August 20, 2007

Walking directions.

Is there a website where you can get walking directions -- instead of driving directions? Let's say I have somewhere I want to walk in Brooklyn. Google Maps might tell me to get on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, as if I were a car. I want a site that caters to the pedestrian, preferably with options to maximize safety, shopping, and so forth.

ADDED: People are recommending HopStop. I can see that it purports to give walking instructions, but is this really the best pedestrian route, or is it the same as the car route?

32 comments:

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

www.hopstop.com is the way to go....it won't talk about the safety issue so you have to know a little about the particular neighborhood...it does give the best route for subway, bus and on foot...but if you jump in the subway for a few stops there is usually a map of the surrounding streets and points of interest at the token booth....so you can figure out the rest of your route.

ZPS said...

I rarely say OMG...but OMG! Safety, safety, safety...danger, danger, danger. You'd think Ann had moved to Baghdad. Maybe everyone is just kidding and I'm missing the joke? Are the people making these comments currently living in Brooklyn? If not, they have no business making such remarks. And if so...they must be on drugs and completely out of touch with reality. BROOKLYN IS SAFE. End of story.

Annie said...

Try Gmaps pedometer" "A hack that uses Google's mapping application to help record distances traveled and calories burned during a running or walking workout."

It's a bit clunky to use, but it works:

http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/

Peter Palladas said...

We have this for England via any mobile phone. You foreigners are so medieval! ;-)

Trooper York said...

ZPS...thanks for joining in...it's was getting lonely defending the safety of streets in our hometown..the funniest part of this whole thing is that one of the things that make the streets safer is that Nanny Bloomberg forced the smokers out of the bars so there are always some night owls out...noisy and drunk to be sure...but still out there with cellphones and an attitude

Eli Blake said...

Trooper York:

After reading your comment, I have this image of a ferocious vigilante street patrol that is kicking ass on the thugs-- composed entirely of smokers.

Yeah, that's when the thugs leave. And if any of them still want to show their ugly faces in town, then the smokers will really get nasty and break out the cigars.

rumtumtugger said...

if you're staying in brooklyn for a while, the first place you need to walk to is noodle pudding, an excellent italian on henry street.

Trooper York said...

Eli is not so much a pack of viglantes as a pack of noisy drunks...who make the neighbors call 311...which makes the cops come by more often...which leads to safety for one and all...so the streets with bars on the corner are much safer....of course the vomit on your stoop the next morning is kind of a drawback...but what are you gonnna do...you got to take the good with the bad.

Richard said...

Ann-- The shortest (and most interesting) walking route to anything is normally through someone's back yard. This would pose a problem for an online mapping service. Be sure to smile profusely when you do this so as to look nonthreatening, and voice greetings to anyone standing by their lawn chair in their undershorts holding a bowl of Raisin Bran.

From Inwood said...

Prof A

Get a copy of the AIA Guide to New York City.

It breaks the City down into neighborhoods, sometimes arbitrary, & has a street by street map of all & a self-walking tour of some.

Also, stop in at one of the local real estate offices & you'll find a big map on the wall & agents who will make suggestions. New Yorkers are really friendly.

Trooper York said...

Of course the best part of the summer is sitting in front of your stoop in a lawn chair in your wife beater and Bermuda shorts...firing up an Aurto Fuente Canones Maduro and sipping some Martell Cognac...as you watch the world go by

Kirby Olson said...

There are mamny areas of Brooklyn that I was warned to avoid such as East New York, and Brownsville.

I walked from Prospect Park to Fort Greene and from Fort Greene to Court St., and wasn't mugged even once, but then it was a Sunday morning, and I am a male.

Are there muggings in Prospect Park on a general basis? A few years ago a woman was raped in the children's park next to Prospect Park while many stood around and did nothing. This was in all the papers.

I imagine there are crimes in every area of a big city. There must be a map with probability rates of victimizations in Brooklyn that the police department would possess. That would be a neat map to see. Perhaps the law department at which you're going to be working has a copy you could share with us. It has to exist! That would help you figure out where to stroll.

I think that Flatbush Ave. looks dicey but I walked on it for twenty minutes and wasn't even mugged twice.

Come to think of it I have never been mugged in my entire life. Nor have I ever been the victim of any kind of crime. No one's even stolen a pencil from me.

