Here is another Rand McNally-ish Road Map.
My SC4 recreation of Detroit, Michigan.
Here is another Rand McNally-ish Road Map.
@Jacob Eminem forever man.
@IL "Good as always!" Why thanks!
Oak Park had its first settlers in the area around 1840. It was first a part of Royal Oak Township. The area was sparsely populated for many decades after. Housing first started to boom in 1914, and Oak Park was incorporated as a city in 1945. It was once one of America's fastest growing cities, as well as many many many other Detroit Suburbs during that time. Population in 1950 was 5,267, and in 1960 it jumped over 500% to 36,632. The peak population was just a little bit over that in the 1970 census. In 2010, the population was 29,319. In 2002 and 2004, Oak Park annexed several neighborhoods of Royal Oak.
Here is an intersection in Oak Park, 9 Mile Road and Coolidge Highway: (I did not plop any of the buildings you see.)
I will be featuring only a south-eastern part of Southfield, but this part is a part of Southfield's commercial center in which it is known for. Southfield's motto is "The Center of It All", as it kind of is geographically in the middle of the Detroit Metro. The land was surveyed in 1817 by Lewis Cass, and then in 1823, Southfield saw it's first settlers. It was first known as Ossewa in 1830, but was changed to Southfield seventeen days later, named after the "south fields" of Bloomington Township. The area stayed as Southfield Township for a while. During the 1950's, small villages began to develop in the township, such as Lathrup Village and Beverly Hills. The area that was left of the township become incorporated as the city of Southfield in 1958. Southfield has over 27 million square feet of office space. (I'm not sure how much office space Downtown Detroit has, but wiki says that Southfield surpasses Downtown Detroit. We all know wiki is not always right, but It might be true.) Southfield's peak population is 78,322 in 2000, in 2010 it was 71,758.
Here is 9 Mile and Greenfield, and the tall office buildings you see are in there accurate places, and so is the hospital and apartment complexes:
Here is Northland Shopping center, which you could also call a mall, located right by Greenfield, 8 Mile, and the Lodge Freeway. (Lodge Freeway is still a sunken freeway this far north, and I made 8 Mile into an elevated highway for an interchange with the Lodge.)
I've seen some requests that people want to see certain areas, such as Palmer Woods, (A very wealthy section of Detroit for those who don't know,) That part is struggling to develop mansions in SC4, as someone else was curios on how the development process has been going. I'd say that growing mansions in the wealthy parts has been extremely difficult. I will show what I have so far of the Palmer Woods and Detroit Golf Club area:
@The187InDetroit No not yet. I started with Downtown Detroit, and I'm expanding the region in a circular pattern, with Downtown being the center. It will be a while before I get there, but I'll be showing a region view.
@IL thanks a lot!
I-96 is an interstate highway entirely inside the Michigan borders. It is also possibly one of Michigan's most traveled Interstates. It connects Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Muskegon. In Detroit, you guessed it, it's called the Jeffries Freeway. It got the name from a former Detroit mayor, Edward Jeffries. The Jeffries Freeway is possibly the widest freeway in the Detroit area. In Inner city Detroit, it features a 14 lane wide freeway in some spots. 6 lanes for the express lanes, and 8 lanes for the local access lanes. Dividing the freeway between Express lanes and Local access lanes relieves congestion tremendously. In my SC4 version, there are 8 lanes for express and 6 lanes for local access, because it was easier for SC4 reasons. The first segment was open in 1970 and it connected I-94, and I-75. Many residents blame the Jeffries and other freeways in Detroit as reasons why the city's neighborhoods suffer severe abandonment, as the freeways allowed for quick transportation to the suburbs, which served as a factor in Detroit's white flight era. Many other major urban centers have had the same problem.
My SC4 version of the Jeffries will look sloppy in some areas, as the neighbor connections with NWM and NAM are a pain to deal with but it can also be a beauty. The reason why I usually don't mess with the NAM 6, 8, and 10 lane highways is because of the neighbor connections, which I haven't found out how to do a smooth multi lane NAM highway neighbor connection, if it's possible. I've had to mess with the surrounding streets for some creative solutions, but it doesn't appear to be too off scale. You shouldn't be too disappointed in it unless you live around the area I'm showing, and if you do, my apologies.
