Google Maps gets cycle routes following petition

Google is adding cycle routes to Google Maps, allowing users to plot the best routes in 150 cities across the US.

The new feature includes step-by-step 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.

Users simply enter a start point and destination and select ‘Bicycling’ from the drop-down menu. They then get a route that takes advantage of bike lanes and bike-friendly streets – and which avoids hills whenever possible.

The move follows a petition  which collected over 50,000 signatures from an organisation called Google Maps Bike There – indeed, Google says this has been the most requested addition to Google Maps ever.

“This new tool will open people’s eyes to the possibility and practicality of hopping on a bike and riding,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists.

“We know people want to ride more, and we know it’s good for people and communities when they do ride more – this makes it possible. It is a game-changer, especially for those short trips that are the most polluting.”

You can start planning your journey here.