No matter how often I use Google Maps, I still seem to discover new, amazing features. But one feature clearly not yet offered is "Bike There," a route-planning tool similar to the already-offered "Drive There" and "Take Public Transit." But there is now an online petition requesting a Bike There, and 30,000 people have signed it. The organizers have also set up a matching blog to track the project's progress.
While I encourage all to sign the petition, and don't want to poo-poo the idea, there are some serious problems with the idea — not insurmountable, but tough. The petition references byCycle.org, a Google Map-based site that plans bike routes for Portland and Milwaukee, as an example of how this could be done. But that site says, on its front page, that the project has lost momentum. Problem is, it would seem, information is readily available for driving (street maps) and public transit routes, but who is collecting national data on bike lanes? Anyone? One would have to do that before a useful route planner could be developed.
I say, Google better get started.