Google Bike Directions: Part 1

LastGoogle Biking  directions  screen shot week I had a couple of opportunities to try out Google's bicycling directions to travel to places I had never gone before. My experience with the directions was mostly positive, guiding me along routes that for the most part worked well. The problem of poor trail signage (not Google's fault), however, could have caused a cyclist to become temporarily lost. Here's the story.

I wanted to travel to a friend's house who lives just off Braddock Road in Springfield VA about one mile west of the Capitol Beltway (I-495). I live in Arlington VA not far from Seven Corners, about 8 miles away. I had never been to my friend's house before, so I asked Google to give me cycling directions there. What I look for in the directions is how it overcomes the major obstacles, in this case, Route 50 and the Beltway were two major roads I had to cross. Google did not have me cross Route 50 at the new pedestrian overpass at Seven Corners, which I think is a better option than what it showed me. It did, however, have me cross the beltway at the pedestrian overpass that is north of Braddock Road about 1/2 mile, which is definitely the best option. All in all, the directions were not bad. A less experienced cyclist might have found some of the roads--particularly Braddock Road--a bit daunting to ride on. However, the directions worked for getting me there.

All in all, Google biking directions is a useful tool, and I expect it will become more useful over time as Google--and users--improve it.

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