Connected Streets

A well-connected network of streets can provide greater mobility and access and provide shorter, more direct routes between destinations. This greater mobility considers pedestrians, bikers, transit riders and automobiles. During times of congestion or construction, drivers have more opportunities to switch to different routes and avoid delay. This is especially important for emergency responders as they need the fastest, most direct route to a fire or medical emergency. Networked streets also encourage intra-area trips to occur on local streets instead of arterials or highways. Poorly-networked streets typically concentrate local traffic on a few arterials because there is no other route available—but highly-networked streets can keep local traffic on local streets. This preserves capacity on arterials and highways for more regional trips.

According to the Congress for New Urbanism, highly-connected networked streets can help the nation address climate change and reduce energy consumption. A system of compact blocks and streets increases the opportunities for other modes of travel, such as walking, bicycling, and taking transit. As more trips are done without an automobile, the number of vehicle miles traveled can decrease, in turn reducing the amount of energy consumed and greenhouse gas emissions.