Image thanks to David Hembrow.
With another storm soon upon us here in New England I wanted to point you over to David Hembrow who has been doing a very nice roundup on winter cycling as the Netherlands has been hit with a good deal of snow of late. He has a couple posts up about his commute in and some of a nice city center rush hour traffic. I find it very interesting how they deal with snow and bikes and how Plattsburgh, or Dover deals with it. In Plattsburgh its up to the residents to shovel their sidewalks, and well if nobody lives along a stretch (I show a picture of it in This post) of sidewalk or bike path, its not going to get cleared. This path I am talking about in particular is in a lower income area and its use is mainly folks who are walking into town or biking into town because they cant afford a car and don’t want to wait for the infrequent bus. I went by 4 days after our major storm, roads were perfectly clear but none of the paths were even clear, just the small spots where people had walked. It’s a sad state I feel if we can’t even expect towns and cities to clear public walks for pedestrians. Certainly if they cant do that, do you think they would plow a bike path? You have got to be kidding me.
At least in Dover we have sidewalk plows that come by even in the middle of a storm and plow in our driveway! :P It does at least a good job of clearing the walks, even if the shoulders of the road are not cleared so great, at least pedestrians are pretty well served. I like to think these little machines could be employed to clear separated bike paths if a city already had them, and since they are built for sidewalks I imagine that they are not a one off hand built thing either. Its doable, cities just need to care enough, or have enough cyclists that would be pissed off if inconvenienced more then they already are.
Anyway head over to A View from the Cycle Path and take a look at it done right, and take some comfort maybe that at least one country gets it. In the meantime ride safe and ride often, a little snow never hurt anybody ;)