of employ to the nearest T stop. It happens all the time. Any ideas, MatthewC, how I can get it done?

    I feel the same way about jaywalkers wandering into my path at intersections and screaming at me when I am riding my bike near my workplace and I have the green light.

    I also feel the same way about motorists who ignore me and make illegal right-on-reds right in my path when I am trying to commute.

    I also seriously dislike it when I'm walking and motorists blow through red lights, illegally use the bike lanes for an extra travel lane, and block intersections when there is only one cut in the snow to get through on a walk light.

    I'd like these all to stop, too. Any ideas, whyaduck, how I can get it done?

    From what I've seen as a

    By on

    From what I've seen as a pedestrian in this area there's a good chance you don't understand traffic laws and these people aren't jaywalking... I get bitched at for "jaywalking" (aka legally crossing the street while having the right away) all the time.

    In Boston,

    By on

    a legal crossing is:

    1) At a SIGNALIZED crosswalk when the WALK signal is lit. (traffic yields to pedestrians)
    2) At an UNSIGNALIZED crosswalk at any time. (traffic yields to pedestrians)
    3) More than 400 feet from a marked crosswalk, as long as there is no oncoming traffic. (pedestrians yield to cars)

    Everything else is jaywalking.

    I really don't know how I can help you...

    By on

    since things like that seem to happen to you on a fairly regular basis, Swrils, from your previous posts on this blog. It sounds like folks are just out to get ya. As I have said, many, many, many times on this blog, I walk through Boston and parts of Cambridge every day and don't experience the same issues you do with car drivers, walkers, et. al.

    My previous posted point was pretty specific and I am sorry feel that you need to focus on "you" in your response and not my question. I walk in Boston and Cambridge (Kendall Square), on a daily basis, and I am having issues with cyclists not stopping for me when I cross in a crosswalk. The cars do.

    Mine was pretty specific too

    Sounds like you need to walk around downtown Boston, where there is no enforcement of any traffic laws whatsoever. Check out the supposed bike lane on Congress St. at rush hour. Or the light at High and Federal where people just walk blindly into the street against the light.

    If I'm walking, I see drivers who, on a daily basis, run lights, block crosswalks, use bike lanes illegally, etc.

    If I'm biking, I very frequently (as in daily) have to contend with pedestrians who just can't get that whole red hand thingy.

    It isn't because people are out to get me personally. It is because the rules aren't enforced on anybody, so each driver and pedestrian feel free to ignore "inconvenient" signals and signs, and feel entitled to scream at legally operating cyclists.

    Oh, my

    By on

    My friend, I walk from South Station to Charles Street T Station, almost every morning, through some pretty traffic dense areas and through rush hour traffic! I worked downtown for many years, I know the area quite well. I have walked through all parts of the city. Many years ago, I lived in Boston. I know it well.

    I still say that I do not have the same problems you have with jaywalkers and car drivers. Sorry.

    And, sweetie, really, "no enforcement of any traffic laws, whatsover..." Come on!


    By on you feel that the cyclists who don't stop as you're crossing the street are a direct threat to your safety? To be honest, I've done that before, but I always give the pedestrian a wide berth. I can't speak for other cyclists anymore than I can speak for the drivers to creep up on me as I am crossing a street because they can't be bothered to come to a complete stop. At the end of the say it's about situational awareness on everyone's part.

    Actually don't have to STOP for pedestrians

    The law says you just have to yield to them so as not to hit them on an unsignaled crosswalk, which sometimes requires stopping, just not necessarily. The signs on bollards and elsewhere lie about always having to stop. An exception is when a pedestrian is approaching the median from the far side, then you must stop when they are within 10' of the median. The other is on multi-lane roads where one can't pass a vehicle going the same direction as you and has stopped for a pedestrian.

    Well, Markk02472

    By on

    if the law says you need to yield so you don't hit them, then the law says you need to yield so you don't hit them.

    I've always wondered this too.

    By on

    A cyclist doesn't want to hit a pedestrian any more than a pedestrian wants to be hit. Probably even less, because falling off a bike onto pavement is no fun. I will admit I go through Harvard Square during the walk cycle;at an absolute crawl, walking speed or less. 99% of pedestrians don't notice me or care, but every once and a while one will stop DEAD in their tracks and stare at me, screwing up everyone walking around them and myself. Instead of being able to go behind them as they walk, I have to awkwardly maneuver through the traffic jam they just caused. As long as you are going through at walking pace I don't see the issue, as long as its not a ton of people crossing. Cyclists who go through at speed are expletive deleted, however.

