Saturday, March 13, 2010
Google just added bicycle routes for 150 US cities (including Providence) to Google Maps. I've played around with it a little bit, and it does a pretty good job. I plugged my commute in and one of the three routes that it gave me was very close to the route that I take when I bike to work. It's definitely worth a look, but make sure to do a sanity check before saddling up, because a lot of the so-called bike friendly roads are anything but. For example, in Providence, Google Maps seems to think Elmwood Avenue is a great bicycle thoroughfare. It may have a decent sized shoulder in many places, but in general, I find it best to avoid roads with more than two lanes or lots of traffic or lots of parallel parking and Elwood Avenue fails all three of these tests.