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Everything posted by pierreh

  1. Interesting and clever design of the city, with an excellent optimization of the travel distances and durations of the commutes. No wonder the city is growing by leaps and bounds. The 6 large green 'things', visible in the central CBDs in both pictures, are train stations I suppose. Which station(s) are they?
  2. Welcome to my new DD: "The United Cities of Talaran". As I explained briefly in a last post in my previous DD "The Region of Sambey", in late October 2014 I halted the development of the 6-cities cluster that had occupied me for many months, because the traffic issues raised by my choice of development (specialized cities) were becoming unmanageable. At the same time I started on a new development. It is again a cluster, this time of 9 cities. Each city will be developed in the normal way, with the classic residential, commercial and industrial zones. The cities will be linked, primarily by highways and rail lines, in a way that will prevent the dreaded Eternal Commuter syndrome. Physically, the 9 cities are placed in another area of the large region of Sambey, but to distinguish them from the previous development I have settled on the global name of 'Talaran'. After the initial preparation of the terrain, the area of the 9 cities, still totally empty, looked like this: The links between the cities are planned in the following way: I spent a long time laying down the basic highway and railway networks, as well as some structuring avenues in each city. All neighbor links have been prepared, but left inactive (connectors deleted) during the initial development of the cities. I want the Sims to look for employment locally in their respective cities for a while. Inter-city links will be 'opened' gradually. Currently all 9 cities have been started and have populations of around 1000 Sims each. Progress is slow, partly because my time for the game is limited, partly too because I want to grow the cities as concurrently as possible, and, well, playing 9 cities at the same time is 9 times slower than playing a single one. Here is the current view of the cluster, city and mayor names removed for better clarity. I can't guarantee frequent updates of this DD, but I'll try to keep at it with regularity.
  3. This post is about regional playing in the Talaran cluster. There may be further posts on the same subject, depending how far I get into that discussion. I am certain that everything that I will describe here has already been exposed time and again in other forums in the course of time. Since I prefer to play, and report about it, rather than read old forum entries, I am not aware of how many open doors I am going to crash into here. In this CJ's first post I showed how the 9 cities in the cluster are linked so as to prevent the occurence of the Eternal Commuter syndrom. I show these links again here: We look now more specifically at the links between Arcens, Deramey and Cherenne: Arcens has links with Deramey, and Deramey has also links with Cherenne. This means that there will also be traffic between Arcens and Cherenne, going thru Deramey. The more links a city has with its neighbors, the more thru traffic flows are occuring. When the cities' populations grow, these 'pass-thru' flows become significant. Arcens, being at the center of the cluster and being linked to its 4 neighbor cities, should have a lot of traffic, including pass-thru traffic. Oddly, as already noted earlier, this is the slowest developing city in the cluster; its central position hasn't turned it into a big hub - but its complex topography with large bodies of water explains perhaps at least partly its relative under-development. Traffic, within a city as well as between linked cities, is generated by Sims going to work in the morning commute, and going back home during the evening commute. Within the confine of one city, where they go to work is determined by the Destination Finder, and how they get there is determined by the Pathfinder, both being components of the Traffic Simulator. (This is wonderfully documented in the tutorial about the Traffic Simulator in the SimCity Encyclopedia). When a link exists between two cities, the tile or tiles at the border 'represent' the other city with all its places of work. Since the Destination Finder always tries to find a job for a Sim as close as possible to its residence, if the border tile of the link is closer to the residence as the commercial or industrial areas, the Sim will be sent to work in the other city rather than in the city where he resides. I have been aware of this 'property' of the game for a long time, but I still don't factor it sufficiently in my zoning decisions. The price to pay for this is increased inter-city traffic. The following picture shows the current zoning in Arcens, and schematically the flows of traffic observed: R1, R2 and R3 are residential zones; C1 and C2 are commercial zones; industrial zones play a lesser role in the flows and are not considered here. Because the residential zones are close to the borders of the city, the Destination Finder sends many Sims to the other cities looking for work. Of course the commercial zones find workers - otherwise they would dilapidate. C1 gets Sims mainly from R3, and to a lesser extent, from R2 (dotted blue line); C2 gets Sims mainly from R1. I tried to force Sims to go