Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Minuteman bike path, which runs 12 miles from Cambridge to Bedford, Massachusetts, is now passable by bike through Arlington, after what the National Weather Service has called the fourth snowiest winter in Boston’s recorded history. The path has been covered in snow and ice since the Blizzard of 2005 covered it in late January.

The stretch of the path that crosses Lexington and Bedford is marginally rideable, particularly between Lexington Center and the bridge over Route 495, according to a sortie undertaken by Wikinews writer Pingswept. The first large patch of snow occurs just past the four-mile marker, near Trader Joe’s in Arlington.

The path is not plowed in Arlington, Lexington, or Bedford, though the city of Cambridge plows a short section near the southeastern terminus of the path at the Alewife subway station. In the winter, the path can be a “scenic trail for cross-country skiing,” according to the Friends of the Minuteman Bikeway website.

The bike path runs in the right-of-way once accorded to the Boston and Maine railroad. The conversion from abandoned railway to bike path occurred from 1991 to 1993. The path is named for its similarity to the route followed by Paul Revere and William Dawes on their rides to warn the Minutemen of Lexington about the impending arrival of British soldiers on April 19, 1775.