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Are bicycle paths ploughed from snow in your city?

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View Poll Results: Are bicycle paths in your city ploughed from snow?
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Are bicycle paths ploughed from snow in your city?

Old 01-09-24, 04:42 AM
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Are bicycle paths ploughed from snow in your city?

My city (Novi Sad, Serbia, Europe, 3rd big rock from the Sun ) can be considered to be the "Serbian Amsterdam/Copenhagen."

We have a lot of separate bicycle paths, across practically the whole city.
However, they don't get cleared of snow in the winter, even though there are now many winter cyclists.

I'm curious:

What's the situation in your city?
If you have bicycle paths, do they get cleared?
If they are cleared, are they a top, or the lowest priority (or something third)?

Relja
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Old 01-09-24, 06:41 AM
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There is one trail/path west of Philadelphia that was originally “sold” and funded as a commuter route. It is paved and stays in excellent condition. As it was designated a commuter route they must plow the snow off. And they do. County Park service so not the folks who do the roads. But there are sections that rarely see the sun due to terrain and tree cover so I have to keep a sharp eye out for ice.

That trail is the only one I’m aware of. I mostly ride around the neighborhoods (10 to 15 miles) during the winter. And only between 9:00am and 3:00pm (no cars).
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Old 01-09-24, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Prowler
There is one trail/path west of Philadelphia that was originally “sold” and funded as a commuter route. It is paved and stays in excellent condition. As it was designated a commuter route they must plow the snow off. And they do. County Park service so not the folks who do the roads. But there are sections that rarely see the sun due to terrain and tree cover so I have to keep a sharp eye out for ice.

That trail is the only one I’m aware of. I mostly ride around the neighborhoods (10 to 15 miles) during the winter. And only between 9:00am and 3:00pm (no cars).
Our city designers were far-sighted enough to design heating pipes to go beneath the bicycle pahts (wherever that was technically possible), so no ice, and if it's not too cold or with too much snow, many paths will auto-clean themselves.
(Of course, there is a risk of ice, especially in the early morning, in many places and I always ride with at least one studded tyre in the front)

However, vast majority of bicycle paths aren't cleaned/ploughed by the city (only if some "private person" decides to clean a part near their building or similar).
I suppose it's because of no budget - schools and hospitals etc. are always understaffed and underfunded.
So you must ride on the road when it's snowy.
I don't mind it - it seems that bad and nervous drivers come out only when it's sunny and hot.
But I suppose it's not perfect for the kids and the elderly.

Relja
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Old 01-09-24, 07:54 AM
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5.5 mile path to the beach - No. That's NY State DoT. 14 mile path along the beach, also DoT - No. 15 mile path in a series of parks, maybe 2 miles gets plowed by a state park.
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Old 01-09-24, 08:11 AM
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1. What's this "bicycle path" you mention?

2. Our snow removal plan for most roads is roughly, "Wait a day or two until it melts." MUPs are below roads in the plowing scheme, so ... no.
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Old 01-09-24, 09:24 AM
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What is this snow you speak of? Honestly I doubt there is a snow plough in the Phoenix Metro area.
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Old 01-09-24, 10:58 AM
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The Minneapolis/St. Paul and suburbs have been plowing more and more. It used to be minimal. It's still dependent on each municipality as to when and how well they clear them. Coordinating with street clearing is getting better. My worst incident was the I-494 bridge over the Minnesota River one winter morning. The path had been cleared the day before, but overnight MNDOT did a final cleaning of the freeway, dumping it all back on the adjacent path. It was a difficult 25+ minute walk to cross the bridge. I took a street route home that afternoon.