work to their city's CBD rather than to another city, by implementing the following railway layout: TSR is the train station in the residential zone, TSC is the (main) train station in the CBD; the tracks at TSR are laid out so that Sims taking the train at that station can only travel to TSC, and therefore, to the CBD: But this doesn't work: Sims going to work in the other city (on the right of the drawing) board trains from TSR to TSC, change trains there, and travel to the next city (pink flow). As a result, the load on the tracks between TSC and TSR is actually doubled, since the same Sims travel those tracks 2 times! Of course the same thing happens on highways: if only partial intersections are laid out in the residential zone, so that the highway can only be entered to drive to the CBD, Sims will still drive to work to the other city, by changing directions at the next full intersection (using the exit ramp, crossing the highway on a surface road, and using the entrance ramp in the reverse direction). In Arcens, because the border to Deramey is closer to the R2 residential area than the main CBD (C1 commercial area), a heavy flow of workers is observed between R2 and the eastern border. I already illustrated in a previous post the congestion on the railway tracks between Arcens and Deramey. As a reminder here is the previous situation in the train station in the R2 residential area of Arcens: The train station (Passenger Railroad Depot) was saturated, running at 277 % capacity. I replaced the Depot by the Surbiton Station that has a higher capacity, and I added an inter-city subway connection between Arcens and Deramey, hoping to relieve the railway tracks. A few game months later, the situation has not improved. The Surbiton station runs at 214 % capacity, the total number of passengers in the station has grown, and both dual tracks to Deramey are saturated (65535 passengers on both - note that the picture is rotated 90 degrees relatively to the previous one): The subway connection to Deramey is not saturated yet but is already quite heavily used: (Other flows in the picture are those of surface GLR tracks) Possibly the subway should not be connected to the Surbiton railway station, because it increases the load on that station. Yet it should collect Sims in the residential area, and needs subway stations in that area. This is a point that I'll look into further. More measures are required to reduce the saturation on the railway; there is no room for a third pair of tracks, so something else will need to be implemented. (to be continued)
  4. Very nice! SInce I spot a stretch of AVE-6 and TLA-7 in the middle of the pictuee, with 2 visible RTMT stations on the TLA-7 part: is this also where you test the new stations?
  5. Brian, thanks for your praising words. I think that you are doing me way too much honor by describing my ability to develop million+ population cities as 'legendary' (but it makes me feel quite good...). Today I'll describe my subway implementations, and this will be a sort of rant about the way that subways are handled in the game. In short, that handling is over-simplistic and primitive. Now for the longer story: My model is the Paris subway, the "Metro". It is a classical subway network (the first line opened in 1900), built with the principle of 'one tunnel - one line'. In other words, each line runs independently from any other, in its own tunnel. A few lines have branches at their extremities. There are service tracks between lines where they intersect, to allow for the exchange of rolling stock and its moving to and from maintenance yards. Crossings of lines are never at the same level; this would be both dangerous and inefficient. (On the busiest line of the Metro, trains follow each other at 95 seconds intervals during the peak periods). Here is an excerpt of a schematic map of the Metro: We can see that the blue line (Line 2) crosses the brown line (Line 11) at the station Belleville, and the green line (Line 3) at the station Père-Lachaise. A detailed tracks map shows that, at Belleville, the brown line passes under the blue line; the location of the respective platforms is also shown; on the blue line there is a short siding before the platform of the left track: These are simple crossings between two lines. There are more complex implementations. For example, when constructing Line 3 in the vicinity of the Paris opera in 1904, it was anticipated that 2 other lines would cross that line there. A 3-level construction was built. Schematically it look like this: Line 3 is on top level; Line 7 is in the middle, Line 8 is on the bottom level. A picture taken at the bottom level shows the 'bridges' of the 2 other levels: The most complex arrangement of tunnels and platforms is under Place de la Republique, where no less than 5 lines meet. A representation of the tracks - colored tracks for the regular lines, black tracks for the service links - illustrates the complexity of that setup: Ok, so much for the Paris metro. In the game, there is a single level for the subway tunnels, and there is no notion of 'stations' with platforms. All we have is the 'subway square'. By convention, I consider that this square is the station, and I run tunnels into and from that square. When 2 lines intersect in a station under a road it looks like this: I know that the tunnels intersect at a single level, but I 'assume' the integrity of the intersecting 'lines', just like in the above example of the Paris metro at the Belleville station. Route queries show Sims travelling from one 'line' to another, and I assume that they do that by changing trains in the station (even though there is, of course, nothing like that happening). I avoid the crossing of lines outside of stations (with very few exceptions), because of the unnatural flows in the tunnels. I am aware of the ESURE mod that was designed in part to overcome the problem of the level crossing of tracks; unfortunately that mod is restricted in its usage, and was insufficiently developed, so that I have found it quite difficult to implement in my cities. There are two cases where the restriction of only 2 lines crossing at a station can be lifted. 