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We are creating the Adventure Access Trail, a new walking trail from Boston to San Francisco.
We are creating the Adventure Access Trail, a new walking trail from Boston to San Francisco.
143 backers pledged $7,383 to help bring this project to life.

Walkability, what we've learned so far

Our bodies are adjusting, but we've got a ways to go before this will be "easy" by any stretch of the imagination.  We try to be as prepared as possible each day, but certain things have crept up that are hard to know about ahead of time. 

-Disappearing sidewalks

-Bad neighborhoods (we're looking at you, Main Street in Worcester)

-Speed limits of roads (for once, we really wish that people would obey these)

-Traffic throughput of a road

Specifically for google maps, we'd love if these issues were more apparent or accessible.  Other things on the wishlist might be a streetview tour of a route in video form or a way to optimize for safety/walkability instead of total distance.  Even with their warning of "Walking directions are in beta. Use caution – This route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths.", it's unfortunate that we can't rely on what is otherwise a pretty decent tool.  

We're getting better at figuring out good ways of routing, but from what we can tell, the tools just aren't there at the moment.  However, when we get to a point in our route that just isn't walkable, we are getting pretty good at figuring out safer alternatives, even if they take a little longer!


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    1. Lisa Buie-Collard on July 6, 2011

      That's what this is all about, figuring it out so that the information will be there for those who follow you. You sound like you're doing a great job of documenting and working in 'real life' mode. Thanks for the update!

    2. t.golden on July 6, 2011

      we did a 1100 walk across england and scotland andthe part i didnt prepare for or fully realize is where we walked on roads.. it is dangerous, and now i avoid it if at all possible.. we began to make choices to go around and take trails as much as possible. we did have a route advisor who wasnt with us, but who we called every day and who had done this journey, who helped up through the most congested areas.. walk safe!

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      Jill Wieland on July 6, 2011

      Thanks for the update, it makes my day easier to travel. xo