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Traffic Improvement Tips?

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I realize this has probably been posted about dozens of times, but I just can't seem to improve my traffic problems.  My population is currently approximately 125,000 sims. I have several high density avenues, all with streetcars, throughout my city.  I have plenty of streetcar stops around the city and my streetcar depot is upgraded with garages to their fullest capacity.  I also have a bus depot, which is also upgraded to the fullest capacity.  There are also plenty of bus stops around the city.  Every single one of my streets have been upgraded to high density.  I have huge traffic jams all over the city.  Are there any other ways to improve traffic?  TIA. 

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Absolutely avoid 4 way intersections use the brick stacking if you want to pack in with grid.  3 ways clear easier than four ways that seem to just clog. Avoid all the truck shipping use rail and ships to ship goods if you do mine,drill them. NO recycle ever.....just use garbage avoid recycling. Balance your workers with jobs and keep just enough shops to have 0 commuting in and out. Keep your schools full and just push your happiness with services and freght depots by your I.  Balance and no 4 ways and management of the traffic you add in will help you reduce clogs.

 

 Only way i use a bus depot is just a dual depot system i put one in middle of my highly  populated residental then another depot in the middle of my work areas or by my college. And then you the have one destination and arent running round in circles doing little. This only reduces the car traffic about 25% and takes up a large area.

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I've been studying the traffic patterns and what causes issues a fair bit.  I've finally managed to build a 100k city with almost no traffic issues (slight congestion at rush hours but that is it).

 

Traffic is caused by:

Lots of vehicles (duh)

Lots of turning

 

Avoid these... This is what I have done:

 

1) No buses.  At all.  Buses are just more vehicles on the street, they cause congestion, especially when they need to stop to drop off/pick up.  Plus the logic is so bad they all go to the same place causing even more nightmares. 

 

2) Minimal school bus stops.  School buses are needed.  They stop to pickup and drop off.  This causes congestion.  Minimize the number of school bus stops as much as possible.  Ensure there is adequate coverage and the stops are placed away from the corners to avoid piling up at the corners.  Only have enough school buses to meet the needs, no more.

 

3) Streetcar avenues everywhere.  In my city, I have ONLY streetcar avenues except for one back alley on the edge for my garbage plant.  This means everyone can go everywhere by streetcar (no excuses!)

 

4) Minimize street car stops.  Only enough for coverage.  Each time there is a station, the streetcar stops.  If it stops, its not moving and therefore not moving people around.  If its not moving people around, they will not be able to use the service (and either go with car? or just go back home).

 

5) Large blocks.  I did not go for the perfect grid layout.  Although it is very grid-rectangular like (and therefore ugly).  Bigger blocks means less corners, which means less points of congestion.

 

In short: Fluidity! Remove every reason for a car to stop or turn.  Remove every reason for any vehicle to be on the street.

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Good tips. I would add never zone on the avenues that have high traffic, always zone on dead end streets that go into an avenue. This way people don't stop in the middle of a busty street in order to get in our out of buildings. Do the same for all buildings and services, use dead end streets and zone on the inside. Like this:

 

zoning_zps1b1ffabe.png

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Look at the game board. 

 

Let traffic come in before an intersection stops it.  The closer to the entrance an intersection is the sooner incoming cars will start to back up off your map.  One type of strategy would be to take your primary road around the border so that all the intersections end up turning to the right.  The primary intersections on this road should be as large as the road itself. If a large avenue than a large avenue should intersect it. 

 

Understand how vehicles move.  At any given intersection the traffic can do one of four things. Go left, go right, go straight, u turn. T intersections reduce this to three.  Transitions between densities without intersections will cause some traffic to u turn.

 

Count the number of intersections between your trade buildings and the entrance.  The more intersections the longer it will take anything coming to it to get there. The same for any entity that accepts deliveries.

 

If you use dead end streets that will have a bus stop of any kind on it, put the stop on the side of the street that the bus will end up on first.  If your buses form a conga line this will create an interval between them if they all stop at the first stop.  Try to stop it one time only.

