Street Planning Needs Both Cul-de-Sacs and Grid Street Patterns

A mixture of both is needed for neighborhoods to work, writes Wendell Cox.

"Modern urban planning literature is filled with references to grid street patterns and their alleged superiority to the cul de sac--a loop or “dead-end street” pattern typical of modern suburban developments. The new urbanists claim grids are needed to reduce traffic congestion and smooth the flow of traffic.

But advocates of grid street patterns contradict themselves. They claim local grid streets are needed to smooth traffic by easing the load on higher-capacity streets ... but then they also propose “traffic calming” measures, such as speed bumps and roundabouts, to make traffic move more slowly on the local streets. Such measures nullify any advantage local grids might be argued to have over cul de sacs."

Thanks to Brenda Meyer

Full Story: Cul de Sacs, Grid Street Patterns Both Have a Role to Play


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95