Many bicycle advocates have been long-awaiting a bicycling directions feature in addition to the walking/public/car directions to Google Maps and now it’s finally here!
Even though I found the directions a little rough around the edges, like the route isn’t typically what I would recommend because it spits out routes that aren’t the flattest or it takes you to the not-as-nice areas of town, I still believe this is one big step in the right direction. We at My Dutch Bike promote bicycling as a viable form of transportation whenever possible, whether that is taking the children to/from school, going to the market or just going for a recreational ride.
This new Google Maps feature will let not only people who are new to the which ever city they may be in find out the best way to get from point A to point B, but it also shows residents new routes and roads they have never ridden on before! Below, I’ve attached a screenshot of what the new bicycle directions on Google Maps looks like. For reference, I entered in our shop address and I set the destination at the Panhandle strip in front of Golden Gate Park.
Although, the route takes you in a relatively straight-shot from the shop to the Panhandle, McAllister is an okay street to ride on, but the area around Alamo Square (as the directions suggest) gets very hilly. Personally, I would recommend going further up Market and going up the Wiggle instead for a flatter, less traffic dense route.
I am sure as time goes by, these routes will drastically improve and the routes it will spit out will be not only flatter, but also less traffic congested. This is still a huge step and really shows that bicycling has become very viable as such a widely-used directional/map service has begun even to include it in its system!
William Hsu | My Dutch Bike