We're huge advocates of biking. Unless you're going to Ikea, there really is no excuse not to bike to your next destination. In busy metropolitan cities it ends up taking less time to bike than it does sitting in traffic or waiting for public transportation. Besides the health and enviro benefits, you end up seeing the city you live in in a much different way when you're on a bike. You'll be surprised by what you discover.
That said, getting bike directions is close to impossible. You're very much left on your own to figure out how to get from point A to point B on your two-wheeler. That's why we fully support Peter Smith's online petition to have Google Maps include a "Bike There" feature...
From the Bike There Team:
Petition to Google for a Bike There Feature To: Google, and the Google Maps team We would like a 'Bike There' feature added to Google Maps - to go with the current 'Drive There' and 'Take Public Transit' options.
The feature would take into account actual bicycle lanes from the locality being mapped, and it would automatically plan a route for a bicyclist, possibly even providing the cyclist options for either the most direct route, or the most bicycle-friendly (safest) route. The Google Maps-based third party site, byCycle.org (http://byCycle.org/), provides these features for two metro areas - Portland, Oregon and Madison, Wisconsin, and there are countless other mapping initiatives around the world aimed at accomplishing the same goal. We hope that Google will consider building this feature into the core Google Maps service.
There are many reasons why this feature would be a wonderful edition to Google Maps. Among them, some of the most influential would be to:
* Make bicycling safer for millions of bicyclists around the world.
* Empower world citizens to better adapt their lifestyles to face the challenges of global climate change.
* Help Google realize its core mission of 'organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful.'
By implementing the 'Take Public Transit' option, Google and the Google Maps team have shown themselves to be concerned and capable world citizens; a 'Bike There' feature addition to Google Maps would be the ultimate statement in support of sustainable development.
There are currently over 35,000 signatures. Lets make some Google history and muscle the search engine into adding features we can really benefit from. Sign the petition here.
Photo: Flickr user Jes *Junque Revival*