1. Avenue subway+ bus combo RTMT stations cover 2x2 tiles, and the 4 tiles are part of the station, even though the subway square only covers one of the tiles. This allows to bring more lines to the station, and also to lay 2 parallel tracks under avenues when the traffic warrants it. For example: 2. SLURP'ed railway stations act as large subway stations, since all tiles of those railway stations are subway-enabled. This allows to bring several subway tunnels to the railway station. For example: Finally, here are the pictures of subway networks in the CBDs of two cities in the Talaran cluster. I am still expanding the cities, and dealing with the traffic generated. In the above picture most lines link residential and industrial areas to the CBD, transitioning to GLR at the outskirts of the CBD. Some lines are limited to the CBD, like for example the short line from the train station, that may be extended later. The picture below illustrates that various section of subway lines have very different rates of usage, down to a section between two stations that is sofar not used at all: I have observed this in many cities. It is as if the traffic simulator deliberately ignores the existence of some subway tunnels. Presumably those sections are not attractive for the Sims, there are alternatives, buses for example. Very recently I implemented the first cross-city subway link between Arcens and Deramey, because the 2x2 tracks railway link was saturated. I'll report later about that link, which is not yet fully operational. Other similar links are planned.
  6. Sorry to butt in, Brian, with a comment that has more to do with the RTMT stations testing than with the development of your city: in the picture of your last post, the station on the right is a bus+subway combo for AVE-6, rather than for TLA-7, right?
  7. In a previous region I had 3 cities that reached over 1 million Sims: - Hermone, 1'010'236 Sims - Orelle, 1'072'900 Sims - Velarville, 1'631'137 Sims That last city is the largest city I have managed to grow sofar. I didn't have the CAM mod installed at the time. I stopped playing those cities because they suffered from the 'eternal commuter syndrom'. Separately I play at my mother's place, we currently have 2 cities, linked with each other, that have respectively 1'396'913 Sims and 1'358'262 Sims. The first of those is 'buitt', there is no space left for growth, and the second one is getting there fast. The first of the cities was built without CAM; CAM was installed during the growth of the second city.
  8. My modding activity for RTMT is currently slower and this allows me to play the cities in my cluster, and to update this CJ. A milestone has been reached: Marlande is the first city to reach a population of 800'000 Sims: As can be seen on this global picture, there is still room for expansion, so that the city could potentially grow further. However, the limitations of mutli-city playing are becoming more and more apparent in this cluster. Most of them have probably been documented at length in various forums, although my searches on the topic have not been very successfuk sofar. I'll illustrate some of my own findings in my next posts.
  9. I fully agree with you, mayorm, expansions in crowded environments pose very interesting challenges, and it is great fun to deal with them. I seize this opportunitty to mention that I have currently resumed work on RTMT, and this means that I'll have less time to spend on my cluster of cities for a while: updates to this CJ will be less frequent, but I'll keep at it, for sure.
  10. Good update, Brian! I like the way you let those humongous condos grow in your city, even when they create extreme traffic challenges because of their numbers of residents. I'll be looking forward to see how you deal with those traffic issues.
  11. AT present the trend in my cluster of cities is to note several traffic situations where corrective action is required, and then to ponder very long about how to apply some fix. Here is a new example, also affecting rail traffic, in the city of Salveille. This is the central railway station: The issue in this case is that the central station is wedged much too tightly in the pattern of the CBD. This is a classical example of not reserving enough space for expansion - something that happens often in my developments. I have noted the need for replacing the station with one with a greater capacity, and this will be addressed as soon as feasible.
  12. I am intrigued by the number of rail lines that have already been laid out on the map. This tells me that rail will take a significant role in the transit mix in Ocean View.