Here is... The one, the only,
The Remarkable, Outstanding, SC4 NAM Neighbor Connections!
The exit you see is with Greenfield road. The 7 lane NWM highway you see at the bottom is Plymouth Road.
The massive interchange you see is Davison Avenue, also M-8 where the trunkline ends at the Jeffries. I think I got as close as anyone could to duplicating the actual interchange in SC4, and having a full interchange, meaning complete access to all directions from every set of lanes, and a south bound I-96 exit to Grand River Avenue. I took off the road signs so you can clearly see the art work I've created.
If you're wondering why I didn't add concrete textures to the sunken highway, that's because the Jeffries features dead grass, landscaped trees, and garbage. The Jeffries also isn't a complete sunken highway compared to SC4 standards in terms of the 15m hole you have to dig so overpasses don't look like they've been through earthquake damage. In real life though, it is more of a sunken highway then it is a regular ground highway.
Here is a region view of what I have so far. Hope you're satisfied:
I want to thank everybody that has read my CJ and has enjoyed it. I never thought my region would look this good, and it can only look better from here.
I also have the 8 mile trailer park developed.
I'm a huge Eminem fan.
But guess what.
School is about to start for me.
School comes first...
Social life comes second...
Free time comes third.
Development will be slowing down quite a bit.
Also, I'd rather warn you about extremely slow development on the region and end up not being as busy as I'm predicting...
Than not warn you about extremely slow development and then not post any updates.
So that means that I might post updates on a weekly basis, or it might mean that I post updates on a monthly basis.
But guess what again.
I'm not going away.
This region IS going to get filled out!
By... (looks at calendar)
No set due date.
Till next time,
Coleman A. Young International airport is fairly small and is 5 miles northeast of downtown. This airport is the Detroit area's oldest airport, and it used to be called Detroit City Airport. Sometimes, it is also called Coleman A. Young Municipal Airport. It is owned by the city of Detroit. Southwest Airlines used to fly here from 1988-1993. Right now the airport has no passenger lines running through it. The passenger terminal is 53,000 square feet and has enough room for restaurants, baggage/pick-up claim areas, retail stores, car rental facilities, and airport offices. The airport also has three 1,000 space parking lots, which are in the next tile to the right, and I didn't put them in, because it would look awkward.
Coleman A. Young:
Here are some further area's that I've developed.
8 Mile and I-75:
Hazel Park is one of Detroit's older suburbs, of-course, sense the city limits border Detroit's city limits. In this area, commercial business line nearly every major road. Hazel Park's peak population was around 25,000 back in 1960, but has sense dropped to around 16,000.
What's next? It's a mystery.
@Jacob thanks! Appreciate it.
@vivapanda I always like to form the geography of the region before I play it. To me, it feels odd if I don't.
Now.... Guess what? I've got some sunken freeways! and they look great! and it's time for some pictures of some new roads I've put in. It will focus on 8 Mile Road / M-102, Woodward Avenue / M-1, and the Chrysler Freeway / I-75. This general area is near the suburbs of Ferndale, Hazel Park, and Highland Park. In between all of those area's is Detroit City limits..... In less complicated words, south of 8 Mile road is Detroit, and north of 8 Mile Road is Hazel Park and Ferndale. Highland park is it's own incorporated ghetto town surrounded by Detroit's larger ghetto. I will have an update featuring Highland Park..... When I feel like doing Highland Park. If you didn't know from watching the movie 8 Mile or being an Eminem fan, 8 Mile is the border for Detroit City Limits. I don't have any "streets" put in on this tile yet, so it will look blank. I will be showing the interchanges of Woodward and 8 Mile, and I-75 and 8 Mile. I will also say that Woodward Avenue is recognized as Detroit's main street, and is also recognized as the main street for many of the suburbs it serves. It is one of the oldest paved streets in the United States.
Here is a google earth picture of Woodward and 8 Mile:
Here is an SC4 picture of Woodward and 8 Mile, from all 4 angles! :D
I'll probably replace the sunken highway filler with one that doesn't have trees, as this old showcase of infrastructure is 100% concrete.
Now here is a Google Earth image of 8 Mile and I-75:
Here is an SC4 image of 8 Mile and the Chrysler Freeway...... at all angles!!! :D
For those who know 8 Mile road, it is extremely wide, and If you're wondering why 8 Mile is a 4 lane avenue..... get away from the massive intersections and it's a 6 lane. I wish there were 8 lane avenues! And a Michigan Left Mod would be legit, but I don't know how popular it would be.
