Google Maps the Speed of Back Roads

Silicon Valley company adds traffic times for small roads to map service

By Sajid Farooq
|  Tuesday, Aug 25, 2009  |  Updated 6:51 PM CDT
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Google Maps the Speed of Back Roads

John K on Flickr

A shot of the 580 freeway during rush hour. Drivers will now be able to track the speed of traffic on side streets, like Fallon Road, and other Bay Area back roads using Google Maps.

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Google knows back roads well. The Silicon Valley company has spent enough time racing down old country roads to avoid angry mobs pelting stones at its street view cars.

Now Google is sharing its knowledge of the roads not taken with drivers. The company announced Tuesday Google Maps will begin displaying traffic conditions on back roads in selected cities across the country.

To find traffic conditions, users click on the traffic button in the upper-right corner of the map of a city on Google Maps webpage. As users zoom in closer, Google will color code the traffic conditions on the small roads as well as highways.

The colors correspond with the speed of traffic, exactly the same as it currently does for highways. The service is also available for smartphone users of Google Maps.

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