  13. Since Brian is showing us his plan for the development of the city he is currently starting to build, I'd like to show the current state of one of the cities in my cluster, where I am not pleased with my initial design decisions. The city is Desognes, it is situated in the upper left corner of the cluster. Here is how Desognes is currently zoned; R1 was the first residential zone to be developed; fairly soon during the growth of the city I started the zoning of R2, the second residential zone, on the other side of the river, Similarily, I1 was the first industrial zone to be grown. As I didn't want it to become too large, and because I was still asked by the game to zone for more industry, I started the zoning of I2; I2 has remained rather modest in size, and at present I do not zone for more industry. C1 was the first commercial zone; i decided to place to the right (i.e. on the eastern side) of the citly tile. This was done because Desognes has links (highway and rail) with Marlande which is contiguous to Desognes on the eastern side. C2 is a very recent development, still modest in size, that will not be able to grow much, because of the terrain available. In retrospect,, C1 is too off-centered, relatively to the R areas, especially relatively to R2; Sims travelling from R2 to C1 must pass thru R1, and this generates an excess of thru traffic in R1. It is in order to alleviate this to some extent, that I decided, belatedly, to start the second commercial zone C2, closer to R2. All morning commute traffic to C1 comes from the west and the north, this tends to saturate the roadways and the public transportation (GLR/subway, local rail and buses). With these design flaws, the city has currently a population of 742'351 Sims. However, its growth has slowed down, and the traffic issues are getting worse. I'll continue to work on it of course, trying to compensate for the noted defects. This is in fact an interesting challenge, that is encountered in RL in many old cities (my home city of Geneva is a good example of that....). Some other cities in my cluster exhibit various other 'defects' and/or limitations due to the terrain, waterways, etc. I may document some of those later.
  14. This is, indeed, an interesting blueprint for the development of that rather linear city. I am curious about which method you use for land-filling the terrain that is under water. Do you go into god-mode for that?
  15. 'bben' pointed me today to your CJ. Congratulations for all your updates sofar! How many region tiles have you developed sofar? Keep up that good work!
  16. Here is another picture of the same train station, with the traffic query for it: When we add the figures for bus, train and 'elevated train' (which is in this case GLR) we get 112'435 - much less than the quarter million shown by the other query. But we would need to add the Sims on trains arriving from the bottom of the picture and passing thru the station, which are possibly not shown here. At an rate we can see that Sims arrive at the station from both directions, by GLR and by bus, and leave in the direction of Deramey and Cherenne; this is the morning commute. It is not easy to reconcile the figures. Also, queries on the rail tracks at the bottom of the picture show numbers, but no travel paths. It is possible that the traffic simulator has not yet completed its work since the upgrade of the train station. I'll keep watching that situation, while pondering the next upgrade steps.
  17. Upgrades attract traffic, it seems, and some parts of the rail system in the cluster are bursting at the seams. Here is an example, found in Arcens, the center city in the cluster. The rail station in the next picture got upgraded very recently. The statistics after a few months of gameplay are quite worrying: The pair of dual tracks going to the top of the picture link to the neighbor city of Deramey - quite exactly to the rail triangle that was recently upgraded in my recent CJ entries. The volume statistics on those pairs of tracks are also of great concern: On the left pair of tracks the volume is - unsurprisingly - 65535. This means that the link is saturated, which in turn explains the excessive usage rate of the train station. Aside from upgrading the station again, I could put in a third pair of tracks, but I find this rather unrealistic. Another option is to add one or more subway links. I am undecided at this point. What this tells me is that I am encountering more and more saturation issues in inter-city traffic, and it may put an premature end to my work with the cluster.
  18. The Rail Triangle Upgrade project in Deramey was finally brought to a satisfactory completion. It was not easy. Some citizens, supported by the Chamber of Commerce which complained about disrupting the commercial area next to the rail tracks triangle, proposed an underground solution, that got rejected mainly on account of the immense cost. Eventually a solution was proposed which was accepted by all parties concerned. Once the project was accepted, work proceeded swiftly and with a minimal amount of disruption. Only two commercial buildings needed to be demolished, and their owners were suitably compensated. Rail services had to be temporarily suspended and replaced by buses. The completed upgrade, with 3 commercial lots to be rebuilt, is shown in the following picture: The mayor inaugurated the new layout by riding on the first train using the upgraded rail triangle. Rail service resumed on the same day, with a new schedule featuring more trains.
