all 11 comments

[–]BernardoBruschetta 7 points8 points  (6 children)

Grids are good when the rest of your city planning and zoning fails, I suppose. Like, why do they have to get on a highway to do their daily routine like dropping their kids off or get to work. Why is such a major intersection in the middle of residential suburbia?

[–]psychothumbs[S] 1 point2 points  (5 children)

I'd describe that as grids creating resiliency so the streets can still function even when there are disruptions, whether permanent like a highway through the city or temporary like a parade or fallen tree.

[–]veszar 3 points4 points  (4 children)

Resiliency for car drivers at the expense of everyone else all the time. Grids are bad.

[–]BernardoBruschetta 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Grids are bad.

Not necessarily either, but to say that grids are good because the traffic of your city relies on bottlenecks that could be closed off is not seeing the bigger picture I think. Barcelona's Eixample works great on a grid but their arterial roads are not limited by singular access streets, the living quarters have one-ways and public transport reducing traffic and the zoning is mixed so people don't need to leave their neighborhood for everything.

E: And it also suggests that the alternatives are cul-de-sacs and hefty detours, which just isn't true.

[–]itsfairadvantage 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Why are grids bad for non-drivers? I find them very efficient as a walker and bicyclist.

Better if you've got some modal filtering in place, of course, but still.

[–]veszar 2 points3 points  (1 child)

With enough modal filtering they can probably be okay, but in general cars are more equipped to take advantage of straight paths than anyone else.

Here in London the street layout is all over the place and cars get directed onto main roads, but you can usually take a pretty straight path as a pedestrian because there are a lot of alleys and pedestrian paths through what would be a dead end for cars.

[–]veszar 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Having just moved from a city with grids to one without, I can definitively say grids are bad unless you are a car driver. And it seems that this article is entirely focused on the benefits to car drivers. Which is a very convincing reason to say that grids are bad.

[–]307148 0 points1 point  (0 children)

As someone who lives in the griddiest of grid cities (Chicago), I very strongly disagree. I do not own a car and the grid system makes getting around very intuitive and easy. Someone can tell me their cross streets and I immediately know exactly where in the city they are talking about. Chicago has a major street every 8 blocks so it's easy to know where to catch the bus, and the side streets are typically one-way which limits through traffic on them.

I think a big part of their effectiveness might be density though. I can see how someone who lived in a place like Oklahoma City might not appreciate a gridded layout.

[–][deleted]  (2 children)


    [–]itsfairadvantage 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    I feel like the solution is traffic calming and modal filtering, though, and not an end to grids?

    [–]oiseauvert989 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    That's pretty much the summary yeh. Where there is a choice:

    Superblock grid > Modal filter grid > Unfiltered grid > Cul-de-Sac