February 19, 2005 10:45 AM   Subscribe

Have you ever come across a site that gives you driving directions, like yahoo maps or mapquest, but lets you fiddle a bit with which roads to take/not to take? I want to be able to avoid traffic jams, or find directions that make the least possible turns and change of roads. (Like when I don't want to risk getting lost and ending up in a bad area of town after dark.)
posted by parma to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
See here and here, where the second "here" was going to be the thread where someone posted some MapQuest url hacks that gave you more route options. Was that thread deleted?
posted by climalene at 11:30 AM on February 19, 2005

Rand McNally gives an option for shortest trip, instead of fastest trip (the default). In my part of the country, that frequently equates to good alternate routes (Mapquest always suggest that I take I-95, when that is almost always choked with traffic).

Another way to get alternate routes is to ask for directions from a midpoint on your route.
posted by acridrabbit at 11:52 AM on February 19, 2005

climalene, are these the hacks you were talking about?

after getting directions, append these to the query string:

&r=f - Use Highways
&r=a - Avoid highways
&r=s - Avoid Tolls (80% sure that this switch avoids tolls)

posted by stavrogin at 1:00 PM on February 19, 2005

Rand McNally has a road trip planner. You can tweak its directions by telling it you're stopping at intersections along the way.

If you're an AAA member, you can use their Internet TripTik to do similar things.

I seem to recall that either Mapquest or Yahoo maps used to have a road trip planner, too, but I can't find it now.
posted by aneel at 2:42 PM on February 19, 2005

This doesn't directly answer your question, but Microsoft Streets and Trips includes an "avoid areas" option. You can highlight the areas you want to avoid and the trip planner will route around them. You'll have to pay for the software but if you need more powerful routing options, it may be worth your while.
posted by mordecaibrown at 3:23 PM on February 19, 2005

mordecaibrown, wow, I never knew about that feature in MS S&T. That works great for me, since I often have to mess with routes to avoid NYC commuter traffic.
posted by smackfu at 8:47 PM on February 19, 2005

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