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Mystic A

Help me understand NAM traffic

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Hey guys

I've been playing SimCity4 for several years now, and I've really enjoyed this site, and forums.

Anyways, I've been using the NAM, and RHW for a long time now, but I've always seemed to have problems with abandonment due to commute time.

So far it's been fine, as I've never really built a city much bigger than 200k residential. Now, however I'm going for a personal goal of building a single large tile into a city of 1.000.000, and I've been getting a lot of problems.

Basically I'm on a large tile with a river running through the middle. So far I've only populated one side, and I've got a population of around 350k. Most of the time, it appears I have to place my housing right next to a place with empty jobs, or the building will get abandoned. What confuses me is that at the time time, I've got a couple medium density houses, which are totally content driving across the whole map to work.

I also experimented, by dragging a maxis highway from one of my residential areas into a IHT area that wasn't getting many employees. As soon as I did I got a ton of people driving a long way to get to the highway, and suddenly all the industries were getting filled up with workers.

So sometimes, I've got houses that only seem content with driving a short distance before abandoning, while others are driving really far. And, I've got both industrial and commercial areas that aren't getting enough employees.

Is there any logic to this that I've misunderstood? Or did I somehow mess up installing the NAM?

At the moment it seems I either have to build by trial and error, or I have to give up any hope of building a realistic CBD, and just build R and C mixed in with each other. I thought part of the point of the NAM was to fix this.

I'd really appreciate if some of you guys could help clear this up for me. I hope I'm providing enough detail to explain the problem...

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If you have installed NAM with the default traffic set up, you really shouldn't have any problems provided you have supplied public transit and your connections to the jobs are not overly complex.

A screenshot of your city would be useful. Open your city and press CTRL+SHIFT+s to open the camera. The picture will be a .png file, and you should change it to .jpeg before you post it.

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  • Original Poster
  • Thanks for the quick reply.

    Is it fine to just attach a the picture to this post? I've never taken time to figure out web image hosting yet.

    post-255197-0-14646300-1355240537_thumb.

    I've rebuilt the city a couple times to avoid abandonment, so I can't quite demonstrate everything that bothered me before.

    Anyways, at the moment, most high density R I zone on the right side of my RHW gets abandoned due to commute time. This even though there's a lot of industries on the other side of the river. I've got some people driving there, but there's also a lot of industries without many actual employees(they've got the potential, but noone's actually driving there, so it's not desirability that's the problem).

    Also none of the high density housing in that area are driving to the downtown, even though there should be plenty of work there.

    The medium density R in the marked green area are driving across the whole map to work in the CBD and the industries beyond it.

    Before I rebuilt the roads of my CBD and made a lot of faster one way roads, people wouldn't even drive from the houses next to the CBD into the middle of it.

    I've got a subway and monorail system, and people are using that, but if I understood things right only half of R$$ is willing to take MT, so they'd have to drive too, right?

    Hope this makes sense.

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    Interesting. Try losing the RHW and replace it with NWM streets. This will be a lot of effort, so save your region first in case it doesn't work. That way you can do intermediate saves without risking the whole shebang. Some of the bigger avenues or RD-6 as they are now called might be more attractive than having to find a ramp.

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    Really hard to tell just looking at a picture, but I'm wondering if you don't have the right mix of jobs for the wealth level of your sims. It looks like you have a lot of high wealth sims, but I'm not seeing much I:HT and CO to support them.

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    Really hard to tell just looking at a picture, but I'm wondering if you don't have the right mix of jobs for the wealth level of your sims. It looks like you have a lot of high wealth sims, but I'm not seeing much I:HT and CO to support them.

    It seems that R$$ skyscrapers which abandoned and not R$$$ skyscrapers. I also see quite many CS, CO, and I-HT as well I-M which mean the city is quite balanced. I think the problem is desirability, since it seems pretty clearly if the industrial area on the southern side of the city produce a lot of pollution and no one likes the polluted area.

    I suggest you to remove the industrial area toward a new city where you can pollute that area as much as you want without disturbing the neighbor city (pollution doesn't move from one location to another in this game, and that also can block bad things from easily entering other cities)

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  • Original Poster
  • Moose: I haven't actually downloaded the NWM yet. Is it a good idea to do so? I'm running the NAM on a medium capacity, and I haven't had any overfilled roads yet, so I haven't seen the need for it. It definitely makes things look more realistic, but I figured I'd wait and just get it whenever the Monolithic NAM is released.

    I tried pulling a tunnel under the whole RHW/Avenue intersection, in case there was a problem there, but it made no difference.

    ---

    Vortical: I've been really careful with letting R$$$ grow, so that shouldn't be a problem.

    ---

    Jason: The industrial area only consists of IHT and IM so the pollution doesn't reach that far. A couple dirty buildings had popped up because of recent R$ abandonment, but even then it only reached halfway towards my residences.

    ---

    I was going to attach a picture of my census data, in case that would help explain the problem, but I guess I've already reached the limit in upload size.

