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Working Papers

Residential Street Pattern Design

Working paper #389
Fanis Grammenos, Sevag Pogharian and Julie Tasker-Brown

The design of street patterns appears to be divided between concern for the efficiencies of infrastructure and traffic and a consideration of aesthetics. There are distinct advantages to the two predominant suburban street pattern alternatives– loop and cul-de-sac, and grid. Streets with loops and cul-de-sacs provide safety, sociability and efficiency. Grid patterns provide connectivity and easy orientation. A new, combined street layout is the Residential Quadrant. The Quadrant covers approximately 40 acres and uses looped and narrow residential streets and a modified grid. The Residential Quadrant concept was overlaid on an existing 1970s subdivision near Ottawa and is more efficient than other layouts. The Quadrant optimizes land consumption and minimizes infrastructure costs and scores highest on quality of life.

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