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Bowden Region

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About this City Journal

Used no demand or civic mods. I tried to build a realistc region with a center city and suburbea and farmland

Entries in this City Journal


Regional Update

It has been a while since my last post. The intention of this post is to catch up on the regional developments. Almost ten (10) cities have been built since the last post. From west to east: Sandy Shores, Fairview Oaks, Hennessy, Harker Heights, Sunset Valley, Ft. Hood, Creighton, Cedar Park, Kingwood, Del Calle, Coppell, Alexander, Dupoint, and Parma. Photos and descriptions of each one of these cities will be on the following posts. There are still a couple cities with nothing but a highway running through them (Frankfurt & Appleton), which will be built later. Presently, many of these cities mentioned are simply bedroom communities for Los Santos.

Meanwhile, Los Santos itself has expanded to almost the entire large city tile. All these devepments will be posted with photos later as well.





Reconstruction of the I-30S & Hwy 5 intersection.


This intersection has remained unchanged for quite some time, and functioned perfectly well when the region was less built up, and Rockwall was less built up. A couple new exits were haphazardly constructed in order to hopefully ease the growing traffic. However, this achieved the oppesite effect as new medium density and high density buildings began to sprout up around these new exits, in turn causing worse traffic problems. Unfortunately, the current infastructure built for the intersection causes huge traffic backups, I mean lots of red congestion.


In fact, as you can observe, the congestions backs all the way to one of the main shopping centers in town, located south of the intersection.


Let us now undergo the reconstruction process, and in doing so relieving some of the traffic problems. We will rebuild this intersection with the least amount of demolition possible. For if this was real life, most of the land and buildings here would be too expensive for any state to buy and use for roadways.

Phase I


As Phase I is completed, we have diverted the majority of the problem. Northbound Hwy 5 now has a way to get onto I-30S without stopping. This will relieve most traffic. However our work is not yet finished, because that only solves their morning commute troubles. In Phase II, we will address the evening issues.

Phase II


Now we have added a way for evening commuters coming from Bowden via eastbound I-30S to connect to Hwy 5 southbound more easily. In doing so, we will also free up traffic heading northbound on Hwy 5 as well. Next, the finishing touches.

Phase III




We have finished our new intersection. We have left some of the old in place, while adding new overpasses and onramps. This will allow traffic to more easily flow through and around this major intersection.

Here is a new look at the traffic:



Since the last post, some exciting new things have occured for the City of Los Santos. First of which is the downtown area has started to develop:



In addition, the city has expanded to the west and to the north:



Afterwards, the city finished the extensive building of I-30.


This allowed the additional access needed for Los Santos to found its very own airport, Los Santos International.


The new airport attracted new businesses and commerce, as well as provided a vital hub for transportation. Soon after The Stock Exchange and Convention Center were founded.



Los Santos continue to grow with lots of room to expand. As of today, Los Santos is home to over 100,000 people and continues to grow.


And here are the beginnings of Los Santos. It will be a major city focused on high-tech and manufacturing with a central business district. The city started growing in the south and east moving slowly west and northwards.


Here is the future downtown:


The following are the major highway intersections:

First up is where I-95 and I-30S split to the southeast of downtown:


Next is the attempted cloverleaf I-95 and I-30N northeast of downtown:


And here is the future sight of a trumpet interchange on the west side of downtown, where I-30S and I-30N will meet up and simply become I-30:


For the development of the city, we have our first highrises, which are of course low-wealth residential. They are located just on the other side of I-30S of downtown


As the city and its outer areas expand, I will update this posting. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to comment below.

Thank you


Next Project

For the next project, I will be building a city named Los Santos in the large plot to the north.

It will have a central commercial district where the high-rises will be. Also, there will be a monorail system in the central district with some lines snaking outwards towards the suburbs. The exitsting train system will interconnect with the monorail system. There will also be a subway system in downtown.

The main highways will be as follows:

I-95 / I-30 connecting from Bowden will split downtown and I-95 will continue north & south while I-30 will split off the west, running parallel with I-10 to the south,

Additionally, the exiting I-30 to the east of Bowden will be renamed I-30S and a new I-30N will be built to the north, running parallel with I-30S. It will intersect I-95 north of downtown Los Santos, reconnecting into a trumpet interchange west of downtown with I-30S. The western highway of the intersection will simply be I-30. I-30N & I-30S will be reconnected north of Winhold to the far east.

I will post photos of the progress.



And this is the final entry for now. Congratulations if you stuck it out, because I am no professional. If you have any comments or advice, please feel free.


Anywho, we find ourselves outside the city and into rural America. Heading from La Miranda north on State Hwy 5, we reach I-30 again in Los Alamos. This is the last bastian of suburbea mixed with some undeveloped farmlands:



As we continue, I-30 veers north for bit while in Grapeseed:




We'll take a slight detour, a circle if you will into Iona and Rorikstead:



Now we'll hop back on I-30 and head north to Winterhold, which has a main st. exit too close to two other exits, so I kinda made it a little more confusing than it had to be:



And that's it for now.

Like I said, I welcome any comments and advice.

Thank you for reading.


The Suburbs 2

We saw the western part of the region, primarily following I-10. Now we'll head east on I-10 and I-30 to see the rest of the region.


First up is East Benard on I-10. This is where many low-wage jobs are located. As a medium-sized city plot, the whole southern half is devoted to dirty industry. In addition, there are many manufacturing jobs in the north half of the city.




Next up is Rosemead, where State Highway 5 intersects I-10 twice as it takes a slight jog. This was quite difficult to do 2 trumpet interchanges in a small city plot. The highway turned from 2 seperate avenues to two highways, so its not the prettiest interchange around but it works.





