Traffic Flow may very well be the most important thing for a city to function properly. Just like in real life, nobody likes traffic jams, whether you're in it, or whether it's right in your own street.
Bad Traffic Flow can be one of the worst things that can happen to your city. Roads get clogged, creating noise pollution, which is detrimental to the surroundings and causes a decrease in Quality of Life, which in turn decreases the profit of Offices and High Tech Industry. In addition, it reduces employment satisfaction, as citizens have long travel times to get to work. The worst of all though, is that any kind of services, including Shops, Leisure, Fire/Police departments, Freight and Passenger services don't reach their full potential, meaning you need more of it for optimal use.
Therefore, it is crucial to maintain a proper Traffic Flow. This can be achieved by a number of ways:
- Proper roads. This goes without saying. If roads get clogged up, upgrade the roads with bigger roads. If the roads are in your city with no way to expand, consider demolishing the surrounding buildings, or use one way streets to divert the traffic flow.
- Keep intersections to a minimum. Intersections mean traffic lights, and traffic lights means the traffic has to stop. Intersections get proportionally worse when the length of the road is too short for the stopping traffic, as it has to wait at the intersection before it, further clogging up the roads.
- Build residents closer to industry. Probably the best solution of all of them, by simply building residents close to your industry, you decrease travel time, along with promoting pedestrians, which don't clog up the road at all. Keep in mind that this may not be beneficial for Heavy Industry and Manufacturing, as placing residents close to those polluting industries will cause a drop in environmental satisfaction for those residents.
- Public Transit. Public Transit can help the traffic flow by reducing the amount of commuters on the road. Unskilled Workers have no issues with taking the bus, while Skilled Workers rather use the subway. Efficient usage of Public Transit at the right places can prove itself, but it does come with a rather hefty price-tag.