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Google Bike Maps

March 10, 2010

Starting today it will be possible to get Google Map directions optimized for travel by bicycle.  It’s far from perfect (e.g. Chapel Hill to Durham suggested route is straight down Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. or all the way down Erwin, deathtraps both), but it’s a start.

Check it out here.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Tom Roche permalink
    March 10, 2010 4:02 pm

    Jason Merrill March 10, 2010 at 3:21 pm: “Chapel Hill to Durham suggested route is straight down Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. or all the way down Erwin, deathtraps both”

    (insert bronx cheer here)

    If 15-501 was a deathtrap, I’d be dead now: it’s overwhelmingly my usual way to bike Cboro/CH Durham, and I’ve biked it tens if not hundreds of times, day and night. Most of the way it’s got wide shoulders in good condition. (If there is a just god–a dubious proposition–I hope whoever devised the business/bypass identifiers is doing hard time in purgatory.) The only tricky part is when eastbound, staying on 15/501 “business” where 15/501 “bypass” splits off. But even that demands only sphincter control: the actual danger is slight.

    Erwin is lots more challenging shoulder-wise, but even that’s OK on weekend days.

  2. Alex C permalink
    March 10, 2010 4:04 pm

    Nice. Erwin to Durham is fine at quiet times (non rush hour), btw

  3. March 10, 2010 4:51 pm

    My hope is that with the right resources more folks will choose bicycles as the best transportation option. If someone is new to biking they’ll be scared out of their gourd if they’re directed out onto the bypass because they’ve been told that it’s a “bicycle facility”. Personally, I’ll bike just about anywhere because I’m stubborn as shit (I’ve biked down I-40 on more than one occasion), but we’re not going to convince folks that biking is safe and easy by tossing them headfirst into the lions’ den.

    I’m not a transportation segregationist either, bike paths are not the solution, but better on-road bike facilities, narrower car lanes, lower speed limits, alternate routes, etc. would go a long way for getting more people on bikes.

  4. March 10, 2010 5:04 pm

    Lion’s den is right. It’s going to take more awareness, and group rides to show future commuters that their route to work is do-able. That and adding a couple of in-depth pages of bike info to the NC Driver’s License manual … and test. We aren’t pedestrians, we are 2-wheeled vehicles. Glad to (finally) see the Gmaps bike application. The more use it gets (like riders on our roads) the better it will get.

  5. CMDickson permalink
    March 18, 2010 4:47 pm

    Hey, I just wanted to chime in that there’s a way to flag areas on the Google Bicycle map that need to be updated with trails, bicycle lanes, etc. Find the area where infrastructure needs to be added and put a pin on the map then “Report a Problem” through the little box on the bottom, right-hand side of the page. Google started with 150 cities and needs our help expanding the technology to Chapel Hill/Carrboro. Apparently, they are hoping to make suggested changes to the maps within a month. Pretty cool!

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