    Rant aside, Boston should look at adopting Idaho's style of bike laws, which basically state that cyclists may treat a red light as a stop sign, and a stop sign as a yield. It makes infinitely more sense considering the superior field of view a cyclist has compared to a driver (which is, after all, why cyclists blow red lights in the first place)
    San Francisco is looking into it too.

    Isn't The Original Post Describing An Attempt at Concordance?

    By on

    I don't know, it seems to me that a forum held by the DCR and cycling advocates seems like a great and cooperative way to handle this issue and likely will result in some good compromise solutions. Taking about the issue in a rational manner rather than hyperbole. I am sure that the name calling and eye rolling and other negativity you see on this board towards the cycling advocates - and outside of this board - will always exist. This is because like every other animal Humans are innately territorial and when they can't express that by peeing on trees they bark a lot instead. But it seems like the original post is positive not negative to me.

    Gretchen--stop trying to make "concern troll" happen.

    By on

    It's not going to happen.

    Instead why don't you a. Stop trying to silence me just because I have a different opinion than you. I was a grown-up, protest-marching feminist before you were born so save me the semantic nonsense. b. Stop trolling anonymously with the same irritating comments--woman up and get a screen name-- and c. Try and wrap your head around the fact that the DCR does not have anything to do with roadways--budget, equipment, goals, traffic levels, anything. It's apples and oranges.

    DCR Roadways

    By on

    1. "Concern troll" is a well established term with precise meanings. "Concern troll" has been around for at least 8 years.

    2. DCR does not have anything to do with roadways? You mustn't be from around these here parts. MDC / DCR has been in charge of "parkways" for decades. And has a horrible history of mistreating cyclists on its roads. Here's some info from 1984:



    By on

    Really? Your example of the DCR's brute callousness towards cyclists by using some case from...1984? Before--incidentally--the SWC was even built? I think the fact of your having to dig that deep may indicate something.

    Re concern troll. Please reread your wiki definition and explain how it pertains to me in the least. I think I've demonstrated my cyclist bona fides amply enough here on UHub--for this anon twit to repeatedly accuse me of being scheming and disingenuous is some weak-ass sh*t.

    Power of the Press

    By on

    I believe Adam deserves gratitude from anyone interested in biking for providing this forum for public discussion. This provided a podium from which bikers who want to bike in the winter were able to speak.

    So thank you Adam.

    Perhaps this is the direction of daily news. Maybe newspapers are actually dying out. What will keep news organizations alive is both reporting news and offering a forum for the public to respond to the news. Granted that a regular "crew" of responders will develop for any or all topics. But even in the midst of a regular he said she said debate there will still be room for the occasional responder who often delivers the most important message.

    The problem of hyperbole, bad rhetoric and vituperative language is another issue. It's not one that will be solved on UHub as it appears in all electronic communication. I believe that the screech level of e-correspondence has more to do with insufficient social maturity run rampant and endemic, something controllable only by peer pressure - which given the nature of typing in front of a computer, does not exist.

    To be constructive here...

    By on

    The subject of winter maintenance for bike paths came up during the design of the new paths for the Casey Arborway in JP. I'm pretty sure that after much debate, MassDOT or DCR committed to purchasing special equipment to make that possible.

    Maybe looking at that conversation and solution would be helpful here.

    That's really what is is

    By on

    That's really what is is about, terrible performance, possibly equipment-related, maybe personnel.

    They tried and failed. SO the equipment acquisition is good news!

    Thanks for the info, Anonnie!

    the equipment acquisition happened a while ago

    By on

    MassDOT bought them the equipment a while ago, as part of the negotation for the removal of bike lanes around the Casey project.

    And plowing isn't enough. That's the whole point. The plow isn't perfect, no plow can be (only the power brooms do a "perfect" job), so you MUST SALT AND SAND or the whole thing becomes a skating rink.

    Even if you leave a quarter inch of snow, it gets packed down and turns into rock-hard bumps and ice; this morning, the path was a mass of hard frozen snow and black ice, with a 2-foot-wide channel that was clear from all the people riding in that one spot to avoid the thick ice/frozen snow. A month or two ago, chunks of frozen snow were 2 inches high, rock hard, frozen solid to the path surface, hidden under fresh snowfall, and were hard/sharp enough to potentially cause pinchflats, throw you from the bike, etc.

    Oy. The path was gorgeous this morning.

