What is the optimal grid size for high density commercial / residental areas? (also in order to avoid too many cross roads for traffic jams)

  • Optimal is probably to arrange the layout so that most intersections are three-way rather than four-way -- for instance, a "grid" laid out like stacked bricks. – LindaJeanne Jul 27 '15 at 10:42
  • and how big should each gridcell bet usually? – Thomas Jul 27 '15 at 10:49
  • That I don't know, which is why I commented instead of answering :) – LindaJeanne Jul 27 '15 at 10:52
  • Ah no problem. I heard a few different comments in the past and that triggered my question (heard 10, 12, 8) so it is interesting which one (or if its another one) is ideal there and not only in regards to buidling large buildlings but also in regards to traffic – Thomas Jul 27 '15 at 10:56

The largest growable building footprint in the game is 4x4, so if you want to maximize the efficiency of your grids, you'll want to make sure the greatest distance between two parallel roads is 8 tiles, otherwise you'll leave a gap in the middle that can't be filled.

As far as the perpendicular roads go, that's going to depend on your situation. Residential and Office zones produce less traffic congestion, so larger grids with fewer access roads can work just fine (Some of these zones in my cities can be as large as 20x8 or 30x8). With commercial, you may consider smaller grids, as it attracts more traffic. Also, as suggested in the comments, a "brick" pattern using three way intersections is helpful, as it eliminates a potential left turn that can back up traffic.

The main thing though is not to attach too many intersections to your large, "main artery" roads. You need to find a balance between giving the AI options on ways to get into and out of the grid and onto and off of the main roads to avoid bottlenecks, but you also don't want them stuck trying to get through three dozen traffic lights to get to the store.

  • a "brick" pattern using three way intersections is helpful, as it eliminates a potential left turn that can back up traffic Does it mean that the road has to be 1-way? – A.L Sep 15 '15 at 13:51
  • Nope. Think of it like a "+" sign verses a "T" shape. You can turn left from any of the "+" sign's arms, but on the top of the "T", there's nowhere to turn left when coming from the left side. – JMR Sep 17 '15 at 1:13

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