Streetmix.net: My New Favorite Website


A short one today, but I really wanted to mention a new website I found called Streetmix. It allows you to create street cross sections on the fly, with different options for buildings, sidewalk elements, and travel lanes. For instance, in less than a half hour, I made five different cross sections for different parts of Columbia Pike, a major thoroughfare in Arlington, Virginia. The eastern section of the road has a lot of Modernist housing blocks that are tall and set way back from the street:columbia-pike-at-scott-stBut further west, it has more of a Main Street feel, with tall buildings coming right up to wider sidewalks:columbia-pike-at-walter-reed-drUp until very recently there were plans to put a streetcar line in on Columbia Pike, which were defeated by a zealot who convinced people that a BRT would be cheaper (which it wouldn’t be) and politically feasible (which it isn’t because it would take away a travel lane in each direction and the turn lane, which Arlington isn’t allowed to do as per an agreement with the Commonwealth). Here’s what this section would look like with a streetcar (note that the streetcar lanes are not dedicated and would still allow car traffic):columbia-pike-at-walter-reed-dr-with-streetcarAnd with BRT:columbia-pike-at-walter-reed-dr-with-brtFinally, as Columbia Pike heads further west and into the Bailey’s Crossroads area of Fairfax County, it widens into a strip mall super street:columbia-pike-at-moray-lnAll of this is to say that Streetmix makes it easy to create and compare cross sections of streets on the fly. While I wouldn’t use it for final documents, it gives you something to play around with and to work off of. And for planning nerds like me, it’s just a lot of fun.

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About Dave Munson
This blog is about architecture, cities, and myself.

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