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Control your transportation flow #0549
Updated: 8/6/00 OS/platforms(s): All Versions: All

Contributor/author(s): Jacob Wood

Have you ever noticed how in your cities, the flow of street transportation often times follows very obscure and frustrating paths throughout the city. You can view this by opening your transportation density data map. Most often, there will be one or two major arteries of heavier traffic winding through the city. These paths usually don't go where you want them to go, taking side streets and back ways through the town. This is bad for traffic causing grid lock and lower aura. There is a way, however, to control these "paths" and get them to do more of what you want them to do. It has to do with forcing your arterial roads.

This works best in the early stages of planning a city, since it involves how the layout of your grid will be. It can be done in older cities, but involves a lot of renovating and reconstruction. The idea is to build your proposed arterial streets without a lot of exits and entrances to them. Build "pockets" of neighborhoods throughout the city that are not connected to each other, but are only connected to arterial roads by one or two links. This way, the only way to get from, say, Grungy's Industrial Park to Lyonelle Estates would be to take the arterial roads since no other path can be found through the side streets.

This is very realistic in terms of real cities. You don't cut through the neighborhoods to get from one side of town to the other; even if you wanted to you most likely couldn't. You end up using the major roads. They're more direct, faster, and offer a more straight path to your destination. Also, this form of traffic when introduced to your city is easier to maintain and to fix if problems arise since traffic is condensed onto one main road. Your street traffic will be more organized and your city will be an easier place to travel around.

See also
Traffic and transportation specifics
Reducing rail crossing congestion
How to make large avenues
Avenues: form or functional?
The where and what of mass transit
Mass transit: in efficiency, realism, and stuff
Bus stops: for shops and houses only?
How to build a big, mass transit free city

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