    These are the relevant values anyways:

    EQ:187

    R$ 152k Drives 170k Demand 3k

    R$$ 168k Drives 234k Demand 4k

    R$$$ 29k Drives 43k

    Vacant Jobs 41,648

    CO$$ 58k

    CO$$$ 53k

    IM 18k

    IH 35k

    Does the "available Vacant Jobs" value mean that there's actually that many jobs available right now, that my citizens can't reach, or only that so many jobs could be available if I maxed the desirability of all my job buildings?

    Also, is there an actual commute time limit with the NAM? Would I theoretically be able to build a residential area where I've got my farms now, and have them work in my CBD without a problem. Or do I have to place Residences within really close range of their jobs?

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    Your city transport layout, as far as I can tell, looks quite reasonable.

    Have you by chance installed anything else recently besides the NAM and RHW? There are some other transportation-related mods out there that are not NAM-compatible, and they override the NAM traffic plugins and revert traffic simulation to a "Vanilla" state, in which RHW systems will not work.

    -Tarkus

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  • Original Poster
  • I can't think of any mod that could cause a conflict.

    I don't have any major mods installed, except the NAM and RHW. The rest are just downloaded lots, and a couple bugfixes. The only thing that could theoretically cause a problem would be that I've got the I-HT fix, and a industry doubler installed. But as far as I know I had the same issues in the last city I built(before installing those).

    Plus, all the roads appear to be working. The medium density residences marked by the green square have no problem driving on the RHW, and working in downtown. It's just thatmost of the residences seem to only search in a nearby area before giving up and abandoning.

    Like I mentioned, as soon as I replaced a few roads in the CBD with one way roads(with an increased speed limit) I was able to build residences further away without abandonment.

    Edit: Oh, and I just noticed that the Traffic Simulator Configuration Tool loads a file called "...Traffic_Plugin_Z_Medium_Custom" is this the correct one for the latest NAM? Or is it somehow still using an old version? I know the Unified Simulator is based on the Z, but did the file change names since then?

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    Anyways, I've been using the NAM, and RHW for a long time now, but I've always seemed to have problems with abandonment due to commute time.

    Please see for the likely solution to your problem.

    Edit: Oh, and I just noticed that the Traffic Simulator Configuration Tool loads a file called "...Traffic_Plugin_Z_Medium_Custom" is this the correct one for the latest NAM? Or is it somehow still using an old version? I know the Unified Simulator is based on the Z, but did the file change names since then?

    Yes, this is correct. The 'Z' was retained in the file names for backward compatibility reasons, and also to make things easier for the Traffic Simulator Configuration Tool.

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  • Original Poster
  • So, just build subways everywhere? I just read through that part of the "Guide to the Operation of the Traffic Simulator". It still doesn't quite make sense to me, but I guess I'll have to do it.

    I've got two questions then:

    -First, does the Car/Mass Transit values for R$, $$, and $$$ require them to use that much Car traffic, or will a R$$$ house use a subway if forced to?

    -Second, I noticed that the new version of the NAM Traffic Simulator has reduced Subway costs. Could I just download this unto the current NAM version, or do I have to wait for the next one? The only file I saw on the LEX said it was for people who did not have NAM installed...

    I appreciate the help :)

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    So, just build subways everywhere? I just read through that part of the "Guide to the Operation of the Traffic Simulator". It still doesn't quite make sense to me, but I guess I'll have to do it.

    This was discovered from extensive experimental testing, from which important operating principles of the traffic simulator were deduced. Of course you'll need to build plenty of stations, too; RTMT can help in that department by eliminating the requirement of extra space for stations.

    -First, does the Car/Mass Transit values for R$, $$, and $$$ require them to use that much Car traffic, or will a R$$$ house use a subway if forced to?

    These values are only preferences, not requirements. They effectively add a small time penalty for using the non-preferred type of transit. But if a subway or other form of mass transit is faster than car travel by more than this small time penalty, then even Sims who normally prefer cars will use the subway.

    -Second, I noticed that the new version of the NAM Traffic Simulator has reduced Subway costs. Could I just download this unto the current NAM version, or do I have to wait for the next one? The only file I saw on the LEX said it was for people who did not have NAM installed...

    No, it's for everyone. When you download it and run it, it will install the new traffic simulator into your NAM folder (if you have one), replacing the old traffic simulator.

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  • Original Poster
  • So, I pulled subway through my entire industrial area, placing a station in every single 6x6 zone of industry, then I placed subway stations next to every single one of my abandoned houses, connected it all to my main subway system, and BOOM no more abandonment! I guess this did it.

    I still don't have anyone except for my medium density sims driving across the RHW to my downtown area, but at least I've got thousands of people taking the subway there now!

    Note: There seems to be something wrong with the installer for the new traffic subsystem! (or i messed up the install...). I downloaded the new one from the STEX, but it appears like all it did was run the installer for the TSCT. The tool is now updated to 1.2.7, but my NAM files have not been modified, and subway costs are still at 1.8.

    I'm gonna try downloading it from the LEX instead.

    Edit: Never mind, I just read through your post at the SC4D NAM forums. I guess I'll just modify the subway costs manually. I was just concerned since none of the main NAM files had been modified recently, but I just realized it does not work that way.

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