The only problem I've found, with my layout is...... that 8 Mile road runs along too far north in the tile, so I'm going to have to demolish it and move it south some :/ no big deal I guess. It will look the same as the above pictures pretty much.
Oh man, I can't wait to develop this tile and see sims driving on the sunken Chrysler Freeway. Arousing.
What's next? Coleman A. Young International Airport.
@Jetty Jocky & NMUSpidey; thanks for bringing the positive comments! I really appreciate it, and I'm truely glad you guys like them! And whether I get 1 star rating or a 5 star rating, I'm not going anywhere, I'll still post updates.
I think it's time for me to show some love for Canada.
Here is Windsor's massive assembly plant, officially called, Windsor Assembly. It is a Chrysler plant, and it is Windsor's largest employer with 4,450 workers.
E.C. Row Expressway, Howard Avenue Exit: (Just south of here in the next tile is a massive shopping mall.)
Here is an attempt at Diagonal Sunken Freeways, in which I ended up going to the forums for help, and found out it's impossible to accomplish this in my Detroit region. This is I-375. It is impossible to cross avenues diagonally over sunken freeways in SC4 without it looking like an earthquake occurred, as well as making ramps for the service drives. So that is out of the question, and I'm going to stick with Elevated Highways. Although I might put in the sunken freeway on the parts of I-75, I-696, and I-96 are straight east - west, north - south routes.
A Geography Lesson!
I thought I would put these pictures up just to show you how huge the region really is. It was all hand terraformed by me, and will definitely need extra touches as I expand, but it still looks pretty.
Once again, it was made this big because I wanted to get the entire Detroit Metro, in which I still might need to add an extra large tile on the north and south sides. I didn't realize I was going to get so much of Canada, which is actually awesome when you think about it, because I got the entire Essex County Peninsula. I didn't put in any hills, because I HATE SC4 terraforming with a passion when it comes to hills, and sense this is Detroit / Windsor, which is generally flat with not many huge hills except for parts of Oakland County, and the area has plenty of water to keep the region view interesting, hills don't matter.
ell that's it for this one, what's next? I have no idea. Something Interesting.
I didn't realize that If I posted back to back updates that quick, that one of these wouldn't show on the "recent update" screen. So I deleted that post and posted it again, so you would be more aware of it.
And BTW, I have something to say. :| Only 3 stars out of 5 on Downtown Detroit? Maybe I should of waited... lol, and only 4 out of 5 on the region view also? Geeze... lol. I'm just gonna say that I haven't seen any CJ on simtropolis come this far on Detroit, although I've seen several in the past that laid out downtown, plopped the ren cen, and then quit. (Part of the reason why I waited a while to show downtown.) I guess when you take on big projects you're gonna get criticized just as much as you would get praised if it was D*** near perfect.
@cmpd123789 I do have parking lots downloaded. You can see some of them in some of my updates, (Hamtramck.) If you said that because of all of the concrete slabs I put down, look at google earth. Downtown Detroit, and Midtown Detroit, is a heaven of concrete slabs, which is why i filled multiple blocks of them. Also, I've downloaded so many buildings and mods from the STEX I can't even name them all, My plugins folder says it has 450 files in it, which is a mixture of mods and buildings, and different kinds of lots.
@Jacob Guajardo go to the STEX and browse around, download the buildings you like, and make sure you download the dependencies also.
@NMUSpidey I actually never thought of looking for seawalls on the STEX. I downloaded a canal mod for plopable water, but that's as far as I've gotten with anything that has to do with water
@VMIUJcadet09 there's definitely going to be a lot more!
@SimCoug Thanks! It's no joke attempting to do that. Once i did a few of the tiles though it became easier.
@Jacob Guajardo thanks man!
Everybody: I am kind of rushing this too, because I want to get the city of Detroit done before school starts in 2 weeks, which I don't even know if that will happen. I'm not going to stop working on this though, believe that. Playing this, and playing Madden, is what I do most of the time when I have nothing to do and no plans planned. Who knows, I might have the motivation to learn the sunken freeways, and that alone will make it look a WHOLE lot more like Detroit. I'll even look into seawalls and stuff like that next, because I know that they are somewhere. This isn't going to be perfect at first, but I'm gonna keep working at it. First I am going to fill out all of the large tiles, 16 x 16, as I feel like the region view would be flipping awesome. I'm going to show a region view in my next update, which is coming in a few minutes after I post this one.
