Ring Ring! Ring Ring!
The final school bell echoes across the school campus, signifying a break for freedom!
Just minutes later the ringing bells give way to cheering and chatter of over 1,000 students, as they pour out of every door of Woodland High School:
But today is more chaotic than usual...
Everyone at school is very happy because it is the Friday before spring break! As for me and anyone who owns a car on the other hand...
After doing some more negotiations with mayor Matthew (mayor of River City, the neighboring city West of Woodland Town), I make the drive back down main street back home. Meanwhile, my wife went to pick up our kids from elementary school. However, what is normally a 15-20 minute drive is turning into a 1 1/2 hour drive because of this...ridiculous...traffic! I swear I'm about to rip my hair out!
You can practically smell the heat coming off the asphalt it's so hot!
Seems I'm not the only one who feels this way. Horns blare as tension builds among impatient commuters, all of them going down the same road, trying to either pickup their overly-exited spring break eager teen, coming home from work, or going out for a nice stroll.
Me and Ben in the car:
Me: "Alright, after this red light for sure!"
Ben: "It's about time, we've been stuck at this light for the past half hour!"
We're finally about to take a right to go south of the water tower down main street
The light turns green as desperate drivers scramble to beat the light. We yell at the cars ahead...
Me: "Hurry up! Come on!!!"
Ben: "Go! Go!!"
It's 5, then 4, then 3, then 2 cars ahead of us...
*Light changes to yellow*
One car ahead...
Both: "GO! COME ON!
*Light turns red again*
The one car ahead of us stops...
Me: "Are you kidding me! He could've gone!!"
*I press my forehead on the steering wheel*
*Ben pats me on the back.*
Ben: "It's okay, we'll make it for sure next time, now we just gotta wait another 5 minutes...."
Me: "I regret designing the roads like this, *chuckles,* What's in that folder anyways?"
Ben: "Oh, that's fan mail!"
Me: "Fan mail? What's that?"
Ben: "Comments about your city people sent to my address."
Me: "Cool, let's open them!"
*Ben hands me the mail and I unwrap the first letter*:
"I really like the atmosphere... good job !"
Me: "He likes the atmosphere! He must really like heat because we're sweating like pigs right now *chuckles*"
Ben: "For sure, this year it's going to be even hotter than last year. At least no tornadoes this time around."
Me: "Let's see what this one says:"
Ooh Fancy! This one has a nice page border! The letter reads:
"What a delight to find so many of my little mid rise office BATs popping up in here. Beautifully done! I wish my cities looked as good as this."
Me: "...Bats? In my offices?! Where?!! I don't want anyone catching rabies in my town!"
Ben: "*Chuckles*, not those kind of bats!"
Me: "Well that's good then! Does he mean baseball bats then? Must be talking about the baseball league..."
*Ben face palms*
Ben: "He's an architect...and not just any architect, he's the architect that designed a lot of the mid-rise offices in this town, you know, like the one your wife works in?"
Me: "Oh that makes sense! Cool, he wrote to us!"
Ben: "Yep, BAT means Building Architect Tool. A lot of architects use it to design buildings, forward it to other architects, then send us the blueprints. They are later approved by contractors and then ultimately built in their designated zones. Mad Hatter's designs have a distinct look to them, they're quite lovely! He's very happy to see his designs used in the region! As the city gets bigger, it will attract more architects who will want their skyscrapers built downtown!"
Me: "That's awesome! He's a mayor too, I wonder-
*Light finally turns green*
Ben: "Let's go!!"
We finally round the turn, right into...
We're in the red car left of the large water tower, right behind the white sedan, just barely made the turn. See it? That's us.
Yet another red light! Hooray!!
*Ben: "At least this one is faster. Since this road gets priority, we'll go faster."
*Random guy next to us lowers the window*
Guy: "Hey Ben!"
Ben: "Hey Mark! What's up!
Mark: "Just going to the high school to pick up my daughter. It's just this traffic *his phone rings* She's calling me...Hello?" (He talks to her in the background)
Ben: *Turns to me* "Mark works in Woodland River City, he maintains the electric flow between our towns..."
Ben: "He manages the power plants and makes sure we're getting the power that Mayor Matthew dealt with. He makes sure the electric grid is working and coordinates repairs if something goes wrong."
Mark: "Well! Never mind, looks like she walked all the way back home!
"Ben: "Doesn't she live halfway across town?"
Mark: "Yep, she got tired of waiting and decided to walk home. Again. Since it's faster now. Bus drivers are getting paid overtime too."
Mark: "Mayor, you better do something about this traffic, people are getting very antsy. I don't like my daughter walking through the sketchy part of town because she can't wait!" *We split off into a different road*
This traffic is quite bad, especially along main street. Even railroads are up to capacity! Morning and afternoon rush hour has really made it a nightmare to commute.
Ben: "It's because there's only one lane for traffic. We need to widen the roads and add more lanes! It's time to widen these roads into avenues. It's going to take a couple months but we should be done before summer! Only downside is they're quite a bit more expensive."
Me: "It's worth it. I love my citizens, I don't want them getting angry haha"
Fun Fact: That little 3x3 lot in the picture below is the only reminder of the great fire early in this town's history:
Here's the chapter where it happened:
The railroad curves through the residential area near downtown:
Expanding The Arteries
First day of Spring Break...
Let's take advantage of the low traffic and begin widening the roads!
Here are my professionally drawn architectural road widening plans:
Of course these were drawn by my 4th grade son Jeremy who wants to be mayor one day when he grows up
Work has already begun down main street:
Over the months, the roads were laid out, along with a median. This will soon become a 4 lane avenue!
It's going to cost us a bit but it'll be worth it in the long run!