 

The Sim uses a variation on the Drunkards walk to route agents. What this means is that the agents will go everywhere there is a road.  And it means that no matter what you do to your city the agents will get there without you having to worry about how they do.  The down side is that this takes time.  This is why school buses and students run all day and why the University has 4 runs of classes.  Trash only runs during the day as do recyclable trucks.

 

Be careful of how you zone.  Control where the entrances to the building develop.

 

These are some things I do.

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Good tips. I would add never zone on the avenues that have high traffic, always zone on dead end streets that go into an avenue. This way people don't stop in the middle of a busty street in order to get in our out of buildings. Do the same for all buildings and services, use dead end streets and zone on the inside. Like this:

 

zoning_zps1b1ffabe.png

This is what i did too. After my first city i realised this and therefore my subsequent cities all have ave free from zones and I only zone on streets turning in.

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As someone who didn't even think he liked 'sim' games, I've been sooooooooo obsessed with Sim City, and that obsession in the past week has been focused on traffic control... so I hope what I've found in my experiments and research proves useful to you (sorry some of these are duplicates of other replies, not trying to take credit away from anyone!). My last city layout, I was up to a population of 25K, college town, no public transit and zero traffic problems all on .... dirt roads:

 

- Do not zone avenues, you don't understand why this is painful until about the 150K population mark, then when traffic goes to hell you never think about the fact that zoned avenues are causing your problems.

 

- Avenues have a 5:3 ratio with streets. So don't lay down too many, but also make sure you lay down enough in your city to handle the high traffic areas.

 

- Use the population data map frequently. Two very useful stats you can track that you'll immediately find useful, notice your shopper/commercial population traffic. It's a good indicator of the high traffic areas. Second, notice the 'at home' and 'at work' bar graphs, if you are in the middle of the day and the 'at home' bars are large, those people live to far away from work. You may want to rethink how you zone things.

 

- Curves are your friends, curve the corners on your avenues (i.e. if you circle your city with an avenue) to eliminate intersections. Use L shaped side roads, but curve the corner to eliminate the intersection. Round abouts help, again smart placement of curves as you identify your high traffic zones. Also, people seem to walk more on curves, this is a tip I got from a youtube vid, but I feel ashamed that I forget from whom I heard it.

 

- Zoning... OMG where and how you zone things are CRITICAL. Zone residential and commercial together, on the same side of the street if possible. It makes people walk to work and helps with traffic significantly. The further these two are from each other, the more likely you are to cause commuter traffic. Think about where your traffic comes from, it primarily is commuters right... so think about where your commuters are coming from and how the traffic works in this game (shortest route for the most part). I'm stressing this point, because when you are zoning industrial it will increase commuter traffic, so place your residential in a way that your commuter traffic spreads nicely across the city (I find this easier to do by trying to make my commuter traffic split by going around the edges of the city) by making sure there are short routes to the industrial without having to pass through other parts of your city.

 

- Place things like supply depots close to the city exits (road, rail, water), away from commuter traffic. Centralizing it works well too. Similar to services like garbage/recycling/etc.. if they are in the center they seem to spread out better and have less traffic to combat.

 

- 3 way intersections are WAY better than 4 ways.

 

- If using street cars, don't lay down too many cars or stops. Balance your car traffic with street cars, I find with too many street cars, you get crazy congestion and your wait times increase. Also, see the points above about zoning avenues and square corners, the more stops they have to make..... Also don't put street cars on all of your avenues, again too many intersections.

 

- Buses, like services, seem better if centralized so they can spread out and have less commuter traffic to compete against. Don't lay down too many stops.

 

- Low density side roads in your residential and commercial areas seem to work really well if not driving for 100% high density. They don't have stop lights, so when commuters are exiting from those areas, they don't have to stop at those intersections unless there are pedestrians/traffic to stop for.

