MPC Research Assistant Christina Loranz wrote this article.
If you've ever used Google Maps to find directions, you've probably noticed that you can choose among several modes of travel by clicking on "By Car, Walk or Public Transit." Well, now there's one more option to make life even easier. If you prefer pedaling your way around town, click on "Bicycling" to find the most bike-friendly way to get to your destination. The mapping tool will find the most efficient route that utilizes bike trails or lanes.
Google maps adding a "Bicycle" option signals a growing movement to create streets that are a safe place for all types of traffic. In Chicago and across the country, states, cities, and counties are adopting Complete Streets policies. Complete streets are welcoming, safe and comfortable not only to vehicular traffic, but to pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders. With Complete Streets policies, transportation engineers are asked to design every aspect of a roadway with all users in mind, whether they are moving fast or slow, riding in a wheelchair or on a skateboard, sitting in a car or peddling a bike. Streets that invite pedestrians and bicyclists contribute to local businesses and create a safer healthier environment for everyone by slowing down cars, encouraging exercise, reducing emissions, and increasing security with more "eyes on the street".