Whenever you look up directions with a map service - it doesn't matter which one you fancy, be it Google Maps, Bing Maps, MapQuest, or whatever - if you enter your address as the starting point, the directions will invariably tell you to head out of town by some route that surprises you. Maybe it's because your natural disposition isn't to take that particular route, maybe it's because you know that route is clogged with traffic around the time you plan to leave, but regardless, you hopefully know better than any online mapping service the best route of egress from your 'hood.
Apparently getting directions out of one's own neighborhood is enough for people to vocalize their complaints to mapping services, but MapQuest is the first to actually heed those critiques and announced today that will allow users to get directions that simply skip ahead to a nearby major road that you're familiar with.
There is one catch to this nice feature: in order to enter your address and bypass the tedious directions out of your stomping grounds, you have to sign in to MapQuest using your Facebook account info. Depending on how you feel about sharing that info, and presumably linking together your Facebook information with your exact home address, carry on as you see fit. However, MapQuest assures you that it won't post anything to your wall without your specific direction.
If you're undeterred by sharing such information in close proximity to your Facebook profile, you can also enter the type of vehicle you have and MapQuest will generate an estimated fuel cost for your trip. MapQuest will provide you with multiple routes so you can decide if taking the scenic route this time is really worth the financial commitment.
So here's hoping you know what you're doing when you pull out of the driveway.