The Friends of Lexington Bikeways (FoLB) met Thursday Jan 8 to review the results of our plowing experiment to date. The FoLB and Bike Advisory Committee unanimously decided that we needed to explore modifications to the program and decided to withhold funding and temporary suspend the experiment until we have a chance to explore and implement modifications.
We feel the results so far have been mixed. Some of this is due to the weather, but it is also clear there are some other problems that must be addressed which are compounding the problem.
• Plowing is costing over twice as much per mile as Arlington and the results aren't nearly as satisfactory.
• The delay before the path gets cleared is a big factor. Lexington's policy is that the bikeway only gets cleared after the other town sidewalks are finished, as these paths have priority due to traffic and school access.
• The decision to not open the gates and remove bollards has prevented us from using equipment that can clear these conditions more effectively.
• The sidewalk plow operators seem to drive on the bikeway without plowing to access town sidewalks. The resulting packing of the snow ultimately creates dangerous conditions on the bikeway and makes subsequent clearing much more difficult.
FoLB would certainly like to see the program resumed as soon as possible, however we feel that given the limited funding, we want to assure that we spend the generously donated funds as wisely as possible.
We know many of you will be disappointed to have the program suspended, however our intention is to the best with the resources we have available and make sure we learn from our mistakes and do the best job we can do with available funds. We believe we can do better and don't want to waste funds by being inefficient or ineffective. We ask your patience while we seek to resolve these issues.
This is shaping up to be a snowy winter and we have limited funds. At the rate we are spending, and the rate snow is falling, we would probably not be able to afford clearing the entire season. Our plan has always been to hold money in reserve so that the path can be cleared towards the end of season to assure the path is clear as the weather warms.
We thank everyone for their generous support and look forward to working with the Town of Lexington and its fine staff to do the job your generous contributions deserve.