The League of American Bicyclists has announced that Google has added bicycling directions to their US maps! Unveiled at the National Bike Summit, the bike feature will have cycling directions (in addition to driving, walking, and in some cities, public transit) as an option to plan a route between point A and point B.
This new feature includes: step-by-step bicycling directions; bike trails outlined directly on the map; and a new “Bicycling” layer that indicates bike trails, bike lanes, and bike-friendly roads. The directions feature provides step-by-step, bike-specific routing suggestions – similar to the directions provided by our driving, walking, or public transit modes. Simply enter a start point and destination and select “Bicycling” from the drop-down menu. You will receive a route that is optimized for cycling, taking advantage of bike trails, bike lanes, and bike-friendly streets and avoiding hilly terrain whenever possible.
Google has said that the inclusion of cycling directions has been the most requested addition to Google maps. Here’s hoping that additional pressure from cities around the world will soon lead to cycling directions becoming available in your city!
Read more at the League of American Bicyclists blog.
EDIT (March 12)
It appears at least one Canadian city won’t have to wait long for something similar! Ride the City has gone live with Toronto bike directions! Ride the City Toronto is based on the open source maps system, OpenStreetMap.org and offers much the same functionality as the Google map version in the States. Check it out here and start planning your route by bike!