At the very beginning of the city of Bixby, I decided to avoid the traffic backups which always seem to happen where a freeway meets a city. I built a roundabout. Working on the theory that more road surface holds more traffic, I built a huge, enormous roundabout. It created a majestic entrance for visitors to this arctic city.
It also, unfortunately, divided the citizens of Bixby, so I added local roads up and over the roundabout. As traffic built up on those elevated connector roads, I added a second, elevated roundabout within the enormous roundabout. I think it’s quite pretty, but, more importantly, it works very well. Traffic flows smoothly, even when newly built neighborhoods bring an influx of new citizens.
The double roundabout worked so well that I decided to rebuild the freeway interchange with the same theory that more road surfaces hold more traffic. I added feeder lanes outside of the freeway, so that if traffic ever does jam along the off-ramps, the feeder lanes will be effected before the main freeway. Because I wanted room for the existing rail line to bridge over the freeway, I built tunnel ramps to the freeway, rather than overpasses. This, too, is working rather well, except that the feeder lanes between the off-ramps and on-ramps never get used. (I may re-think this design later. Moving the ramps closer to each other seems like a good idea right now.)
The downside to all this preemptive roadwork, built so early in the city’s growth, is that it cost a lot of money at a time when Bixby hadn’t yet established a strong tax base. The city was frequently existing with a negative balance, and taking out loans as often as it could, while citizens begged for schools and fire stations.
Bixby survived its early financial troubles, however. It’s becoming a thriving city, nestled in a perpetually snow-covered valley. The traffic in and out of the city is moving well, despite having only the one freeway interchange.