Because it's Friday: Street Orientation

Most cities in the US have a grid-based street structure. But it’s rarely a perfect grid: sometimes the vagaries of history, geography, or convenience lead to deviations from right angles. And sometimes, rival urban planners simply disagree:

Geoff Boeing, an urban planning postdoc at UC Berkeley, developed an interesting way to visualize the “griddedness” of cities, by summarizing at the distribution of street segments in a polar plot (you can see the Python code behind the charts here):

I was surprised to see Seattle with such a regular north-south/east-west distribution, whereas in fact each Seattle neighborhood has its one grid aligned to its own orientation (often dictated by the shape of the local coastline). But of course the polar chart depends on how much of the city you include, and I suppose the one above includes just the downtown streets. But you can create your own charts using any zone you like, using this online tool by Randy Olson:

That’s all for the blog for this week. Have a great weekend, and we’ll be back on Monday. See you then!