noun, verbal noun
Taking the nearby road will get you to your destination more quickly (because it's more close by!). This is a shortcut, aka the short way.
The reading is a bit weird in this one. It uses the kun'yomi reading for both kanji, even though it looks just like it should be all on'yomi reading. It's like you're taking a shortcut with your kanji readings and doing the native Japanese readings (kun'yomi) instead of the more intellectual Chinese ones (on'yomi). Luckily, you've hopefully seen both of these kanji as vocab already. You have ちか for 近 (short for 近い) and you have 道 (みち), just like the word "street" you learned before. Combine these together and you have the reading for this word. Perhaps it's like this because you're combining a couple concepts together into one word, at least when it comes to "short + way."
to take a shortcut
to pass through a shortcut
to tell someone about a shortcut
There's a shortcut if you turn down this road to the right.
Not all shortcuts are safe roads.
If you take a shortcut, you can go to the cherry blossom viewing venue quickly.