As to how well they're cleared, it depends a bit on how much foot traffic there is before they plow. Residential paths are worse that the "destination" paths. The streets are generally better than either, which is my preferred route year 'round. The "real" MUPS, as compared to the residential "asphalt sidewalks," seem to be higher priorities. There's a core group of we winter cyclists around here, and they've noticed and have responded.
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Old 01-09-24, 12:54 PM
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Before the streets in Denver. The city streets are under Transportation while the bike paths are under the Parks and Recreation. Parks and Rec are out before dawn on most of the major paths. In 30 years of living at my current address, I’ve seen the street plowed maybe 3 times. It’s hell getting out of the City and County of Denver but once I get to the suburbs, it’s clear sailin’.
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Old 01-09-24, 04:54 PM
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Snow happens here once every many years and is gone as soon as the sun rises

Edit: Sacramento had 2in one day in 1942 and again in 1976. There were flurries spotted here in Folsom last winter, but they did not accumulate.
https://ca.style.yahoo.com/snow-sacr...130000172.html
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Old 01-09-24, 05:03 PM
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Here in the great white north, our bike paths are cleared on a priority 2 basis - which means after the main highways and freeways but before most other roads. Not bad, although as the network has expanded the snow plow fleet has stayed more or less the same, meaning it now may take a day or two longer for all the paths to get cleared.
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Old 01-09-24, 05:08 PM
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No plowing or clearing on MUPs or bike paths, in my area.

The main "bike route" streets through town do get plowed, of course, but often not all the way over to the bike lane itself. So, generally speaking, no those roads don't get plowed for bikes either.

Then again, there's not all that much snow here, in the typical winter. So it's the relatively rare week when snow-covered paths are there for long.
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Old 01-09-24, 07:35 PM
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Yes, in my part of Colorado Springs. But not always in time for my morning commute. That's okay, I have studded snow tires, and ride mostly on streets without bike lanes. Ninety-nine percent of the bike lanes are not separated/protected, so they get plowed along with the streets...usually, so I will take those after it snows.

The city has been building more MUPS, paving older dirt/gravel trails, and connecting existing trails. I'm very excited about a current trail upgrade that will connect two trails and pave older sections. I live 2/3 of a mile from one of them, and by next Spring I will be able to take 7 miles to a sidewalk 200 yards from my office with only one traffic light and only two or three other road crossings, both slow speed minor residential streets. If they plow 'em it would be really cool!

But the snow doesn't stay on the ground long here at 6500' in Colorado Springs. It can snow 4 inches overnight, and if it's a sunny day, it'll all be gone by noon except in the shadows.

I've been bike commuting here since 1992 (almost 32 years!) and watched the bike-frastructure grow including the plowing of trails which was very exciting the first time I saw that years ago.
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Old 01-10-24, 02:08 PM
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All the bike paths that I use were cleaned in the past but during Coronavirus period some suburban cities stopped shoveling snow off these paths.
A couple of years ago, I noticed that a path only about 3 miles away from my home was not only not cleared, they decided to close it for the rest of the winter.

Cheaper to put a sign to close the trail

Last edited by Alan K; 01-19-24 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 01-11-24, 06:00 AM
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It can take three to four days for bike paths in rural areas here to be cleared. Until then, people have already trampled their tire and foot prints into ice, which makes for quite the uncomfortable ride once the snow has been removed and only the ice prints remain.
Bike paths in town are usually cleared in a matter of hours but town folks have this annoying habit of spreading huge amounts of sand on the bike paths instead of salt (which is no longer legal now due to environment and stuff) which mixes with freshly melted snow and ice, collects on the lower parts of the bike and freezes to a strong dirt-ice-snow-shield on everything (drive train, brakes,...). Good intentions but not that well thought through.
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Old 01-11-24, 06:55 AM
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Local MUPs have signs. Not maintained during winter months
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Old 01-11-24, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by locolobo13
What is this snow you speak of? Honestly I doubt there is a snow plough in the Phoenix Metro area.
But then in summer one can render animal fat on your sidewalk… so there’s that.

