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Interstates in Cities:Skylines

I love using highways in Cities Skylines. I have the network additions mod, which gives extra highways such as 2-lane, and 4+ lane highways (all the way up to 6). It's immensely helpful for building sprawling highway networks for busy cities. 

I enjoy the challenge of funneling as much traffic as possible through an intricate network of interstate routes. I tend to merge several highways into a single superhighway to feed my downtown/CBD areas, and as a result, the majority of the city's traffic tends to depend on one single link. It's absolutely critical, as a result, that it's set up well and is up for the task. 

Luckily, there are a few things that can make a HUGE difference for the highway capacity in the game. (And I should add, make sure you have TPME. Tongue)

1. Don't use too many lanes.  - Learned this one the hard way. CIMs LOVE to get confused if you give them super-wide highways, and they tend to do those ridiculous cross-highway lane jumps that grind the entire highway to a halt. So on this one, less is sometimes more. 4 lanes can actually handle a metric f***ton of traffic. In fact, even the standard three lanes can already handle a ton of traffic on its own, and two lanes is still far more robust than any other non-highway road in the game. So don't rush to add too many lanes too quickly, sometimes you don't need them quite yet. Finna

2. Lane management is your best friend. If you're gonna funnel 200,000+ CIMs into one superhighway, lane management is the single most important thing you can do. It is absolutely critical that every single interchange has very tightly defined rules for which lanes CIMS can marge in and off of. Use TPME to set custom paths, and make sure to touch all of the ramps for your highways. 

In fact, I've found that it's actually extremely rare for a highway to actually be running "at capacity." Almost always, a busy highway can technically carry more traffic than it already does, but the traffic management must be absolutely razor sharp. Bad lane management (or the absense of it entirely) is usually the biggest bottleneck-factor here.  

3. Merge lanes are good (Network Additions Mod). - The faster CIMs are traveling, the more effectively they are able to merge. Merge/Auxilliary lanes keep CIMs from being forced to merge into a busy highway from a tight ramp, and these can massively improve traffic flows for interchanges on busy sections. 

To set these up, temporarily widen the highway by an extra lane after the merge. But make sure to use lane management to FORCE CIMS to ONLY merge into your new merge lane. They should not merge into the main lanes until the merge lane ends, which allows them to reach full speed first! Otherwise, they will jump the gun and merge too early, defeating the purpose of the merge lane. Tongue


It's very hard to tell from the above (toaster-PC) screenshot, but this entire city is split into two halves and is connected primarily by a single interstate highway. This superhighway branches off into three other interstates that serve separate districts of the city (and these highways further split into more highways and major roads of their own). So ultimately, 200K CIMs are connected primarily by this link alone.

This link definitely had congestion problems earlier on in the game, but I was able to resolve a lot of its issues by narrowing the highway from 5 to 4 lanes, and by implementing very detailed lane management and merge lanes. That *seems* counterintuitive (the highway has the highest traffic density out of any route in the entire city), but it has worked well and the traffic flows without a hitch! That being said, the city has grown and it's now starting to reach its limits with 200K CIMs and five interstates being funneled into it. (I think it's about time to bring the 5th lane back? Finna)

What are your thoughts on using highways in Cities Skylines? What is the busiest highway/thoroughfare you've ever designed? Do you have any tips for maintaining massively busy interstate networks in your cities?

thanks for your informative post !

I always wanted to play CS, but never did

But thanks for the great post on a  deserving game Smile
Sports fanatic
Have you considered stacked highways to reduce space taken up but increase available density?

always loved the stacked highways that were added to the NAM in sc4 Tongue
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
[Image: 5.jpg]
Yeah, I've always been rather frustrated by the idiot AI drivers who cause traffic jams by getting into the wrong lane. (Then again, I suppose they're not too different from idiot real-world drivers, so I can't complain too much about this!!!!)

I know that when I built my circular city a while back, with an orbital highway after every five streets, this seemed to do a pretty good job of keeping the traffic flowing. Some of my roundabouts were a bit clogged, but that was about it:

[Image: 1D31FBC6BEE18BD66141057846CCEE20463DEB54]
[Image: pkmb0Gv.png]

#ForzaJules 1989-2015
ya I know exactly what you mean, I've seen drivers do this IRL, I'm like wth?

they are in the far outer lane because they think it's the fast lane (side note, here all lanes are the same speed, just fyi).

then they either shove their way across traffic or look for an opening and shoot across 4 lanes of traffic to get to the off ramp.

it's scary how much this sounds like what you're describing darth.

I do like your high way setup though
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
[Image: 5.jpg]
(December 12th, 2020 at 1:02 AM)Kyng Wrote: cause traffic jams by getting into the wrong lane. (Then again, I suppose they're not too different from idiot real-world drivers, so I can't complain too much about this!!!!

It absolutely frustrates me! Then, I realize drivers around me are the exact same way. We're in a traffic jam, going WAY below the speed limit, then you get a good view of the Interstate in front and... its wide-open. PEOPLE are causing the traffic jam because they're terrible drivers. So, I hate it in-game, but I've come to accept it as needed to replicate dumb drivers. Tongue
TP:ME helps with this somewhat. It has an improved simulator that allows cars to switch lanes dynamically (instead of planning every lane switch before the route even begins).

I'll start this way: Until now I have neither time nor desire to play something like this. But when I see that WOW, top how what where can you get this game like? Online right?

[Image: autism4all.png]
[x] <= Drive in nail here for new display!
Yep, Cities Skylines is one of the best games ever made for this genre. It's been around for a few years and has become hugely popular.

It's pretty much a sandbox city builder with a pretty well-done simulation aspect. It has huge maps and thousands of mods, so you can do pretty much anything in it.

really fantastic, I really have to take a look now :-)

[Image: autism4all.png]
[x] <= Drive in nail here for new display!
(December 12th, 2020 at 8:30 PM)tc4me Wrote: really fantastic, I really have to take a look now :-)

Highly recommend, you won't regret it!

Is that a good idea too? Cities: Skylines - PlayStation®4

but what should you take there? there are quite a few choices

[Image: autism4all.png]
[x] <= Drive in nail here for new display!
Those just have extra DLCs. Some of them are nice, but they don't usually add very much of anything substantial over the base game. I'd buy the cheapest one and then add extra DLCs when they go on sale as you need. That way you can choose which ones you want to add. (After-Dark and Mass-Transit are great)

Thanks ! I will follow your advice :-)

[Image: autism4all.png]
[x] <= Drive in nail here for new display!

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