Roads

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This article may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. It was last updated for 1.6.

For tips on how to best handle traffic, see traffic.

Roads are the most basic tool for building your city, but also the most important. There are several different types of roads available and they serve mainly two purposes: traffic and zoning. At the start of a new city only two-lane road is available. More types of roads are unlocked after building the first road and the rest through milestones.

Certain road types are more suitable for residential zones and some for faster and heavier traffic. Some of the higher capacity roads such as highways do not even allow zoning next to them. Larger roads also generate more noise pollution and decrease the land value around them.

Driving side[edit]

When creating a new city, the side of the road (left or right) on which vehicles drive can be selected. Right-hand-drive is the default. The driving side cannot be changed later in the game.

Building a road[edit]

Roads can be drawn with the Road Tool. There are four different options for drawing roads. There is also an option to make roads snap to zone grid.

  • Straight – allows you to draw sections of roads in straight lines by choosing the start and end points.
  • Curved – allows you to make roads that curve and bend. To make a curved road, the first left mouse click makes a point which is used as a tangent for curve in the road and the second click will build the road.
  • Freeform – allows you to draw straight and curved roads.
  • Upgrade – allows you to change existing roads to a different road type. Despite the name, the tool can also be used to change any form of road to another, including "downgrades" to narrower or less decorated roads. Also, when right-clicking a one-way road (of any type, including highways) the driving direction is reversed.

If city service buildings and other overlapping objects are in the way you will be unable to build or upgrade your road until these have been demolished or relocated. Ordinary zoned buildings don't enjoy such privileges and will be automatically demolished.

To build a straight road, first click the left mouse button at the starting point, move the mouse cursor to plan the road placement, and click again to build the road. You can cancel road building with the right mouse button.

Creating a straight road

1. Click the left mouse button at the starting point. 2. Plan the road by moving the end-point with the mouse cursor. 3. Click the left mouse button again at the ending point. The road is built and the zoning grid appears next to the road.
1. Click the left mouse button at the starting point. 2. Plan the road by moving the end-point with the mouse cursor. 3. Click the left mouse button again at the ending point. The road is built and the zoning grid appears next to the road.

Elevated roads[edit]

Roads can be elevated above the terrain by using the PAGE UP key while drawing the road (use the PAGE DOWN key to lower them). By clicking on the vertical bar next to the road types, different changes of elevation can be achieved, 3, 6 or 12 meters. (Default: 12) Elevating roads provides grade separation, allowing transport paths to cross without interference but do not allow zoning next to them, removing some constructible space. Some short buildings can exist underneath significantly elevated roads, although elevated roads will require occasional pillars for support, occupying ground space.

Road elevation is dependent on the height of the ground on which the start of the road is built. This means that not all roads at the same amount of increased elevation will be at the same height. There is a limit to how steep a road incline/decline can be. There is also a limit on how high a road can be.

Underground roads[edit]

As of patch 1.1.0, all roads(excluding the gravel road) can be made underground in the same manner as an elevated road. Like elevated roads, underground roads cost extra but do not occupy zoned areas, thus they free up more space for building. However, underground roads tend to collide with metro tunnels or underground train tracks and can only be viewed by bringing up the transportation panel or by using PAGE DOWN to go below ground level when the road tool is equipped. There is also an extra cost versus elevated roads, and limits of depth.

Keyboards without page up/down keys[edit]

On Apple laptops, which do not have page up/down keys, the Fn + or Fn + key combination is used to elevate and lower roads.

Road features[edit]

Directions[edit]

One-way roads allow traffic in one direction only and can decrease traffic congestion. The direction in which the road is drawn also determines the direction of the traffic. Traffic will move from the starting point to the end point of the road. One way roads include Highways and Highway ramps, so make sure to place your highways in the right direction. Service vehicles cannot go against the flow of traffic and so even if a building next to a fire station is on fire if it is the wrong way down a one-way road the fire trucks will have to take the long route. Commercial and industrial buildings also require goods to be delivered and picked up, if they are unable to be serviced often enough on a one way road they may stop operating effectively.

Two-way roads allow travel in both direction. These roads can increase traffic congestion but allow for less restricted pathing for cars through cities and so small two-way roads make for ideal low traffic roads.

As of patch 1.0.6 it is possible to change one-way road to two-way and vice-versa using the road building tool in upgrade mode (exclamation mark button). It also allows to change one-way road direction by right-clicking a one-way road when in upgrade mode.

Upgrades[edit]

Decorations on roads reduce noise pollution and increase local land value. Roadside trees have a greater effect than grass but cost more for placement and upkeep.