Now, for Windsor Ontario: Windsor is often referred to as Canada's automotive capital. It holds Chrysler's Canadian Headquarters, and has a huge Chrysler assembly plant. Over the years it has annexed several of its neighboring communities, Sandwich being one of them, Windsor has a very popular casino, Ceasar's Palace, and the city also draws large crowds from the United States as Canada's drinking age is 19. Windsor has no where near the abandonedment that Detroit has, and hosts a rather impressive skyline for a city of only around 200,000 people. Windsor marks the western end of Canada's most populated region, Quebec City marks the end on the east side. This region also has half of Canada's population, so you can see it's importance economically, and I assume that the culture is a lot like the United States'.
Here is what I've got so far:
Ceasar's on the left, Chrysler Canadian Headquarters on the Right (I think you know what buildings I'm talking about.)
South Cameron Woodlot: (I hear that you can see the Detroit Skyline from here.)
Last but not least....
This is just the region view of what I have developed so far. First picture is just the normal region view, second is like a road map.
I wasn't going to post the pictures of Downtown Detroit until later, but I think it's a good time to show it, since I've showed enough of other things first. I'm going to go ahead and predict that this will be my most liked update as of yet. Not bragging.
@JasonCW. If you ever see this post, THANK YOU. This is pretty much a museum of your buildings you've uploaded to the STEX. I will also say that the only SC4 downloadable GM Renaissance Center in cyber existence, could be a lot better and I legitimately looked for days for plugins to show the parking lot on the smaller building, and gave up, so I'll probably get some criticism for that. I'll also get criticism for not having sunken freeways, refer to the post I made before this one if you're disappointed with that. One more thing that could be a possible dissapointment is Ford Field, I used the maxis convention center, because I couldn't find ONE building in the STEX that looked close to ford field, and the convention center seemed like my best option. The maxis major league stadium is closer to Commerica Park than anything else would be.
Most of Downtown Detroit is made of plopped buildings. I plopped multiple Detroit Skyscrapers in several locations as well, and the Chicago Tribune Tower, and the U.S. Bank Tower, and a few New York skyscrapers. The section north of Grand Circus park, and along I-375 was all grown through high density commercial. I also put in the people mover that nobody uses!
Here are the photo's of Downtown Detroit! :D
GM Renaissance Center:
Commerica Park, Ford Field:
Downtown at Sunset:
Joe Louis arena and Cobo Center:
Campus Martius Park:
Grand Circus Park:
Sim City 4:
MGM Grand Casino:
That's all for this one. Up next, Downtown Windsor.
First off I would like to say that I'm glad that people in the simtropolis community are enjoying this! I know that I am.
@iowndiscti I actually took the screenshot immediately to the right of the I-75. Most of midtown though is in other tiles, yes, as 75 is on the far left side for most of the tile. In the bottom left of the Hamtramck tile you can see midtown. I'm actually about to show a picture of midtown.
@NMUspidey thanks! and yeah I think you could be safe saying that Detroit is pretty much 50/50 really bad, and really good. Not much of the middle, but that's been improving over the years. I'm a huge NFL fan too, (just saying) and Warren is actually north of Detroit.
@ggagmus Yes it could be improved in a lot of ways I'll admit, as I didn't bother to put in railroads, I don't really care for railroads with a few exceptions, and I've never cared to learn how to install sunken freeways, it just seems very nerve racking and I don't want to lose interest in the game with stressing over getting every road, and every street, "exact."
Also, I must say that Detroit is arguably the most difficult American city to rebuild in SC4, with the roads at extremely, difficult SC4 angles. Once again, I'm not killing valuable brain cells of mine to stress over getting everything exact, but I think it's turning out well, and I hope I don't sound biased by saying that. I'd also admit that I'm putting in maybe 85% effort in getting everything "exactly on point." So I won't argue any criticism.