  19. At first glance, relatively to both issues, it looks like the northern part of the highway is dimensioned too modestly, with simply a few MIS lanes. I think that this will require a solid expansion. Also, the link from the northern part of the highway with the CBD is underdimensioned. But of course, as we just discussed in chat, this was originally a test city, which wasn't meant to grow much. The fun of playing a city is to see it grow. Once all growth has ceased, it becomes sort of ho-hum. For me at least.
  20. The rail specialists at Deramey have asked for more time to refine their proposal; this request has been accepted, even when rail travellers have sent a petition with several thousands of signatures to request more capacity on the trains. ------------ Meanwhile, another issue has been noted, on the RHW-6S highway linking Marlande and Arcens: This is a congestion view taken in Marlande. Aside from the connecting tile on the side of the RHW-6S highway where the measurement is taken. the highway shows only a medium level of congestion. Has anyone else already seen more than 50'000 bus travelers on a highway? Can I claim a record here? In RL, standing passemgers are not allowed on buses running on highways (at least in most western European countries) . They must all be seated. A standard bus has a seating capacity of about 50, If we apply this rule in the game (and I am inclined to do so), this means that we need a bit over 1100 buses per day to carry the commuters coming from Arcens. That's a lot of buses, especially if it all has to happen during the morning commute.. In the other direction the stats show 9528 cars, 1216 buses and 148 trucks - nothing to worry about...
  21. Congratulations then, Brian, for both the quarter million milestone in The Isles, and your long-lived region, which will be 10 years old next year and we will have another occasion to celebrate!
  22. The first plans shown by the railway specialists to resolve the triangular junction issue in Deramey were turned back by both the city authorities because of the impacts on the area, and the TRC (Talaran Railway Company) because of the insufficient capacity. The engineers were asked to return to their desks and come up with something better. Meanwhile, there was expansion in other cities. The total population of the 9 cities has now reached the total of 5 600 224 Sims.
  23. I think that you still have a major point of congestion, about at the middle of the two previous pictures, where there is a single road crossing the main arteries coming from the highway and distributing the traffic into both sides of the CBD. At rush hours you have probably a massive traffic jam building up there. You may need more accesses to the CBD local road network, in order to distribute the traffic more evenly and avoid congestion.
  24. Thanks for your encouraging words! I didn't specifically plan to have such an amount of rail traffic in my cluster of cities, but I think that this is a result of my encouraging too much usage of public transit in the various cities, by providing a generous amount of bus, tram and subway connections, linked of course with the railway stations. Well, I am 'stuck', in a way, with that situation, and now I have to make the best of it and develop solutions to keep things moving. It is, needless to say, just the type of challenge that I wished to have to deal with when embarking on this cluster project. Returning to the rail triangle I was showing in my previous post: in order to get more information about the volumes on the various branches of dual tracks, I took measurements and summarized them in the following drawing: The city in which the rail triangle is located, is Deramey. The numbers are supplied by the volume query. As can be seen, the tracks on the right of the drawing connect with the neighbor city of Arcens; those at the bottom of the drawing connect with Cherenne. On the top of the drawing, the right pair of tracks lead to Deramey's main station (and further, to another local station in Deramey), The left pair of tracks branches, on the right to the main station, on the left to other local stations in Deramey. All track pairs show heavy usage. The exception is the 'little corner', the pair of tracks linking the left vertical tracks to the bottom horizontal tracks, where the volume is only 18970. The two dual tracks going to Arcens have a total volume of 52799 + 18970 + 50543 = 122312; this is still less than 2 times 65535, but the loads are not balanced between the two pairs of tracks. There is still some capacity on the left tracks going to Cherenne. As an immediate measure, the link shown as a dotted red line should be added, to help balancing the load between the dual tracks to Arcens, and make use of the reserve capacity on the left track to Cherenne. In order to keep with the current practices in RL, this cannot be implemented at surface level, because of the conflicts at the intersection of tracks. A flyover solution needs to be put in place. Due to the relatively cramped conditions of the area, this will be difficult to realize. The city authorities have already declared that tearing down the Congress Center and rebuilding it elsewhere is out of the question. The project is being tendered with the hope that several engineering firms will respond with solutions acceptable both financially and urbanistically.
  25. Here looms the next issue to address: saturation on a pair of rail tracks, in a situation where the trackage was already doubled to cater to the heavy usage of rail: The second pair of tracks, next to the one showing saturation, still has a bit of capacity, but not a lot (the number, which I forgot to record, is around 50'000). It will take me a while to figure out what to do in order to alleviate that situation.