Google added biking directions to maps.google.com on Wednesday. The route planner considers bicycle facilities, topography, intersection quality, and traffic to plan directions. Detailed bicycle infrastructure information (bike lanes, boulevards, etc.) is available for about 150 cities in the U.S. I am already finding the feature enjoyable and useful for navigating Portland’s streets on my bike.
This will be tremendous for making biking infrastructure more visible. Maps and online information are an important, and often overlooked component of the transportation system.
I’ve already received one phone call from a client asking how they can integrate their region’s bike lane data in Google Maps. Google’s public announcements don’t offer a lot right now. Near as I can read their answer is to say “stay tuned.” Maybe a U.S. version of Map Maker will allow more data to be included down the line.
Here’s a screenshot of my bike route to work.
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