How Can Cities and Counties Plan for Street Network Connectivity?
A well-connected network has many short links, numerous intersections, and minimal dead-ends. Where a road connection may not make sense, a pedestrian or bicycle connection may still be considered. As connectivity increases, travel distances decrease and route options increase. The result is more direct travel between destinations and a more accessible system.
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Best Practice Actions
- Cities and towns may implement street network connectivity:
- Establish policies, programs, and statutes:
Benefits of Improving Street Network Connectivity
- Street connectivity redistributes traffic across an entire street network.
- Connected local streets help keep local trips off arterial streets and reduce the need for widening and construction improvements on collector or arterial streets.
- Highly connected grids are cheaper to build and maintain making them more economical by:
- Getting better value out of every street.
- Not having to build for high-speed traffic.
- Not creating congested choke points.
- Increased connectivity provides for different modes of travel besides automobiles.
- By linking sidewalks, paths, bicycle lanes, and streets, destination distances become shorter, thereby potentially increasing trips by walking, bicycling, or transit.
- A network of streets, sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and paths that connect to each other also reduce the distance children have to travel from home to school. It also allows for the use of more local streets rather than major roadways and provides a greater choice of routes to travel to and from school safely.
Tools & Resources
Connection to State Policy
Yesler Terrace near downtown Seattle was developed in the early 1940s as the city’s first publicly subsidized housing community. In 2006, when it had become evident that Yesler’s infrastructure and housing units needed to be replaced, conversations ensued. In 2013, the revitalization of Yesler Terrace began and now includes a new streetcar line through Yesler connecting the community to a regional transportation system.