Well, here is a recap, with some photo's, of what I've had made so far:
Michigan Central Station, one of the most famous urban ruins in the world. It really doesn't look this "clean" by any means, and I put the tracks in the background for eye candy, and Vernor Highway does go under them, so it would of been a big thing to leave out:
Wayne State University:
south part of midtown:
A section of M-53 / Van Dyke Avenue / Earl Memorial Highway, whatever you want to call it. This section of the city I just find very interesting. Much of it is abandoned, and it is due west of the Coleman A Young Airport, or Detroit City Airport:
A train yard I put in east of hamtramck for eye candy, (also note the density of Hamtramck on the left, and the emptiness of Detroit on the right, it is like that in real life:
My next tile that I'll fill out will probably be the one to the right of this, or "East Detroit." looking at it on google earth, it looks difficult, but definitely do-able. Going from north to south though, and west, I've reached territory where the streets are mainly STRAIGHT.
Hamtramck is a city entirely within Detroit's city limits, except for a very small portion that borders Highland Park. In 1970, 90% of the population was polish. In 2010, only 14% of the population is Polish. Over the past 30 years , immigrants from south Asia and the Middle East have flooded over to Hamtramck, making it Michigan's most internationally diverse city according to the 2010 American community survey. Hamtramck is also the most densely populated city in Michigan with over 10,000 people per square mile. The total population is 22,423. The city has not suffered the urban blight as neighboring Detroit and Highland Park have.
Hamtramck, Michigan, SC4 style everybody:
General Motors' Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly Plant is one of the companies premiere facilities, as it produces the Chevy Volt, Cadillac DTS, and the Buick Lucerne.
Here it is:
Comment if you like! and don't be afraid to ask me if you'd like to see anything in my re-creation.
This is going to be a very long update, so it's alright if you only look at the pictures. Although if you're an urban history nut or just a tourist freak like me, you'll be interested in the text as well.The display picture is the entrance to Zug Island. I found props on the STEX, the blue cranes you see on the sides of the bridge, that made me think of Zug Island. This is the entrance to Zug Island as seen from Google Earth:
Btw, google earth has been a VERY useful tool in my re-creation. Without it, I wouldn't be able to attempt this re-creation and make it look anything close to the real thing. Zug Island is famous for heavy industry and pollution. In the google Earth picture, you can see signs saying United States Steel. In SC4, I have way more smoke stacks then in real life, but the pollution it produces is very similar. The rouge river ends at the Detroit river, and splits in two directions. In the middle, as you guessed, is Zug Island. It's not a natural Island as a shipping canal was dug on the south west side:
The development of the island started when Samuel Zug came to Detroit from Pennsylvania in the 1850's. He had a successful business in Detroit called The Stevenson and Zug furniture company. He became one of the wealthiest businessmen in Detroit. After time, he ditched the business, and invested in some real estate along the Detroit river right by the town of Delray in 1876. At the time it was all swamp. The dampness of the land was too much for Zug and his wife, so they bailed after 10 years. In 1888, Zug allowed the River Rouge Improvement company to dig a new canal through the south portion of his land. Three years later, Zug sold the land for $300,000 to industries that wanted it as a dumping ground. That transaction was the biggest real-estate transaction of the decade. After that, Zug became a politician for Wayne County, and then passed away in 1896. Later on, the canal was widened and better known in the 1920's when Henry Ford put it to use with his Auto Assembly plants.
The Rouge RIver has never caught on fire like Clevelands Cuyahoga River, (hahahahaha) but it might as well have come close back in the day when people could care less about harming the environment The small patch of grass and trees you see on the Island was undeveloped to preserve wildlife. Yes, wildlife lives on the Island. Mostly gulls, rats, and types of fish.
The island is not owned by the city of Detroit, it's actually owned by the city of River Rouge, served by Jefferson Avenue. River Rouge is an Industrial suburb of Detroit with a population of around 8,000. This is the beginning of the chain of suburbs that Detroiters like to call, "Down River."
Along Jefferson Avenue is the town of Delray, annexed by Detroit years ago. Much of it is abandoned due to poor air quality from industries on Zug Island. The residential neighborhood is solitaire from all other residential areas, as it's surrounded by industry and commercial lots on all sides. I wouldn't necessarily want to live here either.
