Hey all, it’s Chris Schmidt a Tuning Designer here at Maxis. It’s been a while since I posted a blog, but today I am here to talk to you all about road layout. I have received a lot of feedback from folks about suggestions to road guides, and asking for advice on how best to lay out roads in your cities, so I will compile my thoughts on the matter here.
While each city site has its own unique challenges, I’d like to share a couple of my layouts from my favorite region, Reflection Atoll, and give some general advice on how to make the most of your layouts. In general, I tend to like gridded cities, as they offer the best format to allow your city to grow as it prospers. But there is something to be said for the use of curved roads to strategically make use of sections of the city that would otherwise not be well utilized, or to avoid intersections at corners so your traffic doesn’t have to slow down. Additionally, I find that while avenues are nice for allowing more traffic to flow along them, and of course for streetcars, the tradeoff of taking twice as much space is really only worth it for main thoroughfares. By effectively using busses and managing building facing though strategic road upgrades, thin roads can be significantly more effective at managing your traffic than avenues.
Here, we see what I call my “standard” layout, which shows these principles in action in a largely flat city site. I use wide 2 x 1 blocks for most of my RCI, and curves around the corners so that my traffic doesn’t have to slow down for an intersection. Additionally, this loop takes advantage of the streetcars to get folks to almost any part of my city, by being spaced just far enough apart that Sims will walk to the stops rather than drive. To further reduce traffic and improve congestion, I added lines of bus stops all on the same street side around the inner and outer loops, which should take up any extra commuters that can’t fit on my streetcars.
Here again is another layout, this time more complicated due to the nature of the terrain in the city site. Rather than an avenue loop, which would have been expensive to build using tunnels, I rely on a series of bridge connections between my industrial section and my residential area, between which lies my commercial district. This lets my workers and shoppers take different routes to get to their destinations, and should improve traffic flow overall. Meanwhile, intercity traffic can rely on direct tunnel routes between the two entrances to my city or take main thoroughfares to get most of the way to their destination before moving on to side streets.
Some things to note are how I have spaced my bus stops apart to provide the most possible coverage for each individual bus stop, and the same for each streetcar stop. Additionally, I have laid out all of my bus stops on the same side of the road to make sure that the busses can travel between the stops without having to reverse direction or take a crazy route.
These are some of the layouts I have but together, what ones have been your favorites? Send me a link on Twitter @MaxisBigTuna!