 

That's all I can think of right now, hope this helps!

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Brick layout (only T roads), with squares no bigger than holding 2 high density buildings. Mix Residential & Commercial, and surround the city with Industrial but not on the direction the wind blows. 

Someone at simcity.com managed to get 500,000 population with no yellow road traffic! 

 

But if you want to put the artistic side to shine, you need to tackle the traffic puzzle :D

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Actually, I have to admit I'm a bad mayor... I only plopped a Bus depot thingy (the upgraded one, forgot it's name, sorry...) and filled it up with the bus lots. Enough bus stops, so the city is completely green, that's it and a small railway connecting the region to me. That's how I handle about 375.000 residents now.. [Will change soon, I guess...]  Anyhow, I used the grid to build the zones, and that's all I do...

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OK.. This is my very first post on ST forums, and I think this will help lots of people who suffer like I have with massive traffic issues. So, after building a city with 400K residents, and having the "No workers", "Can't ship freight", "Need More shoppers".. You know the deal.. I headed into the sandbox to tinker with a few ideas. What I have found are some very interesting points, which I am about to share, not all are related to traffic, but the combination of these tricks, will certainly help balance out your city, and the traffic will take care of itself. Let me start with the most glaring traffic issue. Commuters during rush hour. To fix the mad rush to the same area of your map, no matter what layout you are using, try this. Build your industry district as the road grid lays it out, this should give you enough room for one high density (which you will never have) Industrial building. Here's the key to this.. That block will produce the same amount of freight, be it low density ( 4 sites ), Medium density ( 2 sites ), or High density ( 1 site ). That is 360 freight per day. This trick should also help you balance out employment numbers. I'm going to use High tech for my example. One High density High tech Industry creates 360 freight, and needs 1040 workers. In a city that only 10% is work force, that's a crippling number. So, for the same production, stick with Mid or Low density. Medium Density needs 184 workers for two businesses, and low needs just 88 workers for four businesses. See how this can help get rid of that gridlock? Another tip.. Once you have the university, get rid of the intermediate schools, but keep the community college. Here's another tip about the university. When your city has 3300 students, demolish the dorms. The 1500 students in the dorms, just stop your city students from getting an education, besides, those dorms cost 1500 per hour. Reasonable if you are trying to upgrade the university, but they are otherwise useless, not to mention the space you can save by ripping them down.

 

The Industrial info was part of another post, so I won't take credit for that, but these games are like dot-to-dots. But without the numbers.

 

My city has 185k citizens, less than 100 combined unfilled jobs, very low crime, no abandoned buildings, and buildings don't burn down while fire trucks sit in traffic. No water, sewage, or trash issues either. Hope this post helps someone enjoy the game a little more. I know it worked for me.

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Yeah, the game is well balanced until you hit high density. At that point it a totally new story. The biggest problem for me is that low to medium density can easily be planed ahead, but the high density buildings have such a different space requirement, such different numbers of workers, shoppers and kids that it screws up my layout completely.

 

The high density R and C especially are so poorly balanced when it comes to workers and shoppers.

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Yes, perablenta the numbers are wanky, but at least you can put the C and R in the same block, you can't do that with industry until you reach high tech, and who wants to re-design their entire city once that happens. Also, HD C still only uses about half of the workers that I uses. Most of my issues have come from the herding (pathfinding) coding in the game. I had built a solar farm, and everything was fine for over a year of game time.. then everyone decided to head there for work even though it only requires 300 workers, and then make a U-Turn completely busting my city. :-(

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It just hit me... That was only one city.. Imagine how tossed you'd be if all four cities did the same thing? With the current path finding, I don't think there is a way to avoid eminent disaster, and since the games can't be saved, it's just a matter of time before even the perfect city is trashed by the random acts of glass box.

