Google have added two new features to the Google Maps API. Both of the new features are options that can be added to driving directions.
First up is Avoid Highways (avoidHighways in GDirectionsOptions). This option, as you might have guessed, will return driving directions that avoid routes that include highways. You can see an example in Google Maps Samples here.
Secondly, you can now also provide walking directions (G_TRAVEL_MODE_WALKING in GDirectionsOptions). Google have provided one caveat, that is walking directions are only supported if you have supplied a div in the GDirections constructor; this is used to display a warning to the user in the turn-by-turn textual directions to the effect that walking directions are in beta. You can see an example of walking directions in the Google Maps Samples page here.
Via: Google Geo Developers Blog: Walking Directions + Avoid Highways = My Kind Of Driving!