Tuesday, August 3

Keller Google Bike Ban?

Typical Highway 377 Afternoon Traffic. Google Bikes WON'T Let Me Choose 377
I looked at Google Bikes recently to see how it has evolved in its opinion of what my commute route should be. Interestingly, I find it will not allow me to select Highway 377 in Keller as part of my commute route. It allows me to select the Alliance Gateway Freeway (though not the Cabela's Service Road), but not 377. I have no idea why Highway 377 can't be ridden on a bike, since I ride segments of it both northbound and southbound, and frequently see other cyclists on that road. Where I ride it, it is a typical, five lane road with heavy traffic. I think I shall see what Google has to say for itself. Are there frequent instances where Google will not allow someone to pick a bike route on an otherwise restricted public road? Is there some flag that'll let you know that Google is avoiding a road?

Google's choice for my bike commute route, here

An approximation of my real commute route, here.

There are a few obvious oops items in Google's attempt to go where I go, like the 377 detour and a bike path bobble. It also hasn't picked up a number of street realignments.
Google Bicycles Really DOESN'T Like N Main Street (Highway 377) in Keller
In response to my inquiry, Google replied:

Hi Steve,
Thanks for taking the time to report a problem with Google Maps. We'll send you an update once your report has been reviewed to let you know the resolution.

We have created ID: 9C00-710A-DD88-667F to track this problem.

Report history
Problem ID: 9C00-710A-DD88-667F
Your report: Google bicycling won't allow me to choose N Main Street in Keller, though I and others ride it daily and it's quite suitable for cycling
Thanks for your help,
The Google Maps team


Chandra said...

google maps suggested that i ride down macarthur to reach macarthur & royal, from macarthur and cimmaron, in irving. i pointed out that macarthur is NOT a bicycle-friendly road, given traffic-density, except on weekends.
i sent them my route, which is safer, IMHO.

they sent me a similar email, which was followed by another one to notify the changes were incorporated.

peace :)

Apertome said...

I'm really glad you submitted a report, they have taken several of mine seriously and actually acted on them. How about that!

Stephen said...

Google maps has many quirks. I find there are a number of local highways that Google refuses for bicycles, even for 2 spots 1/2 mile apart on the same road (but interestingly allows for walking; no, it is not limited access, it has lots of destinations, driveways, and turns).

I've been told it almost always routes drivers over the George Washington Bridge in NY, never the Tappan Zee, even for roads close to the Tappan Zee. Every driver I know takes the Tappan Zee and avoids the GW bridge if at all possible.

Loving the Bike said...

I checked out google bikes when it was first released and read lots of blog posts about it. But since then, it's been pretty quiet so it's nice to read about your experience with it now.

Keep us updated if you hear back from Google.


twister said...

Thanks for the info about Google Bike maps. I was unaware. I'd wanted to ride downtown on my bike but didn't want to traverse the streets and traffic I'm faced with to do so. Clicking on the Google bike map it turns out the Trinity Trail has an entry point not much more than a mile from my house. Cool, thanks.

Doohickie said...

I've submitted several Problem Reports to Google Maps, both for bikes and cars. They generally have a two month turnaround time until the change is implemented.

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