You might be surprised, but Detroit is recognized with some of the cleanest drinking water in the nation. Detroit water and sewage company off of Jefferson Avenue right by zug island:
I would talk about Fort Wayne, but I don't know much about it, and I don't care for the "war battles" of history, although I will say that Detroit has some of the richest history of that kind in the United States. French, United Kingdom, and the United States all have rich military history in Detroit, and Detroit was a major center for the U.S. army during the civil war and WWII as many factories in the area produced their weapons. Here is historic Fort Wayne, the third fort in the Detroit area, located along Jefferson Avenue at the foot of Livernois Avenue in real life, not in SC4 because of the odd road angles. As a major road geek, I am disappointed in myself for not being able to get some of the roads exactly on point. (sorry if it disappoints you.):
The chemical industry is also big:
Mexicantown: One of Detroit's thriving neighborhoods in recent history. Between the 1990 and 2000 census, this part of Detroit had a 6.9% population rise to 96,000. Half of the residents are hispanic, 25% are African American, and %20 are non-hispanic white. You don't see much abandoned homes or vacant lots in this part of the city. There are many mexican restaurants in this area, mostly off of Vernor highway, (the main thoroughfare in the neighborhood.) This area is one of Detroit's revitalized projects that have actually worked:
This is the Brighton Beach neighborhood in Windsor. Yes, Windsor has it's share of urban blight as well. I haven't researched it much, but I saw this area on google earth and thought it was very interesting. Heavy industries produce pollution on the Canadian side directly across the Detroit river from Zug Island:
I will say that it has been a huge challenge to get a high enough of a demand for dirty industry without zoning the whole area medium residential. I have a skyrocketing demand for high tech industry right now in the game, and I'm trying my best to not let it develop and let the wealthy sims work in Downtown Detroit or Windsor, or offices along Woodward Avenue, because that's how it is in real life. I've had to zone high density residential in some area's that Detroit has had some housing projects up at one time, that has helped. Detroit is just mostly a huge mecca of single family homes and corner stores though.
I haven't had too many problems developing other then that! My next update WILL be the Hamtramck GM plant, (it's looking great other then the very low demand for manufacturing industry.) If you want to see anything in particular let me know in a comment, and I'll try to develop those area's as quickly as possible! For the record, I have 8 and a half tiles filled out with atleast streets. 246 and a half to go! .... Or something like that.
The Detroit-Windsor tunnel was completed in 1930. It was an incredible feature of engineering at the time. It connects Jefferson Avenue in Downtown Detroit, to Goyeau Street in Windsor. This tunnel was only the 3rd under water vehicular tunnel in the United States when constructed, the other two being in the New York City area, and is just under a mile in length. It is also the third under water international crossing in the World. The Michigan Central Railway which crosses nearby, was the 2nd, and the St. Clair tunnel between Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarina, Ontario was the first. Although, the Detroit-Windsor tunnel was the first vehicular under water international crossing.
The Detroit-Windsor tunnel is the 2nd bussiest crossing between Canada and the United States, after the near by Ambassador Bridge, as an average 13,000 vehicles use the tunnel per day.
In Windsor, You can see many Canadian and U.S. citizens with their passports ready as they make their way through the Canadian toll, and on their way to the United States:
In Detroit, Windsorites leave work and head back to their native land after a long, hard work day, and Detroiter's pick up their vehicles from the parking garage, as Detroit and Windsor have worked out an international shuttle program, at-least in my SC they do.
Once again, I'm not sure what will be the next update, sense my updates are going to be spontaneous, but it will be cool!............ because it's Detroit..............
After several days of having my only sim city action being laying out diagonal streets, I figured it would be okay to start developing one of the tiles. I've been going back and forth throughout my sim city playing time today. Besides, laying out tons of streets and not putting any of them to use makes me hurl.
I've started by filling out the east side of Detroit, just east of downtown. This part has been one of Detroit's most depressed areas for a long time, but parts of it are quite nice as well. Lafayette and Elmwood park residential area's have some of the nicer apartments in the city. The display picture is Charlevoix and Vernor, and the north-south street is Mt. Elliot Street. It has been really fun to lay down the patches of grass, mixed in with the trees and other textures. The random houses on the blocks have started to abandon too, getting in touch with reality, which is awesome that SC4 is functioning that way. Both Detroit and Windsor, as well as many large industrial cities, have several rather long, and narrow strips of industry along the railroad tracks, to the right is one of them.
