Wednesday, March 10, 2010

google maps provides "bike there" option

This is revolutionary.

Sort of. It provides a great online source of designated bike routes/lanes/paths in cities. From my experience, this news is an incredibly sharp double edged-sword.

Good news first:
One stop shopping for all your bike directions.

Bad news:
It relies on city-data that is...hopefully up to date. Many existing municipal routes or "class III" (in CA) were first installed in the 70's during the first bike boom. A good amount of these routes were slapped down willy nilly and now find themselves on major arterials. There's nothing "routey" about them.

Also, it could make people think that because their destinations aren't served by a complex network of bikeways, then it's impossible to access their destination by bike.

So it could give people a false sense of security, at least to the ill-informed. But it could also encourage a lot of people out there to start riding their bike. Hopefully, the latter.


3 comments:

Serena Cherry said...

we use that all of the time! Thank goodness for google.

Dawn D. Lion said...

I did a trial run of what route it would suggest to take to my most often biked-to park. (did that sentence even make sense? its kinda late here.) Anyway, it suggested the route that I do in fact take. So that's a reassuring start for me.

Chris Cherry said...

I compared walking to biking for a particular route and it gave me vastly different options. The biking route took the long way around. Maybe it is taking into account one-way roads? I think it gives an idea of where to go but I am still going to rely on first hand route finding for now.