Google Bike Routes — The Wait Is Over

Picture_2.pngBike directions from the Empire State Building to City Hall on Google Maps.

After much anticipation, bicycle directions are finally live on Google Maps

At the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC today, Google announced that its mapping tools can now provide bike directions in 150 American cities.

The software provides routes that point cyclists to bike paths or lanes whenever possible, avoid the busiest roads and intersections, and take into account hills, according to the Times’ Gadgetwise blog.

While New Yorkers can already get bike directions from Ride the City, you can count on two hands the number of other American cities with such luck. Google is expanding the coverage of online bike directions by an order of magnitude. 

The bike routing is still in beta, and certain features, like a mobile version and a bike-specific Street View, haven’t been released yet. Additionally, bike routing is notoriously difficult, so there are probably some kinks to work out. Even so, Google’s strength has always been its ability to learn from its own data, so it’s safe to expect its bike directions to improve over time. Try it out and let us know how well it works! 

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