Boston Cyclists Excavate Massive Snow Tunnel To Restore Bike Path

This 40-foot snow tunnel, built by Boston cyclists, made a biking and walking path useful again. Image: Dragonbeard on Youtube
This 40-foot snow tunnel made an important biking and walking path useful again. Image: Dragonbeard on Youtube

For every pedestrian and cyclist who’s had your journey interrupted by an impassable mound of snow, we bring you this story from Boston. Earlier this month, Beantown resident Ari Goldberger found his journey to the Wellington Station T stop impeded by a “15-foot mountain of snow.”

He registered his complaint to the powers that be, but he got the run-around.

“Rather than waiting on hold for a million years calling the MBTA, I posted the picture online and said, ‘If nothing is done about this, it’s going to take months to melt,'” he told BDC Wire.

So Goldberger and his friends took matters into their own hands, and after a long, beer-fueled digging session, tunneled their way through. Now people can use this route to bike or walk again, and the excavators are heroes. He’s a look at what it’s like to ride through it. Pretty awesome.

Update 2/23/15 1:27 p.m.: The tunnel was destroyed by an unknown entity late Saturday, according to Mashable. So this story has a sad ending after all. 

8 thoughts on Boston Cyclists Excavate Massive Snow Tunnel To Restore Bike Path

  1. “So this story has a sad ending after all.”

    I’m one of the builders, and the destruction of the tunnel was a desired outcome. We always knew that once we had some fun with it, there would be concerns about tunnel collapse so our intent all along was it should be temporary.

    (Assuming here the entity that collapsed the tunnel was the MBTA, the transit agency who owns the parking lot and created the original snow mound…)

    Our intent in building the tunnel was to get the MBTA’s attention so they would clear the giant snow pile from the bike path entrance. They destroyed the tunnel by digging a front-loader wide path through the snow pile. They didn’t complete the job, they left a sizable block of snow – but I assume this was because a telephone pole and bollards at the entrance of the path made further clearing unfeasible. Ari & friends went back and cleared remaining bit yesterday. Now there’s a wide right-of-way through the show pile, shoveled down to the pavement with no risk of collapse.

    Hope in the future MBTA will not plow parking snow into this specific place…

  2. like they have a hard enough time finding things to make them look bad…they should be embarassed collecting fares for the ‘service’ they’re providing

  3. Snow tunnels are dangerous – ask anyone who has been trapped in a collapsed ‘igloo’ they made as a child.

  4. Yes, you got at least twice as much snow as we did in Montréal. Of course it had to be demolished, by now with early-spring melting it would be very dangerous. Bravo for your ingenuity in getting the MBTA to take action against this “cyclo-frustration” as our association Le Monde à bicyclette did back in the 1970s, for example with the bridge and métro access issues.

    Here is the site of the current Coalition vélo Montréal (also in English):

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Four Cities Race to Finish the Country’s First Protected Intersection

Michael Andersen blogs for The Green Lane Project, a PeopleForBikes program that helps U.S. cities build better bike lanes to create low-stress streets. Sometimes, change builds up for years. And sometimes, it bursts. Fifteen months after American bikeway designer Nick Falbo coined the phrase “protected intersection” to refer to a Dutch-style intersection between two streets […]

Freak Snow Can't Stop Cycling in Portland

It’s not often that the Portland region sees snow. But yesterday, like a handful of other odd places, including Texas, America’s bike capital got walloped (by northwest standards anyway). As it happens, a little snow can’t change Portland, reports Jonathan Maus at Bike Portland, who captured a series of photos showing cyclists who weren’t easily […]