Saturday, August 30

It's a fused grid after all

I've been playing with the idea lately of a street system that allows different levels of connectivity for different modes of transportation, and I just discovered from reading a Planetizen post that there's already a name for such a thing: a fused grid.

I've sketched out how it works.

The traditional system is highly connective. Traffic is able to flow very efficiently, because there are so many different options for traveling between two points. This diffusion of traffic is a benefit to cyclists and pedestrians, who can opt for the lower-volume roads.

The Suburban pattern, on the other hand, offers a high level of privacy to those living in residential areas. All of the thru traffic is confined to particular roads. The downside is that the major roads can become congested and there are few choices available to bicyclists and pedestrians.

Could the fused grid be the best of both worlds? Automobile connectivity is limited, while the bicycle and pedestrian parkways (indicated in green) still give access to these modes of transportation. It's a win-win situation. Not only are homeowners insulated from the negative effects of automobiles, but the incentive to use alternative modes of transportation is strengthened. Hopefully, as a result, congestion could be relieved as well.


Jim Duncan said...

Connectivity between existing neighborhoods has been one of the goals of Albemarle County - much to the disappointment and chagrin of those living in existing neighborhoods.

This solution seems to alleviate some of those concerns ... now - how about getting everyone to buy into it? :)

I wrote a story earlier this year that speaks to the changing nature of developments -

Daniel Nairn said...

Thanks for filling me in on that, Jim. I wonder if the city is working toward similar goals. It seems to me that a fused grid pattern would work better in a denser setting, where people would be more likely to get around by foot or bike.

I can see how there would be some tension over this!

Richard Layman said...

Fused grid is what we have in DC if you count alleys, or their potential.

And note that you list my blog but with a typo in the first word.

Thanks and I really like your use of librarything -- reminds me of some books I need to "really" read instead of just mention...

Daniel Nairn said...

Ah ... duly noted.

Bob Giordano said...

We are working on something like this in Missoula... the idea is to have one bicycle boulevard or urban greenway in each neighborhood, connecting to a larger bike/walk network that includes trails, bike lanes and sidewalks.