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One High density High tech Industry creates 360 freight, and needs 1040 workers. In a city that only 10% is work force, that's a crippling number. So, for the same production, stick with Mid or Low density. Medium Density needs 184 workers for two businesses, and low needs just 88 workers for four businesses

Hang on... who cares about freight? On the other hand, high density means that you need less space to generate jobs for your population, allowing you to build more residential areas and have a higher total population (and, presumably,make more money)

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The only problem is that not even 10% of your citizens actually work, and sending 4000 to single block of four High tech industry is just begging to be gridlocked. Sure, you can space them out, and avoid a lot of that issue, but my city of 400k totally locked down during rush hour, and since freight feeds the Commercial needs, and commercial fills the shoppers needs, the goal is happy sims and a balanced city that won't burn up or shut down. And balancing the city is the bigger issue, because of the space limitations, if you made all of your workers just work industrial, water, garbage, and sewage would also need multiple locations, Besides, if the goal is making crazy money, build a couple of consumer electronics factories for the same workers you can have two of them and roll about 4-5 million per day.


One High density High tech Industry creates 360 freight, and needs 1040 workers. In a city that only 10% is work force, that's a crippling number. So, for the same production, stick with Mid or Low density. Medium Density needs 184 workers for two businesses, and low needs just 88 workers for four businesses


Hang on... who cares about freight? On the other hand, high density means that you need less space to generate jobs for your population, allowing you to build more residential areas and have a higher total population (and, presumably,make more money)

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The only problem is that not even 10% of your citizens actually work, and sending 4000 to single block of four High tech industry is just begging to be gridlocked. Sure, you can space them out, and avoid a lot of that issue, but my city of 400k totally locked down during rush hour, and since freight feeds the Commercial needs, and commercial fills the shoppers needs, the goal is happy sims and a balanced city that won't burn up or shut down. And balancing the city is the bigger issue, because of the space limitations, if you made all of your workers just work industrial, water, garbage, and sewage would also need multiple locations, Besides, if the goal is making crazy money, build a couple of consumer electronics factories for the same workers you can have two of them and roll about 4-5 million per day.

 

It doesn't work that way. You can have 0 industry and commercials won't complain about freight. If you put some I it will deliver freight to commercials and power plants etc. but if you put trade depot next to industry with freight magazin they will deliver freight there and from there it will magicly disapear (you don't even need truck in that trade depot).

 

I think it's pretty weird that you can have 100% unrealised orders and your commercials never complain about that, but that is how the gome works for now.

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I have a city with 240k and no traffic issues. I use a grid. Perfectly flat map gives 8x8 blocks. I do 3 vertical and 3 horizontal avenues. I keep my population at the back of the city or to the sides, and my entrance goes directly to my first horizontal avenue before you find an intersection. Finally, there is no tourism in this city, no expos, no events, etc. Too much traffic from that.

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sub 200k population should require no more than medium density roads. thus avoiding all traffic lights. also for the entrance(s) to your city you can use any density road and still have no traffic lights, simply by crossing the road right on the edge of the map.

ml36kg.png

 

some map highway entrances tend to protrude into you map further than desired (cannot bulldoze) this can be manipulated using the curved road tool, used in a U shape you can push the entrance right back to the border of the map.

16kt9gw.png

 

L and T intersections only, No dead end streets EVER!! and if possible Zero 4way intersections, curving the corners of any high traffic flow roads will also make a noticeable difference at very little space.

 

Also workers and shoppers on a grid style map should be heading east to west, west to east while utility(garbage emergency vehicles etc) head north to south, south the north.

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Use small bits of industry within R areas (no bigger than medium density if low tech and no two side by side) it can suck excess workers off the road before hitting main roads. Works well in low wealth high density where population per building is quite high.

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everything i'm reading in this thread is why this is actually a pretty good game.

 

unfortunately being forced to use workarounds for just about everything in the game is what ruins the experience for many players, you cannot have a down town area. you cannot have suburbs with a central shopping center, basically you cannot build a city that is realistic in any way at all because of traffic... Heck you cant even place parks in a realistic way because beach front, cliffs etc have no effect on land value.