Roads without decorations (grass or trees) provide parking spaces, allowing residents and tourists to switch to pedestrian mode (to enter their homes or businesses, switch to bus or metro lines, visit tourist areas, etc.). Four-lane roads, with or without decorations will always provide parking spaces, allowing residents and tourists to left their cars, and reducing noise. Indeed, land value will be increased.

Sound barriers reduce noise pollution from highways but increases the cost.

The best way to reduce noise pollution from highways is, if possible, to build them under the ground. Noise will be limited to entrances and exits of the highways.

Lanes[edit]

Two-lane roads support low traffic and are suitable for most residential areas and low-traffic service roads.

Four-lane roads support moderate traffic. Also, the median barrier forbid service vehicles and trucks to make U-turns so they will act like one-way road. Vehicles must take the good way to reach their destination, and thus if necessary the longer path. This can reduce/remove congestion around some buildings (i.e : fret, …)

Six-Lane roads support high traffic and are suitable for mass traffic that still requires development on the roadside.

Highways support very high traffic and high speeds but do not allow for road side zoning.

Highways ramps support medium traffic and average speed, and is used to connect highways with roads and/or making interchanges. There are slightly more expensive than one-way two lanes roads, but are subject to different traffic rules than one-way roads. First : speed is increased. Size is reduced. Lane connection is different.

Intersections & Traffic[edit]

When two roads cross they create an intersection. There are two types of intersections: with and without the traffic lights. The traffic lights are one of the main reasons of traffic jams and - in general - should be avoided. It is also possible for the player to place or remove traffic lights. Their appearance depends only on the type of the roads that cross at the intersections, and the rules for initial placement are as follows:

  • Two-lane roads don't create traffic lights at their crossing (both one- and two-way).
  • Four-lane roads create traffic lights at crossings excluding one-way and in some cases two-lanes two-ways roads going away from the four-lane. This rule overrides no-lights rules of other road types, so an intersection of a four-lane with a highway WILL have traffic lights.
  • Six-lane roads create traffic lights at all crossings excluding one-way roads going away from the six-lane.
  • Highways do not create traffic lights if connected with one-ways, if not it will create.
  • Two-lane roads can be used to make round-abouts. There will not be traffic lights on a round-about, and thus can reduce congestion by avoiding "collisions". The round-about is the best solution for multiples roads on a same intersection, but manages a lower traffic.

Traffic Routes[edit]

This info view contains three features, all aiming to help the player analyse and control the player's network.

Routes[edit]

The routes view. With all the vehicles showing, it is quite hard to figure out anything.

With this info view, the player is able to see the routes that the vehicles take. By clicking on any street, multiple coloured lines will show up. Each of these lines represents a vehicle travelling through this piece of road. It is possible to filter the view to view only the vehicles that the player wants to see.

Junctions[edit]

The junctions info view allows the player to control the signage of the junction, and to add or remove traffic lights. To do so the player must either click on the stop signs of the roads that should stop, or click on the traffic lights.

Adjust Roads[edit]

The adjust roads info view allows the player to redraw the route of the road. This can be done by dragging the circle at either end of the green line to somewhere else. It is also possible to rename the road from this view.

Maintenance[edit]

Roads need to be looked after to keep maintain optimum traffic flow. There are two necessities for maintenance in Cities Skylines, snow removal (on snow maps only) and upkeep. These are provided by Snow dumps and the Road maintenance depot.

  • Road maintenance depot : A building which spawns 10 trucks that move around the city and increase the speed of all roads they maintain.
  • Snow dump: A building which can hold snow until it melts and spawns up to 10 trucks for collecting snow off the roads and dumping it.

Collapsed roads[edit]

Some disasters, such as the tornado, can damage roads. When this happens the road is marked with the collapsed icon and becomes impassable to traffic.

A collapsed road with traffic waiting for the obstacle to be removed.

Repairing a collapsed road

1. Select the type of road from the roads menu and then select upgrade road. 2. Place the cursor over the section of road with the collapsed icon. The section of road will highlight blue. 3. Click the left mouse button. The collapsed icon will be removed and traffic will now be able to pass.
1. Select the type of road from the roads menu and then select upgrade road. 2. Place the cursor over the section of road with the collapsed icon. The section of road will highlight blue. 3. Click the left mouse button. The collapsed icon will be removed and traffic will now be able to pass.

List of road types[edit]

Note that the road width of all roads under the "small roads" tab, and the "highway ramp" under the Highways tab, is 2 squares. The road width of every other road is 4. Highway is 3.

Please note that speed is increased when maintenance is correctly done. Service vehicles is intervention will drive largely faster than speed limitation of the road — even highways — if traffic allows it.

