Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

GMoxley

Grid Pattern Streets

Recommended Posts

I've lived in both Spartanburg and Greenville, and have never had a problem finding my way around. However, since I've been living in Columbia for the past year, I've fallen in the love with the grid-pattern streets. Now, when I go back to greenville or spartanburg, I get confused by their lack of grid pattern. So this got me thinking....

There's a lot of talk about getting higher density in the cities, especially Greenville, but is this even going to be possible without a grid pattern of streets? I honestly can not think of any big dense city that does not have either a grid pattern or radial system (mainly in Europe) of streets. Even Atlanta has a grid pattern in their dowtown and midtown areas (basically where all the density is).

Finally, does anyone know of a city that has undertaken to change a haphazard road-system into a well-planned grid pattern?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


There's a lot of talk about getting higher density in the cities, especially Greenville, but is this even going to be possible without a grid pattern of streets? I honestly can not think of any big dense city that does not have either a grid pattern or radial system (mainly in Europe) of streets. Even Atlanta has a grid pattern in their dowtown and midtown areas (basically where all the density is).

Finally, does anyone know of a city that has undertaken to change a haphazard road-system into a well-planned grid pattern?

A grid pattern simply shows that when a city was first getting developed, planning was involved.

Older European cities (London, Paris, etc.) do not have a pattern. Sure, it may look radial, but main road systems in European cities are more of a product of the evolution of transit systems then they are a master planned idea. Main thoroughfares for foot traffic became major thoroughfares for carriages, which became major thoroughfares for automobiles.

I think you could argue that the "radial" pattern is what will develop if there is little planning involved. Greenville is probably headed in that direction.

As far as changing a road network... I haven't heard of it happening. I would imagine that it may be possible on a small scale if major renovations are being done to a small area of a city.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest problem I've seen with it is that it causes more congestion of traffic because there are no easy detours. The solution thus far has been to keep widening roads, which seems to only make them more dangerous for everyone and less accessible for pedestrians.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How exactly would a lack of gridded roads lead to being less dense?

Gridded roads are more efficient to navigate. Because they are more efficient, they can accomodate more traffic... thereby accomodating more density. There are exceptions, but by and large any supremely dense urban area is going to have a gridded street pattern.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've lived in both Spartanburg and Greenville, and have never had a problem finding my way around. However, since I've been living in Columbia for the past year, I've fallen in the love with the grid-pattern streets. Now, when I go back to greenville or spartanburg, I get confused by their lack of grid pattern. So this got me thinking....

There's a lot of talk about getting higher density in the cities, especially Greenville, but is this even going to be possible without a grid pattern of streets? I honestly can not think of any big dense city that does not have either a grid pattern or radial system (mainly in Europe) of streets. Even Atlanta has a grid pattern in their dowtown and midtown areas (basically where all the density is).

Finally, does anyone know of a city that has undertaken to change a haphazard road-system into a well-planned grid pattern?

With increasing densities it will be necessary to create more connecting streets to provide for alternate routes to various destinations.

Greenville has a decent grid system downtown. It was originally planned that way.

Spartanburg did not have a planned system. bBelieve it or not, has a much better grid system today than it did 100 years ago. If you look at historic maps of the city you will see that almost none of the roads lined up, or connected through. it was a totally unplanned mess that was built very haphazardly (almost like a European city in terms of the road network). Over the years the city has connected a street here, built a new through road there, and over time we have managed to get some semblence of a grid system. I won't try to say its anything like Columbia's grid, but its a great deal better than it used to be. I'll see if I can find those maps for you guys so you can compare them.

Gridded roads are more efficient to navigate. Because they are more efficient, they can accomodate more traffic... thereby accomodating more density. There are exceptions, but by and large any supremely dense urban area is going to have a gridded street pattern.

Yes. That is why even in downtown Columbia during rush hour it is still possible to get around fairly quickly if you stay off of that main drags that the commuters use (Huger, Assembly, Bull, Gervais, Elmwood, Taylor/Hampton). Using Lady, Washington, Laurel, Park, Lincoln, Sumter, Marion, Pickens is much more efficient.

One thing to consider is that having a grid does not necesarily mean a whole bunch of square blocks. You can also have a loose grid that may not resemble squares at all, but that still provides the necessary connectivity to get around without relying on one road. This concept is becoming much more common these days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greenville's grid downtown is expanding in a way thanks to McBee Station. A road is being taken all the way to Broad Street from McBee Ave. This will help a lot. No more traveling all the way to McDaniel Avenue and twisting around. Flow will be more efficient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank goodness someone else is pointing out a big flaw in Greenville's planning, or lack of planning. Before the next Laurens/Haywood/Pleasantburg sprawl develops, city leaders need to plan the area with a grid street pattern, wherever it may be. Haven't we learned from the sprawling mess that has been built since the late 1960s?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greenville's grid downtown is expanding in a way thanks to McBee Station. A road is being taken all the way to Broad Street from McBee Ave. This will help a lot. No more traveling all the way to McDaniel Avenue and twisting around. Flow will be more efficient.

Smart decision by the city. :thumbsup: This will definitely help extend the downtown grid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.