December 19, 2011

Grids 101

I am a very big fan of the grid system. A grid system is basically a road system where there's a lot of intersections making right angles. Older parts of cities normally exhibit this kind of system, likely because of its efficiency when there were no motorized vehicles. It's efficient because there should be little backtracking because the grid leads you to where you need to go. Grid systems normally slow down traffic, due to the number of intersections, which is great for biking and walking.

Some of the the grid system in downtown Columbus
One problem with the grid is that the 4-way intersections are more crash prone than other intersections because they have more possible crash possibilities. But as previously mentioned, traffic is traveling somewhat slowly which reduce the severity of injuries. Cul-de-sac developments decrease frequency of 4-way intersections but instead require larger arterial roads in which cars much travel at higher speeds.

The black lines show segregated areas. The red lines are non-arterials roads
The above picture shows 3 N-S major arterials and 2 E-W major arterials. Since the non major E-W and N-S routes, shown in red, are difficult to navigate without an intimate knowledge of the area, most traffic will be drawn to the major arterials. Additionally, some cul-de-sac developments are segregated from other roads. These areas are shown with black lines.

This hierarchy of roads is somewhat efficient for motorists but for walkability or bikeability, it leaves something to be desired. From personal experience, I try to avoid major arterials while biking and as a motorist I am somewhat anxious when turning from neighborhoods to the arterials. 

There are other grid systems - which I learned through a certain online encyclopedia source - but instead of confusing myself,  I will focus on the grid and the cul-de-sac systems in the future. In the meantime, maybe I should talk about biking more on Biking Columbus.

Next up: How I feel about not biking

Cool link of the day:
Park PZT-2 Pizza Cutter
Pizza Cutter

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