Managing that flow
So you have built this wonderful large city but you wonder why your traffic is a bit shit in places.
72% traffic flow is not bad but not flash either given it sits in the ‘condition yellow’ segment. This means rather than a City-wide failure in your traffic (Auckland) there are more likely to be localised pinch-points causing a mess in nearby areas.
I know of three two of which are in industrial areas and one at Uptown which I am going to share today.
This is the intersection causing a bucket load of grief at Uptown:
Nice condition red at two major intersections meaning we have a jam.
This is what it looks like:
While there are bus lanes to move the busses the area gets jammed up due to a concentration of traffic going to and from the Great Solarian Coastal Motorway at the top of the picture.
So while I know the motorway is causing issues (surprise-surprise) I need to look to see where the traffic is going and where it coming from. Time to bring up the new Traffic Routes system that came with the Mass Transit DLC.
Public Transport includes taxis given taxis can use bus lanes as well unless you use Traffic Manager President Edition to ban taxis from the lanes.
You can see that cars and taxis are trying to access the motorway from Thompson Street which coincidentally is one of the main roads to the airport. Meanwhile busses do not access the motorway but rather are accessing Forrest Street which is a primary east-west transit corridor across the City (and recently included a new metro subway line).
Freight traffic also primarily is accessing the motorway from Thompson Street delivering goods to the Uptown leisure district (night clubs etc) and a major retail outlet near the airport.
Government service traffic (so garbage trucks etc) are using Thompson Street as an access point to the City Centre given refuse facilities are located an industrial complex also near the airport.
So what to do?
Well here is Thompson Street:
Thompson Street serves as a main arterial linking the Airport to the City Centre. While there is a north-south motorway nearby the route is indirect and is heavily utilised by traffic moving between the parallel east-west motorways that run through San Solaria (one runs along the coast and the other runs inland).
Consequently options come a bit limited but three do present themselves at ever escalating costs.
The first is to build a tunnel further back up Thompson Street and connecting directing to the eastbound onramp on the Great Solarian Coastal Highway allowing to-motorway traffic bypassing the Thompson/Forrest Street intersection. This however, does not solve the traffic entering Thompson Street from the motorway nor the overcrowding of busses along the route either.
This presents the next option of running a north-south metro line from the Airport to the Victoria Park Interchange in the City Centre. This relieves overcrowding on busses and gives a new north-south route along Thompson Street.
The third and most expensive option is a east-west metro line from Hill Park through Glade Hills out to Thorton Hills which also houses another major interchange. A cheaper issue is to run surface trams along the road bearing in mind there is a large roundabout along the way.
Another option is to open another lane from the motorway to the Thompson/Forrest Street intersection given west-bound traffic is either inter-city or from the large industrial complex to the east.
So what will I do?
Most likely open up that second lane to move the freight trucks through coupled with better signal phasing. This will be the short-term while I get a new north-south metro tunnel built connecting the airport to the City Centre to relieve the busses although that might get mega tricky at the City Centre end.
Already there is three Metro tunnels and a heavy rail tunnel in that area so some deep tunnelling might be needed. Or I could run elevated mono-rail 😛 .
With the new east-west link I might run it as trams given a metro line (elevated) is already in the area. As for a bypass tunnel to the motorway? Last resort.
Lot to think about but the new Traffic Routes Manager certainly helps.