March 10, 2010
A Good Week for Bikes
On multiple fronts:
- Multnomah County is finally ready to open the new bike path on the Morrison Bridge
- Google Maps has added bicycle directions - try it!
Actually, my first attempt with Google was a little rocky. I asked it to route me from my home down to the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and it tried to send me across Highway 26 on 18th Ave. Some of you may be aware that there's no overpass there...
March 9, 2010 11:45 PM
I remember back when you could ask Google for directions from New York to London, and it would include the step "swim across the Atlantic". Not any more, though...
March 10, 2010 6:53 AM
Jeff F Says:
The Google bike directions include a caution that the system is in Beta testing and encourage comments and feedback. The original transit mapping was prone to some silly errors as well, so I'm pleased to see their progress.
On the other hand, their geocoder is acting up. My destination address ended up blocks away from its actual location, on the wrong side of the street!
March 10, 2010 6:54 AM
No, there is no overpass there. There is an underpass, though, and a bike path on the south side of the freeway that takes you to montgomery. I rode that way all the time.
March 10, 2010 7:26 AM
Chris Smith Says:
Well, then I learned something I didn't know. I'll have to check it out.
March 10, 2010 9:07 AM
Aaron W. Says:
Bycycle.org is still far superior. I'm hopeful that the next generation of Google Maps Mobile will have a bicycling option. For me, that would make it more useful. From what I've seen so far, the bicycle option on Google Maps will work fine for experienced, confident riders, but won't be good for others.
Because it doesn't differentiate between low and high volume streets without specific bike infrastructure, it will send you down Hall Blvd in Beaverton rather than Main St., for example. This is fine except for the fact that the bike lane on Hall disappears at Allen.
I'm hopeful that it will improve quickly, but for now, I'm sticking with bycycle.org
March 10, 2010 7:21 PM
Cool! Now, if they would just add CTRAN to the transit program...
March 10, 2010 11:16 PM
John Russell Says:
Even as an experienced cyclist, I find the directions severely lacking. One glaring omission is that the route can't even be dragged to a legally ridable freeway such as 26 or I-205 through Vancouver. What they really need a slider that would adjust the route based on your skill levels, choosing the best route based on that. I think that would make it work for a much wider range of people.
March 11, 2010 1:34 AM
Chris F Says:
Go to Google StreetView and you can traverse under the freeway through the underpass. Watch out for that guy at the stop sign at the south-end of the underpass, he's got a bicycle wheel and is doing something with his pants.... :-/
March 11, 2010 4:39 AM
Chris Smith Says:
I actually tried the suggested route yesterday. It's considerably hillier than the way I usually go :-)
March 14, 2010 12:53 AM
AL M Says:
Would it be possible to use the new bike paths as sewers?
I think that would be the way to go, put the bike paths underground which would also be the sewer and then everybody will be happy!
GOD BLESS AMERICA, (and nobody else)
March 15, 2010 4:15 PM
Dave H Says:
One glaring omission is that the route can't even be dragged to a legally ridable freeway such as 26 or I-205 through Vancouver.
I assume Google is classifying all freeways as no bikes, since for most freeways that's right. Western states with few alternate routes allow it, but for most of the eastern half of the country it's not allowed ever. (Florida and NY being the two most populated on the east coast immediately come to mind.)
Maybe they can update their database to reflect freeways that allow pedestrians and bikes, but it's an exception and not the rule for most of the areas people are likely to use this feature.
I know Google Maps appreciates and tries their best to act on feedback, so maybe it's a feature to request on their forums. The difficulty feature is a pretty cool idea, and they already have terrain data, so it might be something that someone there would want to add.