    By on

    Honestly. I don't think the Swedes and Finns and Danes would be complaining about this. I was on the bike path this morning and it was fine. I passed a guy who was biking while carrying what appeared to be a cello and a small folding chair under one arm. If he could manage it surely the rest of us can.

    Any facts available?

    Which paths do cyclists want prioritized for better clearing - how many linear miles worth? Which are second tier paths? What are actual foul weather ridership levels on the various paths so they can be prioritized? How much would it cost to do better plowing/salting on various paths?

    Getting cyclists out of the streets and on the paths seems like win-win for drivers and cyclists. The only issue is cost that nobody is estimating. Probably a small price to pay for less annoyance while driving!

    Not really Marky

    This isn't about getting cyclists off the streets and out of your way, as much as you would love that. While the bike paths are great for some, many of us rely on main streets like Comm Ave. to get to and from work. This is really about dealing with cleaning up after inclement weather events so that commuters can fully utilize the infrastructure the city/state provides to them for transportation, be it bike, car or public transit.

    Getting cyclists and drivers to obey the traffic laws, providing better infrastructure and education regarding road safety seems like a win-win for both parties, no?

    Off Topic, way out of scope.

    The discussion is about getting DCR to clear paths better to suit cyclists complaining about it.

    If you would like all the streets cleared of snow so, for example snow isn't piled in the parking lane and cars park in bike lanes if present, we need to take an axe to the EPA. They won't let municipalities dump snow into water bodies, even though storm drains discharge there anyway! It makes the whole prospect of snow removal far more expensive and damaging to the environment. Air quality suffers and excess greenhouse gas is produced by trucking snow to far away snow graveyards. So pick your fight with the EPA which is way out of touch with reality. Next down the list is DCR with how salt is too damaging and greener ice melts are too expensive.

    If any bicyclists care about the environment, they will temper their expectations on snow removal - riding on the natural snow with appropriate gear is the most green. That gear might even be cross country skis, snow shoes, or boots with cleats, if not studded, snow, bicycle tires.

    Thats a pretty nice deflection Marky

    Unfortunately that red herring went wide of the the net.

    You tried and failed to deflect the issue to a matter of getting bikers off the streets and out of your way. Its not happening and I get that you don't like bikers on the road, thats why I began talking about infrastructure and road safety. So stop with the tired argument that we are in your way.

    Then you want to lay the blame on the evil EPA? Mark, are you even trying anymore? You realize that biking is matter of transportation for people, right? If I wanted to the have "greenest" commute, I'd tele-commute.

    Air quality suffers and excess greenhouse gas is produced by trucking snow to far away snow graveyards.

    So you're in favor of shutting down 128, the Pike and the Expressway then? I'd think there is significantly more emissions coming from those routes over the course of the year compared to the snow removal vehicles that only operate a few days/weeks out of the year.

    Require post-2007 engines only

    Seriously - if you are worried about it, that's the solution for year-round smog from diesels. Require that they all be "new diesel" tech. Banhammer anything without a DPF. Problem solved.

    I don't like others but

    I'm not wild about bikers but this is not just a bike issue. The paths along the Charles are 95% covered in ice, snow and slush. A lot of people use these paths besides bikers and they can't use them now. If I was selfish that would be fine with me because I don't like others but it would be nice if public spaces had a priority to be well-tended.

    consider the cross country skiers

    Its the Department of Conservation and RECREATION. Can't people using cross country skis get their turn to use the public facilities for recreation or transportation? This all isn't fair to them.

    Pedestrians can strap on a product like STABILicers to give footwear grip on ice. Some reportedly as cheap as $7 at bait&tackle shops. People can take responsibility and dress for conditions.

    I thought your XC argument was in jest this whole time, but

    By on

    You do realize there is this thing called grass, that gets covered in snow, that runs along the side of the paths, that XC skiers can use right? Or that no actual skier would use the paths, even if they maintained a cover of snow, more than a day or so after a storm for fear of ruining their skis on gravel, sand, mud, or bare patches?

    No, because you don't actually care about skiing, or skiers, and are just trying to find the most asinine way to argue against something as logical as snow removal. Because it's not just bikers who would use the paths more if properly cleared (for both transportation and recreation), but joggers, walkers, roller bladers, etc.

    Did you say recreation?

    Then they should also stop plowing Storrow Drive, Memorial Drive, Soldier'sField Road, and all the Blue Hills roads, too?

    I know people with snowmachines who would find that quite excellent - like Bear Hill Road out of Bartlett, NH.