Are there any good driving directions sites that let you avoid major highways?
April 23, 2004 9:11 PM   Subscribe

Are there any good direction generating websites that allow you to avoid major highways? MapQuest used to do it but... not any more as far as I can see. [more inside]

Reason being I'm looking for ways to generate routes for cycling long distances and major interstates are not all that conducive to biking. Would a software based solution be better or are there any websites out there that let you exclude designated highways/interstates?
posted by asterisk to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total)
I prefer software-based mapping software, if for no other reason than speed. I use Microsoft Streets & Trips. I mostly bought that as opposed to another program cause I got it for free after rebate, so I haven't looked at any other mapping programs. Streets & Trips does let you specify what types of roads you do or don't want to use when you ask it to generate directions, so it might work for you. The way it works is that you can specify preferred roads by going to an option panel and moving a slider between Dislike and Like for Interstates and limited-access, Other highways, Arterial roads, and Toll roads. The program is oriented towards driving directions, however. Note, all program functionality refers to the 2002 version--I'm not sure what 2004 does or doesn't do.
posted by EatenByAGrue at 9:51 PM on April 23, 2004

Oh, I forgot to mention, once you've generated a route, you can take a look and if you prefer to take another road, you can drag a trip segment over to the new road and the program will re-calculate your route with the change automatically. That part of the program is a bit flaky at times, however.
posted by EatenByAGrue at 10:01 PM on April 23, 2004

Software-based software is my favorite kind of software too. ;-)

Are you planning a cross-country trip? Maybe an organization like Rails to Trails can help you fill in parts of your route with rail trails. They can probably also help you find out the best way to travel between the trails, too.
posted by tss at 10:36 PM on April 23, 2004

Er, sorry, I meant software-based mapping systems, as opposed to web-based ones.
posted by EatenByAGrue at 2:14 AM on April 24, 2004

Maps On Us lets you choose an "avoid major highways" option (at the top).
posted by smackfu at 9:06 AM on April 24, 2004

I can't vouch for it, but following the MapMachine link from the blue led me to the National Geographic Map Store, which features this Back Roads Explorer system. The benefits of this one include topographic info (seems like that would be helpful for planning distance cycling!), maps that can be download info to a PDA, and is GPS compatible. It's about $60 and only for Windows OS though.
posted by fionab at 11:25 AM on April 24, 2004

the ACA has both online and offline maps of cross-country trips.

P.S. can I go with you?
posted by m@ at 3:36 PM on April 24, 2004

Response by poster: I would love to buy one of the ACA packages and set off! However I'm still working on centuries and eventually double centuries before I try and major touring.
posted by asterisk at 9:51 PM on April 24, 2004

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