Last month, Google announced that they had invented a “Street View trike.” Their Street View car could roll down traditional roads and take pictures for their popular maps feature. But it couldn’t document hard-to-access trails, parks, landmarks and sports venues. A Google mechanical engineer who did some mountain biking in his spare time decided to build an alternative. With the trike, they could bike where they like. They asked users to send suggestions on where they should ride their new trike.
This week, Google has chosen the finalists and Central Park and the Bronx Zoo made the list! Central Park is in the “Landmarks” category and is up against four other contenders including Alcatraz and the Kennedy Space Center. The Bronzx Zoo made the “Theme Parks & Zoos” list. Princeton is also running in the “University Campuses” category.
The finalist that receives the most votes in each category will get a visit from the Google Street View trike.
You can vote as many times as you want at www.google.com/trike. The deadline is Nov. 30.
“We’ll then work on getting all the winners into Google Maps, and of course we’ll work closely with the relevant organizations to collect images of any privately-owned locations,” wrote Laura Melahn, a Google product marketing manager. “It takes a bit of time to ride a 250-pound bike around the country, but we’re excited to see which locations get your votes.”
Although a few bike paths made the final list, we’ll be excited if Google takes the Street View trike on the city’s 420 miles (!) of bike lanes so they can build a “bike there” feature for their Google Transit site. Google hinted on their Lat Long Blog that they’re be working on it. Sites like Ride the City are picking up the slack, but it’s not always easy to look up at the street signs while you’re riding down 1st Avenue and trying to swerve around pedestrians, delivery trucks and taxis. With Street View maps, bike riders would know they’d have to take a left at the Dunkin Donuts on to get on the 21st Street, West-bound bike lane.