How to Easily Add Crosswalks (without Junctions) to Reduce Traffic


In Cities: Skylines, as in life, crosswalks (or pedestrian crossings where I’m from!) let pedestrians, cyclists and dogs get from one side of the street to the other safely. They get added automatically at junctions and intersections.

Most of the time crosswalks just do what they do. Which is good, because there’s no way of turning them off. There are mods that let you remove them, but only the visuals. Functionally, they stay the same. I’d love to see more control added in the future. It could sit amongst the existing traffic light/stop sign system. In fairness though, I think there’s a technical limitation. It seems that road and intersection textures don’t always align 100%, and the crossings hide the seam.

Now while we can’t remove them, there is a way we can add them without having to build a junction!

Upgrade road for crosswalks

All you need to do is upgrade the road type in one place. Where the roads join, crosswalks appear. But there’s also a neater and more precise way to add them. Read on!

Use crosswalks to reduce road traffic

There’s two ways to use crossings strategically. The first is to give pedestrians a street crossing away from your busiest junctions. That’ll help ease needless congestion caused by people on foot. The second, bigger reason, is to make shortcuts across an estate. We can massively shorten the distance between people’s houses and transit stops or schools. Suddenly, lots of people who used to drive now find their journey is quicker on public transport. Bit by bit, you can reduce traffic all over the city (I wrote more about that here.

Let’s use this really simple example:

Low density suburb

Here’s the Elizabeth household. Five children live here, and they probably go to the local elementary school.

Elementary school

At the moment, the kids need to walk to the top of the street, across, and down again. Now obviously, in this case, that’s no problem. But let’s say that walk was just slightly further than they were willing to walk, and were instead driving every day. If we could shorten the route, we’d get lots more residents out of their cars, freeing up the roads.

So let’s add footpaths from the school to the Elizabeth household. Obviously, this fixes nothing unless they can cross the road. Our choices are a footbridge, an underpass… or a new crossing. Let’s delete the roads either side and draw a tiny bit of tree-lined road where we want the crossing.

Adding a crosswalk with no junction

Next, reconnect the roads, using a different type of road - like the plain version or the one with bike lanes.

Adding a crosswalk

And there you go!

Ideally, you’d do this with the game paused so that everyone else doesn’t move out as has happened here…

Crosswalk without junction

I hope you found this helpful. Before I found this out, I was building vast and complex bridge and underpass networks to achieve the same thing. More fun, probably, but not space-efficient. Not very efficient with my time, either…

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