Some stores and homes had to be demolished, displacing over 1,200 people. Some either moved to the neighboring towns or the new homes that were built here. New business rush to be the first to claim the main avenue since they'll get more traffic:
The avenue is paved...
...And finally one May afternoon, the lanes open!
Traffic flow is much smoother! This made a huge difference! The main roads are like arteries and they need to be widened. The water towers were both moved but they're still within the same tile.
Me and Ben stand on top of the tall office tower left of the round water tower overlooking the main intersection:
Ben: (Holding up clock) "It's almost rush hour...Think she can handle it?"
Me: "I'm crossing my fingers..."
It's quiet...too quiet. The roads are set, ready to take whatever traffic has to throw at them...
The clock hits 5 and over the next minutes cars begin to pour into the new avenues as people head back home from work!
Me: "No jams! They're not jamming up this time!"
Ben: "She's holding up great!"
*High fives and hugs*
Woodland Town officially hits 30,000 population...
Ben: "She's sure is growing up fast!"
Me: "Yep! Where have the time gone? My son's already going into 5th grade, my daughter into 3rd and now our city has avenues!
Ben: "After the tornado I didn't honestly think she'd recover."
Me: "For sure. But she doesn't go down that easily. We will get to 1 million population one day!"
Ben: "Dream big major...dream big..."
Me: "She just needs lots of love haha!"
Later that evening...
The town's first rush hour with the avenues was a huge success! Barely any gridlock!
A beautiful end to the day...
Ben's two boys came over to my mayor's mansion to play with my kids after school today.
He comes over to pick them up.
Ben: (Hands me over two envelopes) "Here, we forgot these."
Me: "Ooh, more fan mail?"
*Both of us open the two envelopes*
"Nice work! "
Me: "Why thank you good sir! We do take pride in providing you all with the best this town has to offer!
Ben: "This person wants to know about our CAM farms!"
Me: "hmm let's see..."
From @The Edge
"Looks awesome! How do you get the different coloured bits in the farm sections (in the first city)?"
Me: "Ah, those are CAM designed farms!"
Jeremy: (After overhearing me) "CAM? Daddy, what's that?"
Me: "Ben can you explain?"
Christina: "Dad haha he misspelled color! Mrs. Larson would take 5 points from him!"
Me: "Haha, no sweet heart, see, before, color used to always be spelled colour, but they had to save ink on newspapers so they took the u out of it"
Ben: "That's not exactly how it happened, but it's a long story. It's old English. Other words used to have it to. Our writer is likely of British descent."
Christina: "Wow Cool! But what's a CAM?"
Ben: "CAM farms are genetically enhanced fruits, they are modified to grow better and they are more nutritious and resistant to pests and a lot of diseases. These fruits were found in Simtropolis and grown here!"
Jeremy: "What's genetic mean?"
Me: "I'll explain it later."
Ben: "Alright, I'll see you guys! Let's go!"
All of Us: "Goodbye!"
*Ben leaves with his kids*
Goodnight everyone, thank you for reading and see you next update!
Also don't forget to take the time to read the trivia facts, they will catch you up on interesting facts and story points in case anyone gets confused. This is mainly a story-driven-CJ with a lot of stories and plots within it, and it can get confusing if you're just discovering this journal. I don't just want to show a city, I want to show you the lives of those living in it and how the consequences of certain mayor choices, natural events, etc. affect them.
- This entire update takes place from March to May 28, just before the last week of school.
- This update only focuses on Woodland Town, and has no images of other cities in the region. Other cities were mentioned however.
- Main street is still called main street and Central Square is still called Central Square. The main avenue that goes west to River City goes back to 2 lanes since Matthew hasn't widened the road on his end yet.
- Christina Peterson and Jeremy Peterson are my children. Jeremy is 11, and Christina is 8. Jeremy was born about 8 years before the tornado destroyed Woodland Town. He was too young to understand what was happening that day but he does have vague memories. Christina was 5 when the tornadoes came.
- Even today, I still occasionally find rubble from the tornadoes...
- Woodland Town is the main focus town which me and Ben founded. Woodland River City is a smaller industrial town West of here which provides us with power for a cost, and we manage their trash.
- The mayor of Woodland River City is known Mayor Matthew
- Matthew was only mentioned but did not appear in this update.
- Ben is my best friend, he is my business partner who made it possible to take out the 10,000 simoleon loan to found Woodland Town
- Most people who were in the path of the road widening received a warning ahead of time and got paid the value of the home/business before demolishing. They were more happy with less traffic than losing their old home since they were compensated!
- Ben has two sons and I have a son and daughter. Both my kids live with me in my mayor mansion. I own a normal red car.
- Woodland Town is in a region that is nearly as prone to hurricanes as New Orleans. The climate borders on temperate but usually sub-tropical.
- Woodland Town is also in a region that is hit by very violent thunderstorms producing super cells every 4-10 years due to a climate cycle. The last one produced the tornadoes that destroyed Woodland Town.
- No cheats are being used in the making of this CJ. Quite the opposite actually, they are used to either make this game harder/more realistic or to transfer money from one town to another only.
- A mod was used to make the avenues and roads more expensive than the default game. As of now, Woodland Town is in a deficit of nearly 1,000 simoleons. Luckily, the town has saved over 2 million so it'll be fine for now.
- Woodland Town was nearly obliterated very early in it's life due to early debt. Ben saved it by reversing the obliteration process and told me to give the city another chance.
Here is the Woodland Metropolis central square area over the years:
Special thanks to @feyss, @aegian, @Manuel-ito, @mrsmartman, @JP Schriefer, @kschmidt, @bobolee, @Elenphor, @AndisArt, @aegian, @jakis, @bladeberkman, @aciaKa, @kingofsimcity, @korver, and @Cyclone Boom For all the likes!