When design and lower speeds work
— Ben Ross (@BenRoss_AKL) October 7, 2017
One great thing about Cities Skylines (and using the Transport Manager President Edition mod) is being able to set the default speed limits on the different classes of roads within your city. The game defaults out at 40km/h for two lane roads, 50km/h for four lane roads and 60km/h for six lane roads. Lane ways default 30km/h, shared paths and cycle boulevards at 20km/h and highways are 90-100km/h depending on how many lanes. Transport Manager President Edition allows me to change the defaults or certain road segments but I usually don’t do so apart from some industrial connection roads where I might move the default from 50km/h to 70km/h.
It is the lower default speed limits in Cities Skylines however, that garner the most attention. By that I mean how the lower limits encourage community activities while still allowing traffic to flow efficiently through an area (unless I have specifically banned cars out of an area). BUT lowering the speed limit default is only half of the equation into building more people friendly communities. Design of the road or street is the other half of the equation the half that is most forgotten about.
The Tweet above gave an example of speed verses design. I will post the pictures again below for a closer look:
Both roads are set to 40km/h but which is more conductive to passively enforcing the 40km/h limit thus being more community friendly? Certainly the one sans hard median and with a painted cycle lane. Also I am a sucker for trees on medians and down the sides of roads too. Street trees are great not only for beautification but also; noise reduction, pollution reduction, rain runoff shield, and shade respite especially as this map is set in a tropical climate.
If you are wondering the areas above are served by busses connecting either to the ferry dock or to Laytonville City Centre via the busway.
Even lower speed limit defaults
Cycle boulevards and shared paths have even lower speed limit defaults of 20km/h while laneways are set to 30km/h. These quaint small streets make for some of the more picturesque shots of ground level of a city (unless you want a 7-lane road full of trucks in an industrial complex). These small streets are also the ones with the most activity in terms of people and cyclists too.
Below are some earlier shots of the smaller streets and how they look:
That last one there an example of a 70km/h connector road.
I will leave some pictures of some small roads/streets, a standard road and the odd 6-laner showing the difference in speed and design and how each affects the local urban space:
I threw in some bonus City wide shots too.
If we are looking at making Auckland more hospitable towards people then the combination of lower default speed limits and better street design would go a long way. Cities Skylines shows one way it can be done. So then shall we begin?