I have friends who have been mugged even in Seattle on suburban streets in broad daylight, and had all their pencils broken.

You should definitely carry a gun in Brooklyn. Or perhaps a rouge bazooka.

Kirby Olson said...

Teh rouge bazooka, of course, to match your shoes.

Dave F said...

The awful truth about New York City is that most of its residents do not walk, the Manhattan stereotype notwithstanding. Most of its residents are either rural (Staten Island) or else suburban (pretty much everywhere but Manhattan, and so people rely on cars. If you want to be in a walking part of the city live in Manhattan.

Ann Althouse said...

Walking directions are different from walking tours. There are lots of books and so forth telling you this is a nice walk. But I'm talking about a situation where you have an address you want to go to, maybe 2 miles away, and you don't know what would make the best walk, in terms of safety, ease, and interestingness. And you might want a different path home.

Jeff said...

Anne,

try Gothamist for blo-worthy on-the-ground NY/Brooklyn info, and be sure check out the newsmap feature- it has realtime linked locations that tell what's happening crime and firewise.

Dave F said...

I suppose I should give a more serious answer...

When I need to figure out how to walk from point A to point B in NYC, I go to google maps, and select the driving directions tool, enter the from and to address, and then look at the street level view to determine the best way to walk.

This generally works all over Manhattan; I don't see why it wouldn't work in Brooklyn.

If your concern is avoiding having to cross major highways/boulevards, perhaps turn on the street view feature of google maps to get a sense of the width of the road in question.

Other than that, I don't really know of a web site such as you describe. But it sounds like a good mashup opportunity. Perhaps quit law professing, take up computer programming, and create such a service? Then sell it to google for $1 billion or so?

Chip Ahoy said...

Brooklyn walking maps.

Chip Ahoy said...

Fun on foot

Maxine Weiss said...

Walking Directions:

For God's sake---don't shimmy, or swish about, as you cross a busy thorougfare.

Don't be a schlepper and galumph your way down a sidewalk.

What you want is sort of a brisk sashay.....as you ease on down the road.

Can you put up a Vlog of your walking style?

Rick Lee said...

I don't know about a website, but my Garmin Nuvi let's me choose what mode of travel I am employing. I can tell it I'm in a car or I can tell it I'm walking and it will guide me accordingly. Seems to work great so far. I was just thinking about how handy this will be the next time I'm in NYC.

Mortimer Brezny said...

You could just hire a tour guide. They are relatively cheap in Brooklyn. Some even work for no more than dinner. Ahem. Hint, hint.

reader_iam said...

I'm beginning to wonder whether this post was a serious one to begin with. And I mean seriously, Althouse (rather, to be more precise, in this context, Ann).

reader_iam said...

If it, and the other related one, aren't mostly about performance art, then I am close to being as well and truly taken back by anything I've seen on Althouse--at least in terms of the meta-Ann part.

Kev said...

Of course the best part of the summer is sitting in front of your stoop in a lawn chair in your wife beater and Bermuda shorts...

Be careful, Trooper; assuming you're a guy (which I do), our bloghostess will not approve of your shorts if you two cross paths on one of her walking tours. ;-)

Wonny said...

Hi Ann, you should check out the Not For Tourist guides. You can buy the New York or Brooklyn ones in most bookstores or just download the PDFs for free at notfortourists.com.

rumtumtugger said...

i know this sounds obvious: rand mcnally have laminated maps of all the boroughs: clear, durable, cheap.

Trooper York said...

Kev, the shorts are the least of the problem...the sauce stains on the shirt...the smell of cigar smoke...the Yankee game blasting on the radio...John Sterling bellowing about "An A-bomb by A-Rod"....the gradual descent from cognac to wine to grappa...the level of discourse...would definitely not meet specifications for delicate sensibilities of some posters on this site....although it might qualify as performance art…...just not of the political correct sort.

GEL said...

I second Rick Lee's comment. I have used the Garmin Nuvi while walking around Manhattan. Once you get the satellite connection (not do easy with the buildings), it is perfect.

amba said...

Google will hop on this opportunity and create Foogle . . .

girish said...

I think maps.ask.com will give you walking directions between two points. don't think it has any information on safety etc...