1st Attachment: Rivertown district along Jefferson Avenue, east side of Detroit. Plenty of old warehouses and factories are still in use, but some have also been torn down, which is now full of weeds, tall grass, and urban ruins. The nice apartments on the top that you see is apart of Lafayette and Elmwood Park. Jefferson Avenue has some really, REALLY neat old, historic buildings along it. (I'm a tourist nut.)
The second is Gratiot Avenue just north east of downtown. For those who don't know, or haven't been to Detroit, the surrounding neighborhoods in the Gratiot Avenue attachement, in real life, kind of do look like this unfortunately. Some old shops along Gratiot, and the surrounding blocks are quite empty. But don't judge and think that all of Detroit looks like that. Every large city has an area somewhat like this, Detroit just has a higher quantity, and some of the areas are more severe.
Note: I have put in many buildings in Downtown Detroit, and it's looking awesome. I'm not going to be showing any pictures of downtown though for a while, because Downtown is not something I want to rush, and I know that's what everyone wants to see. Therefor, it would be much more fitting to show that later. Much later.
What will my next update be? My guess is as good as yours. It depends on what I feel like doing.
As I've said before, it's been a pain to lay out the diagonal streets, but I'm loving the results. If you've ever played on a sports team, it's like practice, and then game time. The streets are a little off, as Downtown Detroit and Downtown Windsor are basically right across the river from each other in that slight diagonal line..... If you go on Google Earth, go to Detroit / Windsor, and tilt the world to a that slight angle, it appears that Detroit and Windsor both have direct North, South, East, and West streets.
The light blue lines are the freeways, the thick orange lines are the avenues and boulevards, the red lines are the one way roads, and you should be able to tell the difference between the roads and the streets. The patches of no streets in some of the filled out areas you see are rail yards and big factories, so I'm just going to use those as Dirty industry zones. (it's Detroit, lets be real.) Zug Island should be quite a beauty as well. I've downloaded some open grass lots on the STEX, and some of the lots have garbage on them, so it should be really cool. I've downloaded plenty of the BSP buildings, the Ren Cen, (also used in my Columbus CJ.) and some Windsor buildings as well. It already is starting to look like a road map of the area.
This one will mostly focus on Windsor... Detroit was found in 1701 as a French fort, and Windsor was found in 1749 as a French settlement. Windsor is the oldest French settlement in Canada west of Montreal, and is the western end of Canada's heavily populated Quebec City / Windsor corridor. This region of Canada holds %51 of Canada's population. (18 million)
This community went through a variety of names before settling on the name Windsor. First, it was called "Petite Cote" French for little coast, as Detroit has the longer coast of the Detroit River. The second name was "La Cote De Misere" French for Poverty Coast because of the sandy soils in the area. In 1892, the city had a controversy on what name they should give the city. The most popular names were South Detroit, The Ferry, (Due to the ferry connecting with Detroit) Windsor, and Richmond. It was named Windsor off of the Windsor Castle in England sense the city had many European settlers.
Windsor now-a-days has a good reputation for a rust-belt city, even though the auto industry hit hard, and has been recognized as one of America's top ten large cities of the future for 2011/2012. Others on the list in no order include Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Charlotte, Mississauga, Las Vegas, Victoria, Hamilton, and Quebec.
On a different note, I just can't help but think about how interesting it would be to drive through Windsor and look at some of the buildings, and drive through some of the rural areas out there. It's probably a lot like the States, but sense it's Canada, it would have a different vibe of course.
Below is an attachment of the guide I'm using to map out the SC4 tiles.
The Ambassador Bridge, according to wikipedia, is the busiest International crossing in North America. It was built in 1929 and the ramps on both the U.S. side and the Canadian side have had work over the years. It is 152 feet above the Detroit river, and due to SC4 limitations, I couldn't make it's exact slight diagonal path. The way my tiles are set up in my region though made for a nice, creative solution. On the U.S. side, it connects with I-75 and I-96, with new ramps most recently done this year, as all semi trucks used to have to drive on Fort Street, to the closest I-75 entrance ramp. All traffic on the Canadian side is thrown onto Huron Church road, which you have to drive through Windsor's surface streets to get to highway 401, the Mac Donald Carter Freeway.