Following I-10 eastbound, we'll find ourselves in Vinewood (I tend to get lazy with names, so I use whatever game I happen to be playing at the time)




Now, we'll backtrack a little and take Hwy 5 from Rosemead northbound into La Miranda


And again, we're at the 2MB limit. For the next post, we'll finish up the region into the far east where farms are predominant.


The Suburbs

As promised, I will go over where the real population in the region lives. With only half of the citizens living in Bowden and Providence combined, most sims take the long commute from the quiet suburbs to the busy city centers.

We will travel from West to East, from the farmlands at the edge of the map to the farmlands at the other edge.


First up is "New City," not because I started it before I named it, but because I was tired of naming cities:


Just to the north, with 1-10 access through New City is Markarth. Yes, there are Skyrim and GTA names, just no dragons here:


Traveling eastbound on I-10 from Markath, you enter Grand Prarie. This is the beginning of the bedroom communities and subdivisions:


The last city before Bowden is Katy. In Katy we begin to see some residential highrises and midrise offices:



Now we're back in Bowden. No fear, we'll travel Northwards starting with West Bowden (in the Northwest). This is a small community of mainly low wage workers who don't want to live in the projects:


Continuing our journey, we'll head west again to Castle Hills. Castle Hills is a middle to high income area:


Staying on the north side, we'll drive through North Bowden. This area is home to high income residents and high income jobs:



Still heading west, we will be in Shavano Park when we intersect with I-95 / I-30. This is an affluent neighborhood with high paying jobs.

As a side note, when building the next large city plot to the north I-95 / I-30 will head into downtown, where it will split to one highway (I-95) heading north and another (I-30) heading west.



Finally, as the 2MB space is almost up, we will complete this trip with the Northeastern city of Alamo Heights:


Next, we will head east from the industrial city of East Benard to the farmlands of Winterhold (yes, another Skyrim name).




Here is Providence, a city that has grown with Bowden and perhaps because of it. Despite the large central population, there is still much room in the east for this city to grow. This is primarily due to no neighboring city there and my overall laziness.

I-95 runs north and south through the city, starting as a 4-lane highway and reaching a 10-lane highway from downtown, north to Bowden. Intercity traffic is not a problem due to monorail, bus, and subway systems. Additionally, Hwy Loop 4 runs around downtown to relieve some north/south stress. Eventually, when developed, the eastern half of Loop 4 will be widely used as a cut-through to downtown from the east.

However, intracity traffic on I-95 is a problem north of the I-50 (which runs east to west just north of downtown) intersection. Even as a 10 lane highway, its congestion is still orange/red when approaching the neighbor connection to Bowden. To combat this slightly, I have built a bypass in Bowden which turns back to an avenue for eastbound 1-10 travelers.


Here is the I-95/ I-50 connection


Here is the Loop 4/ I-95 connection


Coming up next is suburbea


Regional Views

Well this is the intro into the overall region with just shy of 1,000,000 sims and still more room to grow.










main cities' transport view



On the next post, we will travel to Providence which is the secondary city of the region (St. Paul to Minneapolis, Ft. Worth to Dallas, etc.).


Now it's time for some pretty photos, instead of talking about highways and such.

An overall view at night


Northern part home to the university, high-tech, and research center



Upper Eastside, just across I-95 / East Loop 110 from downtown


The Financial district






And of course the all important mayor's house and such


The airport and convention center, off I-10 and West Loop 110


Northwestern Manufacturing District



In this page I will show the main arteries connecting the cities together.

First, is the I-95 southern connection to Providence. Each day about 12000 sims head south to Providence and about 25000 sims head north to Bowden.


Next is the I-10 connection east to East Benard, the industrial heart of the region. Each day about 6000 sims travel into Bowden and about 26000 sims into East Bernard on this freeway.


And the other I-10 connection is west to Katy. 14000 sims daily commute into Bowden and about 3000 sims communte westwards.


Finally is the I-30 connection east to Rockwall. 8000 sims leave Bowden and 30000 sims enter.


Well that's enough of the meats and potatoes. Next post I will post pics of the city of Bowden and the overall region, followed by each individual city.


City of Bowden

Here is the central city of Bowden. I'm now on year 500 or so on the Maxis time. This is main commercial center of the entire region and also has thousands of high-tech jobs. From every direction, sims commute to and from Bowden daily. I ran the traffic querry tool and will post the numbers later if you are interested.

The downtown area is "inside the loop." There are a couple other areas where skyscrappers were built, but for the most part the outlaying area are medium and low density structures. The western and northwestern areas were built last, consequently those areas have a rail system. In the downtown area there is an extensive subway system that expands to some highly dense areas outside the loop as well. Most sims drive using the highway system, which has one major north/south interstate (I-95) and two major east/west interstates (I-10 and I-30) all intersecting around the loop ("Loop 110").

Around other parts of the region, there are smaller state highways connecting the cities and interstates together.






To start, I began with 4-RHW as basic highways, expanding as needed. What I did differently than most users is I started building away from the future downtown area until I had enough demand for mid-rise commercial buildings. I built low-rise housing and worked inwards, meanwhile building the industrial zones primarily in the neighboring city of East Benard, which still has almost all of the Dirty Industry in the region.

In the past I have used ordinance mods to speed things up, but nearly every high-density zone soon became a skyscrapper. I didn't want to do that this time. I wanted a realistic experience. So, I used the NAM and some custom building mods. I did not use any crime/fire/education/medical mods either. However, I did use the "Blackhole" building mod to get rid of trash (not enough room to build all those unsightly landfills).

So here is my region, still a work in progress:



If you have any comments or advice, please feel free.

Thank you for reading.

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