Transportation Alternatives - Netted
Article • May 17, 2010

Transportation Alternatives

How To Plan The Ride Of Your Life (With Or Without Hills)

Today marks the start of National Bike To Work Week, which is as good an excuse as any to get back on your non-motorized rig.

And even if you can’t actually cycle into the office, you should be aware that Google Maps recently added a Biking Directions feature. (The Beta version covers 150 U.S. cities and includes 15,000 miles of off-street bike trails courtesy of Rails To Trails).

This means you can now use Google to find a convenient and efficient route that makes use of dedicated bike lanes and avoids traffic (you can also find routes that contain the smallest amount of hills).

To find biking directions, select “Bicycling” from the drop-down menu when you do a directions search.

Bike routes show up in various shades of green–dark green indicates a dedicated bike-only trail; light green indicates a dedicated bike lane along a road; and dashed green indicates roads that are designated as “preferred” for bicycling but don’t have dedicated lanes.

Those who feel particularly passionate about this issue can sign a petition at People For Bikes.  Their goal is to gather a million names, and to influence Congress to invest in bicycling lanes, facilities and programs.