Now for a history lesson, if you're interested:
This bridge is vital to the region as around 150,000 jobs depend on the bridge. Back in the good old railroad days, Detroit and Windsor were major railroad hubs. A rail tunnel was built under the Detroit River. Most of the train traffic was from Chicago, and as they were heading east to the Atlantic Seaboard, they stopped in Detroit before crossing the river, only one of the factors that made Detroit a huge city. A bridge was in high demand, and after more then 10 years of important people arguing, yelling, and spitting in each others faces, it was built in 1927, and completed in 1929. A very complicated situation / plan is trying to be drawn up for a new bridge to be built, and possibly connect directly from Canada's 401 freeway to I-75 / I-94, so it can bypass Windsor's surface streets.
Another update: I have 2 tiles of Detroit city filled out with streets, as well as 1 of Windsor! Detroit should take 11 or 12 more large tiles and Windsor, or any sort of large urban development in Canada, should be 7 more tiles. I'm debating myself on to start building Detroit and Windsor now, or wait until I develop the entire cities first. Hmmmmmmmmmmm..............
The attachments include the US border patrol, the toll booths on the Canadian side, and a grand 400 some ft. aerial view of the bridge.
This is a teaser of what is to come. What you see is the street layout of Downtown Detroit. (Downloaded a mod a while ago to change the colors of the streets in the transportation map, can't remember the name of it.) My region is 16 x 16 large tiles. It stretches from just north of Monroe, Michigan to just north of Anchor Bay of Lake Saint Clair, and from Lakeshore, Ontario to Ann Arbor. I know, huge. I wanted to make sure that I got the entire Detroit Metro, and I consider Ann Arbor a suburb of Detroit, just like Pontiac is considered one, and just like Aurora, Elgin, and Joliet are to Chicago. The only part of the region I feel like doesn't need to be there is the vast Canadian Country-side east of Windsor, Ontario. I even have the top of Lake Erie in the region. I'm from Metro Detroit, and have been obsessed with Detroit sense forever. I've memorized the streets and freeways long ago. (I know, super nerdy) I've even drove up to Detroit for no other reason than to just cruse around the Detroit Metro. Expensive. I've only been through Windsor once, in which I can't remember exactly what it looks like because I was 3. So anyways, who knows if I ever get to fill out the whole thing. I got bored of Columbus, and if I get bored of this I'll probably go back to Columbus.
Laying out Detroit's streets is a pain in the ass, and so will it be to put in all the lakes in the north west metro area. I'm probably going to just try to put in the main roads as accurate as possible, (The ones that show up as yellow lines on Google Earth) and make the side streets a diagonal pattern. I'm not even going to bother putting in Railroad tracks, sense half the worlds railroads are abandoned anyways. The Ambassador Bridge should be fun, too. (Sarcasm.) I know that Detroit area freeways are sunken, and I know there's a mod for it, but I don't really want to mess with it, so I'm just using elevated highways in the areas that are sunken.
It's just so hard to get Detroit's french style streets in the right diagonal pattern, and I don't want to kill my valuable brain cells stressing over getting it exactly right, because this is just a computer game. So parts of Detroit, Down River, Windsor, (Yes I'm filling out Canada too) and Grosse Pointe / St. Clair Shores will probably be a little off. Much of the suburban area has straight north and south roads, very SC4 friendly. The City of Detroit it'self is probably going to be a whole 13 large tiles, sense 1 large tile in my opinion is 3.3 x 3.3 miles. You can see a blurry Microsoft Paint edition of a map of the region, and 1 small square is 1 large tile, the region you might of figured is the entire bold box. The squares ARE NOT going to be exact to my SC4 region at all, but that's a good idea of it, and I ended up adding another small square across the bottom, so you get the entire peninsula of Ontario, and the top of Lake Erie.
The geography, except the Rouge River and the north western lakes, are all set in place. I've already filled out 1 and a half tiles. 254 and a half to go! I filled out Columbus pretty quick, surprisingly. so I expect to get at least the city of Detroit before school starts. Hopefully in region view, it looks pretty darn close to the actual Detroit, which will be challenging, considering the main thoroughfares are Woodward, Jefferson, Grand River, Gratiot, and Michigan. All at odd diagonal angles in SC4, with the exception of Michigan in the inner city.
When school starts back up, don't expect many updates, but don't assume I'm quitting either, because I'm really excited to see what this region will look like all filled out.