Bikers, pedestrians seeking better Web maps

July 25, 2008 10:53:35 AM PDT
With the old gas-guzzler in the garage, you've got your bicycle ready and your sneakers laced up. Now all you need is a map of the quickest, safest routes for riding around town. But, not so fast. As more commuters consider ditching their cars to save money on gas, Internet mapping services, cities and community groups are being pushed to lay out the best routes for biking and walking - just like drivers have found online for years.

Technical and practical roadblocks stand between such a network becoming ubiquitous, but there are signs of progress.

Google just launched a walking-directions service. MapQuest is reporting more use of its "avoid highways" function and offering a walking directions service on cell phones. And some cities have developed detailed online maps to help walkers, bikers and transit-riders find the fastest routes.

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