Transportation

Google Maps Adds Bike Routes

By Ryan McGreal
Published March 10, 2010

Great news: Google is adding bike route information to Google Maps. For now it's rolling out to 150 American cities, but we can expect that they will eventually extend it beyond the US border.

Now all a city like Hamilton needs is a viable bike network in place so cyclists can actually have their choice of safe routes.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By jason (registered) | Posted March 10, 2010 at 09:49:06

I'm interested to see if it shows the 50 meter long bike lane on Dundurn South and the possibly-not-even 50meter bike lane on Aberdeen.

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted March 10, 2010 at 18:49:12

Great news ... I was wishing for this just the other day. Mostly in terms of giving travel times, rather than sticking to bike routes.

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted March 10, 2010 at 18:50:33

Wait ... there are bike lanes on Dundurn and Aberdeen? Those are both part of a regularish route I take (Westdale to the beer store and back) and I've _never_ noticed any bike lanes.

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By jason (registered) | Posted March 10, 2010 at 22:43:19

Dundurn's lanes are on a single bridge just south of Main. Aberdeens are about as far as you could spit, just east of Longwood.

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By bike lanes (anonymous) | Posted March 11, 2010 at 10:20:41

Actually, those aren't bike lanes on the Dundurn bridge ... they are just a visual narrowing of the lanes over the bridge (I checked this with Daryl Bender). Bike lanes would have the little bike symbol painted on the pavement ...

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By jason (registered) | Posted March 11, 2010 at 22:39:59

well, whatever they are they are completely useless. What with being a whopping 100 feet long and all.

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By rrrandy (registered) - website | Posted March 12, 2010 at 22:43:30

Bike lanes are coming to Dundurn South this spring. When they rebuilt the bridge over the railway tracks TLC had asked that the bridge include enough room for bike lanes, so I think that may play a part in the current line painting. Regardless, this spring should see the job on Dundurn South completed (and about time!)

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By jason (registered) | Posted March 13, 2010 at 08:58:15

rrrandy, from what I hear a small group of old timers is trying to have those bike lanes blocked. Despite the fact that virtually no street parking will be lost in the area a small, but vocal group of people is fighting the city and McHattie trying to have the lanes blocked all in the name of 'having a balanced transportation network'. I heard one of the folks interviewed on CHML by Bill Kelly and it was hilarious. You'd think only criminals ride bikes and that nobody will patronize places like Rays Boathouse anymore if a bike is spotted in the area.

Hopefully the city will do the right thing, but we'll see. Thankfully we've got a good councillor here so I'm sure the project will be able to proceed.

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By adam2 (anonymous) | Posted March 16, 2010 at 11:40:36

Maps on the internet? Bikes? Bah! Both of these are just passing fads

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted March 16, 2010 at 15:30:05

"Now all a city like Hamilton needs is a viable bike network in place so cyclists can actually have their choice of safe routes."

Ryan, we already do have a viable bike network. They are called sidewalks, bike trails, and parks. Until cyclists start obeying the rules of the road and begin paying insurance they have no place on our streets.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted March 16, 2010 at 16:59:53

Capitalist...while I've heard all of the arguments for cyclists obeying the rules of the road...insurance???

Insurance covers the risk of damage to persons or property caused by the operator of a vehicle.

Thast damage is significant when you're dealing with a vehicle that weighs upwards of a ton, powered by liquid fuels and capable of speeds of up to 240 km/h.

Contrast that with a vehicle that weighs 20 lbs, entirely human-powered and capable of speeds of maybe 60 kph tops going downhill.

Just how much damage have cyclists caused so as to need to be covered by insurance? Even if somehow a cyclist is deemed at fault in an accident, it is the cyclist who bears the entire damage in any collision.

Since the value of a bicycle is usually less than the deductible anyhow, what benefit is there to anyone other than the insurance companies to mandate this? Why don't you just call it what it really is...you want to increase taxes for cyclists and give the profits to insurance companies.

Just like the typical capitalist...more taxes are OK for everyone but me.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted March 16, 2010 at 22:54:48

Ironic that in the same breath you call for obeying the rules of the road and riding on the sidewalk.

Please go and re-acquaint yourself with the Highway Traffic Act before you pronounce any more on cycling issues.

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By Cheesecake Truck (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2012 at 13:19:09

All the "active living" talk elsewheer put me in mind of this thread and led me here: http://goo.gl/maps/3cOj5

Fascinating when you zoom out and compare Hamilton to areas like Burlington/Oakville/Mississauga or Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge.

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