 

Dont get me wrong the game, in its own way is okay, but where you see things that make the game good, i see drawbacks.

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I've found that the two main factors that cause traffic are U-turns and left turns as the game doesn't simulate a protected left turn at any intersection.

 

And buses are completely useless.

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i think buses does the job very well. you just need a lot of them. take a look at my city. almost 300k residents and more than 30k uses the bus every day. before i built the bus terminals (i have 2), avenue A,B and roads 1,2,3 was a big traffic jam. you couldn't move in that area and in downtown. after i built it, the traffic is smooth.

 

2dln2ad.jpg

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One thing I'm trying to experiment with is the use of park and rides to convert incoming commuter traffic into bus and pedestrian traffic. I've noticed that the primary driver of congestion is inter-city traffic. An isolated city doesn't get very congested on its own, but once you have cross border traffic, combined with the bizzare 24-hour workdays at every business, there are way too many people trying to go through the city's bottleneck entrance. I assume that trains help; I have train ridership in the tens of thousands per station per day, and I can only assume that traffic would be even more hellish without them. I can accept that every big city will have high traffic volumes, but the stupidity of the vehicle AI and the primitive intersection types we have cause normal metropolitan traffic to turn into 24-hour gridlock. Too much crap like cars stopping in the middle of the road, traffic turning down overcrowded side streets instead of taking a slightly longer but much faster route, traffic that does not move when the light turns green, etc. We need to have protected left turn cycles and right turn on red at a minimum. I also think that slip roads, overpasses, and center turning lanes would be worthy additions to the game. Not just for cosmetic reasons this time, but because we NEED better ways to direct traffic instead of just having a free-for-all on an overcrowded 4-lane street.

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everything i'm reading in this thread is why this is actually a pretty good game.

unfortunately being forced to use workarounds for just about everything in the game is what ruins the experience for many players, you cannot have a down town area. you cannot have suburbs with a central shopping center, basically you cannot build a city that is realistic in any way at all because of traffic... Heck you cant even place parks in a realistic way because beach front, cliffs etc have no effect on land value.

Dont get me wrong the game, in its own way is okay, but where you see things that make the game good, i see drawbacks.

+1

I love a lot of things about this game, but I am getting increasingly annoyed with it. To do anything beyond casual play requires us to forget everything we see in RL and just try to figure out how to beat the game engine. The game makes no sense.

Traffic is worse with lights instead of better.

Bus behavior makes no sense.

Happiness is impossible to figure out (like when they say there are no shops and there is a block full of them right across the street, and they are complaining about no shoppers).

Factories closing constantly, and yet there is always insatiable demand for industrial zoning.

This game is idiotic.

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everything i'm reading in this thread is why this is actually a pretty good game.

unfortunately being forced to use workarounds for just about everything in the game is what ruins the experience for many players, you cannot have a down town area. you cannot have suburbs with a central shopping center, basically you cannot build a city that is realistic in any way at all because of traffic... Heck you cant even place parks in a realistic way because beach front, cliffs etc have no effect on land value.

Dont get me wrong the game, in its own way is okay, but where you see things that make the game good, i see drawbacks.

+1

I love a lot of things about this game, but I am getting increasingly annoyed with it. To do anything beyond casual play requires us to forget everything we see in RL and just try to figure out how to beat the game engine. The game makes no sense.

Traffic is worse with lights instead of better.

Bus behavior makes no sense.

Happiness is impossible to figure out (like when they say there are no shops and there is a block full of them right across the street, and they are complaining about no shoppers).

Factories closing constantly, and yet there is always insatiable demand for industrial zoning.

This game is idiotic.

There may be shops across the street but they may be sold out of goods, closed for the day, or wrong wealth class. So what you have is not enough commercial goods to satisfy your shopper needs in that particular wealth class.

 

Your industrial demand is based on commercial. If you have high industrial demand then reduce commercial or satisfy freight orders better. Commercial freight orders is what drives industrial demand.

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