Street layout for me is important. It's the basis for traffic management, zoning and aesthetics.
I personally don't appreciate blocky, cluttered grid layouts. It's hard for me to concentrate on a given problem, causes traffic issues and lacks form, function and creativity. I'm not criticising those that use the grid format. Those that do, actually tend to do better than me in terms of raw numbers and maximum output.
Even if it means zoning and building considerations, lack of maximum population or "waste of space" (as others would be quick to point out), I won't sacrifice aesthetic, form or function in order to get the biggest bang for my buck. I play to think, plan, organise and challenge myself. I prefer to govern smaller cities that for me, are more manageable.
Right then, on with the city structure; the basic street layout.
Petrol Bay has Oil, lot's of it. Laying out roads to exploit this resource and provide a living, breathing, working city on the periphery would be challenging, fun and (hopefully) rewarding.
The first consideration I had to take was the massive oil reserve in the middle of the map.
Considering this huge swath of precious Oil (that I've ultimately wasted), I need to block it off from the rest of the city. Mainly, it serves as a good template to lay out my first road; my future high density Avenues. For now though, simple dirt roads save money and lay out the groundwork for my future city. Everything will be built around this area and will present a few interesting challenges as I grow, namely, the industrial zone, which I will touch on later.
The primary artery I started with was a dirt road in the middle of the map that followed the outer edge of the proposed drilling site area. After that, I boxed in the initial area of early growth.
This entire section, from here on in will always be dedicated to Low Income ($) residents. After laying out these simple roads, I had determined that making separately zoned areas of wealth would be more manageable in the future. Starting off with small roads and upgrading them as I need them would prove to pay off in spades later on. Notice the road going through the map and off to the corner. This follows the future proposed drilling site border and winds it's way to the designated industrial area.
Next came the interior of the ($) area in the corner. Firstly, it's close to the regional highway and allows me to lay out some quick zoning. I extended the main artery up to the Industrial area, which turned out to be incredibly small and challenging. Even now, It's very difficult to manage but more on that later.
With Wind power in place, sims start to move in in the areas displayed. For quick and rapid income, I made large, sweeping zones. Typically, I prefer to go in small increments, however, since the roads are acting like a border for my ($) area, this generated some income while I designed the interior of the ($) section.
The interior section of the Low Income Community ($) was next. First, I laid out a road that contours the main artery (future) Avenue and then I split the long road on the outer border of the map with another road that goes right out to the artery bordering the proposed drill site.
Here, on the outer edge of the map, I extended the road up into the future Medium Wealth ($$) area and added some Industrial buildings in the other corner to get the sims working and provide some goods for my shops. Now, I have 3 horizontally laid streets from the edge of the map out to the main artery. The intention here is strictly traffic control. No zoning will be permitted on these streets and will later serve as high density traffic filters (in the future) to and from the main artery. The only buildings I've allowed here are the Town Hall and Emergency Services.
Another street was added to the interior that follows the contour of the main artery. This is considered an interior arterial road for the ($) residents and is also there for aesthetics. I think I could have done better but for now, it's a start. A few more roads were added in a quasi grid style fashion for zoning, expansion and future planning; should the need arise.
Next up, I needed adequate coverage for emergency services.
All fire, police and medical services are located strategically and intentionally on the middle interior traffic controlled road. As mentioned, this road will be high density (medium to start) with no zoning to allow for faster response times. It turns out that this decision has so far paid off with zero criminals, deaths and buildings burned in my current, much larger and busier city. It's pleasantly far exceeded my expectations so far and I couldn't be happier.
Next up, I quickly dispatched some roads in the Medium Wealth ($$) area.
Just like real life, I wanted this area to be a little more expansive, more wealthy and generally better off than the ($) sims in my early town. The first thing one might notice is the spacing in residential zones. This is intentional so that I can add parks when the demand is there for more ($$) sims. This method works two-fold. First, I add ($$) parks to add value to the area then, if I want a larger, higher capacity building somewhere or if my city is screaming for more growth, I simply upgrade a road to the next level, as needed, in the area that I want. For now in the early game, it's obviously basic and simple.
Next up was the (far off) future ($$$) area.
This was just a matter of simply closing off the outer borders and finishing off the arterial Avenue that will encircle the proposed drill site. The main purpose was for this was to finish off the Corporate land grab for Oil. In the later game, this shortsighted move presents me with some unexpected challenges, but for the time being, this area sat untouched for a long while.
And there we have it!
All in all, the over all road development and planning stages went really well. Although I rushed the ($$$) area, I could have planned it better to use it right away with ($) and ($$). I was fortunate though, in that the area has been hit with a couple disasters; first a tornado and then a meteor shower. Rather fitting, considering I called the region Crater Isle!
Larger versions of these images and a small amount more can be found<a href="http://phenomanonx.imgur.com/"> here.</a>
Next up in this series, we'll see some small city growth and the first oil rig.
Thanks for reading!