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Thread: Working toward a grid

  1. #1
    Cyburbian SideshowBob's avatar
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    Working toward a grid

    I am particularly fond of grid street networks, I guess because I grew up on one and was able to get to so many places on my bike.

    My sense is that grid networks are never created anymore. I was wondering if there are any examples of cities that have recently decided to work toward a grid (or at least a "connected") road network. If so, did they do this forcefully through the zoning/subdivision code or did they simply "encourage" it to happen.
    Fighting congestion by widening roads is like fighting obesity by buying larger clothes.

  2. #2

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    Many years ago, I wrote an ordinace for the small town of Victor, ID, that requires the extension of the grid. Because it is the big Mormon grid (660' blocks) it is ok to put a cul-de-sac into the center of a block, but the grid must continue. The town I work for now requires connectivity, but in this landscape that seldom means a full grid (which would not be compatible with the terrain).

  3. #3
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Here is a discussion on a fused grid proposal making the rounds from CMHC

    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showt...ght=fused+grid

    while not a true gris it something like Lee mentioned.

    There is another thread floating around on this topic someplace.

    I personally like the grids we have in southern ontario, 1 mile x 1mile, = 1000 acres. When they were layed out the cartographers did not really care too much about topgraphy, they were only looking at maps.

    I also like them because they make figuring out directions really easy.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  4. #4
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    I remember touching on grid patterns and street form (in terms of historical relevance) in one of my first year classes, but I was startled by the lack of forethought related to terrain and street grid. To date I have been unable to find a decisive text detailing how terrain and topography interact with street form. Specifically, what street form is possible when building on mountainous terrain?

  5. #5

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    The mountains dictate the form, which almost inevitably tends toward the linear, as the road follows the valley. It is instructive to visit the numerous old mining towns in the West where a grid was laid over mountainous terrain and see which streets survived. In some places, like Red Lodge and Helena, MT, the grid is stretched, but provides a lot of connectivity. In other, mostly smaller, places, the grid is severely fragmented. Breckenridge, CO comes to mind. This is also true in New England. The village of Warren, VT, is a classic example of linear/radial (radiating along the valleys) pattern.

    The linear pattern can get to be a bad habit, however. Witness many mountain valleys, like the Roaring Fork in Colorado, where development headed downhill from a ski resort where there are severe slope limitations, but continued along the main road without spreading out.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    I think a lot of communities are dealing with this in their General Plan/Comprehensive Plan/Municipal Development Plan or whatever the heck you call it where you happen to live. Some also deal with them in design guidelines.

    To name but a few examples:
    Ashland, Oregon (Staff report shows street policies, but I couldn't find the actual policy document easily).
    Surrey, BC
    San Diego Urban Village Zone
    Madison, WI Draft Plan (pdf)
    Teton Village Design Guidelines (pdf)
    Citrus Park Village Development Standards (pdf)

    If you do a search of "modified grid" street pattern in google, I'm sure there are tons of other examples as well.

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