Google wants us to walk (even more than before)

A while back I noted that Google Maps increasingly displays walking as an option on shorter distances.  Yesterday when I was calculating my “sustainability miles” for February – a dismal number I’ll get to in a minute, as winter continues to stifle virtually any impulse to run errands on foot or bike – Google actually gave me walking as the ONLY OPTION for getting from the YMCA to the library in downtown Fort Wayne.

Granted, it’s slightly less than half a mile – why not walk? Given all the one-way streets and parking hassles, it’s not like it’s going to be much faster to drive there. But it’s still not the default option in our motorized society, and it’s interesting to see an algorithm attempting to change that.

Anyway, I totaled 1.6 miles in human-powered errand running for February, which is actually double the .8 mile I totaled for January*. Impressive, huh?

The only reason I have the gall to print these miserable numbers is that I want to keep this going, to see if I can make this more of a habit as the weather improves – especially if it gets me on my bike more.

Meanwhile, if you really want to get inspired to try getting from place to place without a vehicle, check out Car-Free, Meat-Free Runner, who had the guts to ditch his family’s car a year and a half ago  despite the fact that they live in Fort Wayne, a city that is not known for catering to pedestrians. Mike, who works for the “other paper” in the building — we’re one of the few cities left with two “competing” newspapers —  has rode his bike or walked to the office all freaking winter long. The other day he rode his bike to a 5k race, ran the race, then rode home again afterward before riding to work. Now THAT’S impressive.

*I am NOT counting that 15-mile run on Jan. 31 that included a stop at Heyerly’s Bakery because it’s not like I was gonna drive to the bakery if I didn’t run there. 

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4 Responses to Google wants us to walk (even more than before)

  1. I wish I could walk more for errands and stuff (not as part of my exercise routine). Here everything is too far, or the weather is just too hot.. I find myself driving most of the time.

  2. We also travel via Citilink.

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