Road Category Unlocked DLC Cost
(₡)
Upkeep
(₡/week)
Top
Speed
Notes
Asymmetrical three-lane road.png Asymmetrical Three-Lane Road Small Roads Busy Town DLC icon mass transit.png 60/cell 0.80/cell 40 A three-lane road with two lanes going in one direction and one in the other
Four-lane highway.png Four-Lane Highway Highways Boom Town DLC icon mass transit.png 110/cell 1.76/cell 100 A large highway with four lanes going in one direction
Four-lane highway with sound barriers.png Four-Lane Highway with Sound Barriers Highways Busy Town DLC icon mass transit.png 130/cell 2.08/cell 100 A large highway with four lanes going in one direction, with sound barriers
Four-lane Road.png Four-Lane Road Medium Roads Start* 60/cell 0.80/cell 50 Provides parking spaces
Four-lane Road with Grass.png Four-Lane Road with Decorative Grass Medium Roads Busy Town 70/cell 0.96/cell 50 Lowers noise pollution
Increases land value
Four-lane Road with Trees.png Four-Lane Road with Decorative Trees Medium Roads Busy Town 80/cell 1.12/cell 50 Lowers noise pollution
Increases land value
Four-lane Road with bicycle lanes.png Four-Lane Road with Bicycle Lanes Medium Roads Busy Town DLC icon after dark.png 60/cell 0.80/cell 50 Allows usage by cyclists
Four-lane Road with bus lanes.png Four-Lane Road with Bus Lanes Medium Roads Boom Town DLC icon after dark.png 60/cell 0.80/cell 50 Has a dedicated lane for buses
Four-lane Road with tram tracks.png Four-Lane Road with Tram Tracks Medium Roads Boom Town DLC icon snowfall.png 100/cell 1.36/cell 50 Allows connection to the Tram network
Highway.png Highway Highways Boom Town 70/cell 0.96/cell 100 Road is one-way
Highway Ramp.png Highway Ramp Highways Boom Town 30/cell 0.32/cell 80 Road is one-way
Highway with Barriers.png Highway with Sound Barrier Highways Busy Town 90/cell 1.28/cell 100 Reduces noise pollution
Large avenue with bus lanes.png Large Avenue with Bus Lanes Medium Roads Busy Town DLC icon mass transit.png 80/cell 0.60/cell 50 Two-lane avenue with bus lanes
Large avenue with grass.png Large Avenue with Grass Medium Roads Busy Town DLC icon mass transit.png 80/cell 0.60/cell 50 Two-lane avenue with a decorative grass strip and parking space
Monorail tracks on four-lane road.png Monorail Tracks on Four-Lane Road Medium Roads Small City DLC icon mass transit.png 110/cell 1.76/cell 50 A four-lane road with built-in elevated monorail tracks
Can be connected to other monorail tracks and stations
Monorail tracks on two-lane road.png Monorail Tracks on Two-Lane Road Small Roads Small City DLC icon mass transit.png 80/cell 1.28/cell 40 A two-lane road with built-in elevated monorail tracks
Can be connected to other monorail tracks and stations
Six-lane One-way.png Six-Lane One-Way Road Large Roads Start* 80/cell 0.96/cell 60 Provides parking spaces
Six-lane One-way Road with Grass.png Six-Lane One-Way Road with Decorative Grass Large Roads Busy Town 90/cell 1.12/cell 60 Lowers noise pollution
Increases land value
Six-lane One-way Road with Trees.png Six-Lane One-Way Road with Decorative Trees Large Roads Busy Town 100/cell 1.28/cell 60 Lowers noise pollution
Increases land value
Six-lane Road.png Six-Lane Road Large Roads Start* 80/cell 0.96/cell 60 Provides parking spaces
Six-lane Road with Grass.png Six-Lane Road with Decorative Grass Large Roads Busy Town 90/cell 1.12/cell 60 Lowers noise pollution
Increases land value
Six-lane Road with Trees.png Six-Lane Road with Decorative Trees Large Roads Busy Town 100/cell 1.28/cell 60 Lowers noise pollution
Increases land value
Six-lane Road with bicycle lanes.png Six-Lane Road with Bicycle Lanes Large Roads Busy Town DLC icon after dark.png 90/cell 0.96/cell 60 Allows usage by cyclists
Six-lane Road with bus lanes.png Six-Lane Road with Bus Lanes Large Roads Busy Town DLC icon after dark.png 80/cell 0.96/cell 60 Has a dedicated lane for buses
Gravel Road.png Two-Lane Gravel Road Small Roads Start* 20/cell 0.19/cell 30 Cannot tunnel, but when elevated, turns into a wooden bridge.
When over water, curved is wooden bridge, straight is covered bridge.
Can be steeper than other roads.[1]
Tram track.png Tram track Tram track Boom Town DLC icon snowfall.png 65/cell 0.48/cell 40 Allows connection to the Tram network
Tram track One-Way .png One-Way Tram track Tram track Boom Town DLC icon snowfall.png 45/cell 0.32/cell 40 Allows One-Way connection to the Tram network
Two-lane highway.png Two-Lane (One-Way) Highway Highways Boom Town DLC icon mass transit.png 50/cell 0.80/cell 100 A one-way highway with two lanes in the same direction
One-way highway with sound barriers.png (Two-Lane) One-Way Highway with Sound Barriers Highways Busy Town DLC icon mass transit.png 65/cell 1.04/cell 100 A one-way highway with two lanes in the same direction, with sound barriers
Two-lane One-way Road.png Two-Lane One-Way Road Small Roads Start* 40/cell 0.32/cell 40 Provides parking spaces
Two-lane One-way Road with Grass.png Two-Lane One-Way Road with Grass Small Roads Busy Town 50/cell 0.40/cell 40 Lowers noise pollution
Increases land value
Two-lane One-way Road with Trees.png Two-Lane One-Way Road with Trees Small Roads Busy Town 60/cell 0.48/cell 40 Lowers noise pollution
Increases land value
Two-lane One-way Road tram tracks.png Two-Lane One-way Road with Tram Tracks Small Roads Boom Town DLC icon snowfall.png 70/cell 0.56/cell 40 Allows connection to the Tram network
Two-lane Road.png Two-Lane Road Small Roads Start 40/cell 0.32/cell 40 Provides parking spaces
Two-lane Road with Grass.png Two-Lane Road with Grass Small Roads Busy Town 50/cell 0.40/cell 40 Lowers noise pollution
Increases land value
Two-lane Road with Trees.png Two-Lane Road with Trees Small Roads Busy Town 60/cell 0.48/cell 40 Lowers noise pollution
Increases land value
Two-lane Road bicycle lanes.png Two-Lane Road with Bicycle Lanes Small Roads Busy Town DLC icon after dark.png 40/cell 0.32/cell 40 Allows usage by cyclists.
Two-lane Road tram tracks.png Two-Lane Road with Tram Tracks Small Roads Boom Town DLC icon snowfall.png 70/cell 0.56/cell 40 Allows connection to the Tram network
Two-way highway.png Two-Way Highway Highways Boom Town DLC icon mass transit.png 60/cell 0.80/cell 100 Two-lane highway with one lane going in each direction
Two-way highway with sound barriers.png Two-Way Highway with Sound Barriers Highways Busy Town DLC icon mass transit.png 80/cell 1.12/cell 100 Two-lane highway with one lane going in each direction, with sound barriers

