The League of American Bicyclists confirmed Google Maps’ new add-on is a bicycling layer that shows bike paths and directions for cyclists to take. Google will announce this move on the National Bike Summit in Washington. Google also feels the added improvement is their response to the many requests they received to add bike directions.
Simple to use, the option for bicycling is included in the drop down menu when you enter which directions you would prefer. The maps would light up green for bike paths. Suggested routes are presented with corresponding time frames for you to choose from. The routes are highlighted in blue paths from point A (starting location) to point B (destination).
Some possible concerns that you might consider would be Google’s routing algorithm. It selects directions which avoids freeways and intersections. However, it also checks to include bike lanes, bike paths and bike-friendly streets to make the route more suitable for cycling.
Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists feels this is a huge step for cyclists all over America. “This new tool will open people’s eyes to the possibility and practicality of hopping on a bike and riding. We know people want to ride more, and we know it’s good for people and communities when they do ride more – this makes it possible. It is a game-changer, especially for those short trips that are the most polluting.”