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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Where The Sidewalk Ends

I have a suggestion for Map My Run.

Most of the time, I like to plan out a route before I head out the door on my morning runs. It helps ensure that I get in the miles I want and (hopefully) that I get some variety in the scenery. Unlike my last apartment, our house is situated such that I have a number of different directional options, and every run doesn't have to end on a one-mile uphill. It's nice to have a choice.

So, I use Map My Run, and most of the time, it's great. However, when planning out the newest routes, I've been having trouble, oddly enough, getting a good six-mile course. The roads are great. It's the sidewalks that are missing.

The first six-miler I attempted a couple weeks ago, was extremely ill-conceived. Not only did the sidewalk disappear, but it turned into a narrow two-lane road with lots of hills and (since it was right by a school) a whole lot of traffic. I'm sure more than one driver cursed me that morning, and it didn't help that it was extremely foggy. Not good. So I rerouted.

Today was my first shot at the new distance, and it was certainly better, but there was still a stretch, maybe a mile long, without sidewalk. And this is a major road that connects two other major roads here in Austin. Unlike the first course, however, there was plenty of room on the side of the road, and it appeared that I was far from the first person to trek down the absent path.

Which brings me to my suggestion: have some sort of user interaction where users can mark which streets have sidewalks and which don't. Which communities have gates and therefore are not useable as through streets. Which roads are closed or being constructed or are generally too awful to run. I'd fill it out for my runs, and I imagine others would, too. It would be great to plan a course and know, in advance, whether it was actually run-able. And you could help, MMR.

So that's my plan. Of course, I have absolutely no clue how one might implement such a program, and I know even less about the coding behind it, but I figure that's why you have website people. It's just an idea. Hope you like it.

When you make millions, I will accept a check.

Thursday's Run:
40 Degrees
6.75 Miles

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