Of Motorways and Men
Ah, Holme! The royal city, the second city of Vodeo, and the city Savisans love to hate. Holme is big and old, and once upon a time, it had a problem with traffic. Back in the 1940s, a combination of a soaring population and plentiful Cobalt, Fell, and Tace vehicles meant that the city was being choked with traffic. Enter the motorways, saviour of the city! At last, with modern motorways, the city's traffic problems will be a thing of the past!
Except, not quite. In the early days of mapping Holme, I didn't have a scale to work to, and no overall plan of where the motorways would go or what purpose they would serve. As the city expanded I mapped in a few motorways to go where I thought would be logical - the M1 skirting the city to the west as a bypass, the M35 running through (and under) the city, the M351 along the Garden River, and the M38 to Afton. It made sense at the time, but looking at it a few days ago, I realised it just didn't quite work somehow. Traffic entering Holme from the north was forced onto the same motorway as traffic coming in from the western suburbs, leading to one hell of a traffic jam; some of the exits and bridges were too long, and the Consolidation Tunnel provided no exits between Vauxhall Island and Alicetown, meaning that even more traffic would be forced onto a couple of already busy roads.
Given I had been making improvements to the M1 around Brynderwyn, and had been experimenting with the directions tool, I wanted to make getting to and around Holme much more straightforward. The Centennial Motorway and the Consolidation Tunnel were fine where they were, but the M1 and Vienna Motorway needed work. After a bit of planning and work, the M1 has now shifted east to follow the coast north of Port Douglas, and the Vienna Motorway has been given a few slight adjustments. A new interchange has been built at Torrington Avenue and Drummond Street, since before the days of the Arnadel Flyover and Consolidation Tunnel, this is where the motorway ended, giving a straight shot into the city and taking some pressure off Madeleine Road. The Vienna Motorway now bears the M34 designation, and it will be the main road linking Holme with Crafers and Endorie in the future.
Speaking of Crafers, the city has at last been linked to the rest of Cambria by two new roads - the A34 and C340 to Brynderwyn, and the M4 to Longlac. Before last week, the M1 and M4 met outside Longlac, but never actually joined up; now motorists can whiz from M1 to M4 and back again if they're so inclined. Oh, the freedom of the road! The M1 has also been extended to Avington, and while the city is blank for now, it will give me something to frame the city around. I'm thinking of building the city a little like Los Angeles with plenty of freeways, but we'll see how things go.
Back to Holme, and attention turned to the Consolidation Tunnel and Centennial Motorway. The Centennial Motorway had been built by Holme's previous owner, and with a few minor changes, is mostly as it was when I found it between Paraldowa and Alicetown. Initially the motorway ended at the Alicetown Road roundabout, but it made more sense to extend it under the city to Vauxhall Island. But the tunnel seemed to long, and there were no exits between Alicetown and Vauxhall Island - traffic would be forced off the motorway and back onto city streets for longer than than they should, and the tunnel was only really useful for people heading from, say, Hopwood to Paraldowa. Why not shorten the tunnel to Rutland Hill, and put a couple of exits in along the way? Now that the works are done, Waldegrave doesn't look as nice, but traffic flows smoothly, and Remington, Beaufort, and Pentland Streets are more than able to keep traffic moving into and out of the CBD. Sohranites can also breathe a sigh of relief that the Croydon-Akehurst intersection wasn't torn apart for an interchange; Holme's hipster quarter survives with its pretentiousness and fixies intact.
One curiosity in the mix is the M35 Northcote Freeway. This was the old M1 that skirted the city, and didn't look right. I deleted the road, then put it back because with the realignment of the M1, it now made sense to have an entirely separate bypass motorway. Holme-bound traffic continues onto the M1, north- or southbound traffic goes around on the M35. And as for the M351, I'm not sure whether to keep it as some kind of late '40s/early '50s experiment in parkways, or downgrade it to a provincial highway. I love the look and feel of freeways from the '40s and '50s, and I'm thinking that Avington, Holme, and Saviso will have all kept more or less to plans drawn up in the '50s and '60s for more and more motorways. But the really old roads are the most aesthetically pleasing, and the Arroyo Seco Parkway is especially beautiful. Maybe so beautiful that both Holme and Avington will build one.
Or maybe I'll just replace all the roads with motorways and see what happens.
(P.S. One quick note, I've been mapping Holme for a decade, and a lot of place names (such as Vienna and Calcutta) go back a long way in the maps. I've changed over many, if not most, minor suburbs, but some are too old and/or important to change. This mainly affects only Holme and Saviso, everywhere else has its own unique names.)
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