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What do "direct route," "safe route," and "safer route," actually mean?

Most routing applications choose the best route based on the distance or time required from start to finish. Ride the City does the same thing, except we factor in street segments with bike facilities. Ride the City considers streets with bike lanes to be shorter than they actually are. This is slightly exaggerated on the "safe route" and more exaggerated on the "safer route." The result is that the "safer route" will direct you out of your way to the nearest greenway, bike lane, or street segment that users have suggested to us. The "direct route" is exactly that -- the shortest route we can find. Please use special caution when riding the most direct route, as Ride the City no effort to use bike lanes or greenways or to steer you clear of busy streets that may have lots of traffic.