Here’s a cool website for those interested in urban planning and transportation. It allows users to design a street exactly to their specifications by adding sidewalks, bike lanes, parking lanes, car lanes, bus lanes, as well as medians and trees. This is a nice way to visualize the capabilities of streets and how they can best serve the public good.
You can even specify street size. For example, a 40-foot-wide street can only fit two car lanes, a median, and sidewalks on either side. There’s simply no room for a bike lane on both sides, as seen below:
However, if that street is widened to 60 feet, you can add a bike lane on either side, and some nice shrubbery between the road and the pedestrians, as seen here:
Or, if the city needs a larger street to accomodate more vehicular traffic, you can remove the bike lanes and shrubbery and add an extra lane for cars in that same 60 foot width:
The possibilities of road design are pretty endless, and StreetMix is an awesome site to play around with. You aren’t even restricted to 40-foot, 60-foot, and 80-foot roads. there is a setting called “Adaptive,” where you can make the road as wide as you want. Here’s one I made with two car lanes, bus lanes, parked cars to keep cyclists safe, then a bike lane on either side, some shrubbery, and then pedestrians. The idea is not incredibly practical, as it requires a street that is almost 120 feet wide, but the idea is pretty nifty.
I’m definitely going to be using this site a lot! It seems like it would be a nice tool for urban planners as well.
Check it out: StreetMix