DCR reaches out, seeks to review snow & ice policies

"I'm Alletta heading to class. Biking year round is normal where I'm from." Shot by Organizing Group member Galen Mook of Allston-Brighton Bikes.

“I’m Alletta heading to class. Biking year round is normal where I’m from.” Shot by Organizing Group member Galen Mook of Allston-Brighton Bikes.

Tuesday morning——after increasing pressure from Allston-Brighton Bikes, Southie Bikes, Bike Union volunteers and dozens of everyday riders posting to Facebook and Twitter——the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) paid a call to the Bike Union to invite the bike community to the table to discuss their snow & ice removal policies.

“We most certainly respect the commitment that bike commuters make in the winter,” said DCR director of external affairs Conrad Crawford, offering to hold a public meeting to discuss a possible review of the agency’s snow & ice removal policy, last updated in 2005-2006. “We have an opportunity to take a look at the increase in bicycle traffic in winter and applying that to our snow & ice removal plan.”

Crawford’s message of peace follows a grassroots campaign involving several groups across the city who coordinated their actions through the Union’s Organizing Group. The Organizing Group includes bike activists from several points in Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville. The quickly organized campaign was a reaction to a leak of an internal email chain at DCR where one staffer, described by UHub as a higher higher up (but dubbed someone not involved in policy decision by the DCR) wrote,

“Frankly, I am tired of our dedicated team wasting valuable time addressing the less than .05% of all cyclists who choose to bike after a snow/ice event… If someone is completely depending on a bike for year-round transportation, they are living in the wrong city.”

Rather than get in a squabble about just how many winter cyclists there are in Boston, the Organizing Group chose to instead own the derogatory term “.05%” and humanize the actual riders through photos and video—also playing off the DCR’s mission of offering natural resources to all.

More details about the DCR’s meeting and response, including timeline and scope of the discussion, will likely be made public today or later this week.


  1. jon ramos on February 18, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    How I feel after reading the news about this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6lHm-stXdM

  2. […] efforts appear to have found their target. The Boston Cyclists Union is reporting today that DCR has agreed to meet with local cyclists to discuss their concerns […]

  3. sammydavisjrjr on February 19, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    You can always count on an uninformed idiot to share their wisdom. Glad the DCR will do the right thing.

  4. […] From the BCU: […]

  5. Ed on February 20, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Perhaps the larger problem is that this is a Department of Conservation and Recreation issue. Which is to say, perhaps this should be under the purview of the Department of Transportation. The DOT makes noise about supporting bicycling infrastructure at their capital planning meetings and they should. Bicycling is rapidly becoming about transporaiton as much as recreation and it seems the state needs to catch up with this fact.If these off-road pathways are to be seen as viable transportation corridors, they need to be under the administraton of an organization geared to that issue.

  6. […] been a positive response as the DCR is planning a meeting to discuss winter biking issues.  More information at the ever-resourceful BCU […]

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