Parking Minimums and Urban Highways – #CitiesSkylines Gives a Tragic History Lesson from the USA

Yes the sarcasm was highly noted


Who says Cities Skylines can not teach us some history in: Planning, Transport and Urban Geographic Politics? Well apparently in this instance a player from the USA is using Cities Skylines to give us a reminder on what happens when you allow engineers and politicians to put the car first!!!




Today we look at:

  1. Parking Minimums (oh hello Unitary Plan)
  2. Urban Motorways (yep Auckland did this too)


If you are wondering about the parking lot video I am about to embed yes a scrap between the Americans (who use Parking Minimums) and the Europeans who think such a requirement is an atrocity to cities did break out in the comments section.


Without further ado I give you PARKING MINIMUMS:


If you are wondering for my own Cities in Cities Skylines I tend to follow a blend of the Auckland and European model of not having a strict guideline of providing parking. That is you will not catch me placing down huge parking buildings  or sprawling parking lots as a rule of thumb but as an exception to said rule. In the past I would have had piles of on-street parking, and parking buildings at transit stations (think Park and Rides). However, in my more recent Cities on-street parking has become restricted to some residential areas while specialised areas like the Space Centre, and amusement park will have large parking lots. With transit stations; urban transit stations will not have park and rides while outlying stations might. Centres including City Centres and my Metropolitan Centres I make an effort not to provide parking given parking induces demand for Cims to travel by car into the area detracting the amenities of said Centres.

San Solaria I made the effort in placing lots of EV charging stations that also served as parking lots however, in my current City (San Layton City) I have not made such an effort as the “market” via the Commercial Zones is doing a better job than I could.

Rather ironically with San Layton City the large parking lots I have placed only one is partially used at the amusement park. The rest at places like the Airport are sitting rather empty (while the busses and monorail are constantly full). Lesson? Build a decent transit system and parking sorts itself out.


Urban Highways

Auckland is not immune to building large motorways through urban areas with the Central Motorway Junction to worse case of urban vandalism in this Nation’s (New Zealand) history. As the video shows below (with the author showing maximum cynicism) this is what happens when you put the car before the person (and the City):

For me I avoid placing big 6-lane motorways through the guts of my urban areas full stop. I even try to avoid placing six lane arterial roads through the guts of my urban areas with the four lane roads (often with either bus lanes or light rail lines) being the largest roads going through the cores. That said the big 6 laners  (and in San Layton’s case the big 12 laner being tried as an experiment) form either borders or collectors to the outside of the core urban area to act as the distributors to and from said urban core area. Two lane roads and transit/pedestrian malls form the main network within an urban core area with the lane-ways being extremely useful for both high and low density residential areas as local roads.


If this case the inter city motorway was there before the City so the urban form (this case the City Centre) has followed the form of the motorway rather than me ploughing one through it)

In some cases I will bury a motorway that has run through a major urban area to allow the two previously severed areas to be stitched up giving one continuous form. This has been done overseas with Boston’s Big Dig being one while Korea is known to simply demolish highways to reconnected previously separated areas.


IF I have to bring highways into an urban area the two lane “national” highway (which can have sound walls placed) is more than enough to handle the load. The two lane highway will be used as either a bypass to take inter city traffic away from the urban core, with San Solaria linking two urban cores up if I run the dual core model (think Auckland City Centre and Manukau City Centre) OR linking a large fringe heavy industrial complex up to a main urban area (don’t worry freight rail is extensively used).



It is all about what you are wanting to achieve without demolishing large amounts of urban areas for an inefficient 6-12 lane motorway!


Pedestrian Malls are your friend


An example of burying a highway to reconnect two urban areas:

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Parking and urban highways – the bane of cities around the world!