*The very first road built must be a two-lane road. After building any amount of this anywhere on the tile the other starting road types are unlocked.

Steam Workshop modifications are necessary in order for custom road types to be constructed.

Intersections and roundabouts[edit]

Included in the roads menu are four pre-built road structure assets, two roundabouts and two highway intersections. In a technical sense, these add nothing to the options available to the player, as these structures can be built at the same cost manually from the road types listed above and are identical to such manually built roads once placed. Practically however these are useful, simplifying the task of creating complex road structures. Once placed, the player can bulldose or upgrade any of the structure's road sections without needing to change the rest of the structure.

Players can change the elevation at which a new intersection or roundabout is placed using the PgUp and PgDown keys. Raising or undergrounding an asset will make the construction considerably more expensive.

Custom intersections can be created in the Asset Editor. A large number of custom intersections are also available on the Steam Workshop; however, some of those intersections require Steam Workshop modifications, as those intersections use custom road types.

Road Category Unlocked Cost
(₡)
Upkeep
(₡/week)
Top
Speed
Notes
Small Roundabout Intersections Start* 2,480 20 varies Consists of a loop of one-way, two lane road and four equally spaced two-way, two-lane entry/exit roads.
Large Roundabout Intersections Boom Town 7,600 99 varies Consists of a loop of highway and four equally spaced two-way, four-lane entry/exit roads.
Three-Way Intersection Intersections Boom Town 16,240 195 varies Consists of highway and highway ramps.
Cloverleaf Intersection Intersections Boom Town 25,930 320 varies Consists of highway and highway ramps.

*The very first road built must be a two-lane road. After building any amount of this anywhere on the tile the small roundabout is unlocked.

References[edit]

  1. http://imgur.com/a/78cPV