Winters can be fun, not sure I can say the same for extreme hot summers.
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Old 01-12-24, 07:49 AM
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Where else can you fry an egg on the sidewalk?
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Old 01-12-24, 10:31 AM
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In NYC, generally yes. Sometimes they forget. NYC now has bike lanes in many streets. When they wrote plan to put them in, they made a law saying that garbage trucks are allowed to use the bike lanes, and it's a compromise I accept. It creates an incentive for them to keep the bike lanes clear.

We have a multi-use path along the river called the Hudson River Greenway. It's the most heavily used bike commuting route in all of North America. But the northern end is lightly used. A few winters ago, it got covered in snow which then turned to ice. I got to a point where I couldn't ride or walk. The city had forgotten that people use the path or maybe they assumed we wouldn't want to. I sent a notice to the city using our 311 hotline, and I was quite surprised two or three days later to receive a note telling me they had taken care of it.
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Old 01-12-24, 10:47 PM
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Our trails in Fort Wayne Indiana don't get any type of snow removal, salt, nothing, and the bike lanes on the streets...well, that's where all the snow goes when they plow the streets!

But who cares since it's rare to see cyclists out in the cold, and even far less are out when there's snow and ice.

Last year when there wasn't any snow or ice on the road, but it was around 5 degrees F, I did see a medium build fit female rider out riding with what seemed to be a fall or spring type of cycling jacket on, but she had shorts on with no leg stockings? She didn't seem to mind the cold; maybe she thought the weather forecast said 50 instead of 5!
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Old 01-12-24, 11:50 PM
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The path I ride from our house is 10 miles through four different towns. Three plow, our town didn't. So two years ago I brought it up with a Selectman I know, and wouldn't you know it, since then our town plows too. Main issue is ice from freeze/thaw cycles. One of the four towns actually puts down ice melt and sand. There are usually short icy stretches where I get off and walk the bike.

Mark
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Old 01-13-24, 05:42 AM
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We have a network of MUP's (about 30 miles) that gets cleared by the parks department. Bike lanes get plowed but it takes several days before the street department gets the roads cleared all the way to the curbs.

Marc
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Old 01-13-24, 04:35 PM
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We have over 350 miles of bike routes here in Boulder, CO. Most are cleared quickly. The joke around here is the bikeways are cleared first, then the roads.
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Old 01-15-24, 06:37 PM
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Today our bike paths look much better than our residential streets that are not a part of school bus routes.

Packed snow, driving on it is like on ice.

Last edited by Alan K; 01-19-24 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 01-18-24, 12:33 AM
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If Bike Paths mean bike lanes on streets where cars are, then 'yes'. Bike paths or MUPs through park trails are not maintained.

At the beginning of winter, the City of Toronto mails a schedule what is being cleared and how long after a snow storm. Bike lanes are listed. Last winter, the service was so bad a lot of residents complained they could not walk to the bus stop.

I had my city Councillor get on the contractor's case to redo specific sections of the bike lanes and sidewalk they neglected. In one email, I posted 14 photos with red circling the neglected areas.

A few days ago we had another snowfall. After it passed I went out to check the problem areas of last March and noted it had been properly cleared.
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Old 01-20-24, 10:26 PM
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We have "buffered" bike lanes and "protected" bike lanes in Chicago.
Buffered lanes are separated from traffic by painted lines, so theoretically they should be plowed at the same time as the traffic lanes. In my experience, they are left un-plowed about half the time.
Protected lanes are separated from traffic by (at least) a raised concrete curb, usually with plastic bollards. Some of these lanes also have parked cars between the raised curb/bollards and the traffic lanes... pretty good protection. Unfortunately, these lanes require a smaller snow plow to clear, and this doesn't happen as fast as might be wished.
In the case of either type of lane not being plowed, this means the cyclists are in the traffic lanes when the snow is too deep to ride through.
This past week I was *mostly* able to navigate the bike lanes, but had to take the traffic lane for a few blocks on one occasion. Most motorists seem to understand, as I didn't get honked at (or run over!).
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