I love building cities in Cities: Skylines, but loving something doesn't mean you're good at it. And when it comes to the cities I've built over the years, all of them have one thing in common: they are an utter traffic nightmare.
I experienced my horrible road planning skills firsthand when I tried living in one of my Cities: Skylines cities (using a few mods) and discovered things were even worse than I thought when I encountered a quarter-mile long traffic jam entirely made up of ambulances, hearses, and garbage trucks. Heck, even the city I built that only had a single family living in it still had a traffic jam of buses. I just suck at roads.
But the new Cities: Skylines 2 road tools trailer (above) has given me hope. There are so many neat new tools for building and managing roads and traffic that I'm starting to think maybe even the world's worst city planner (me) can manage to not completely bungle things when it comes to roads.
First, it's great to see that building a section of road automatically comes with water and sewer piping and electrical conduits built in Cities: Skylines 2, so no more messing around endlessly with pipes and wires (except when making connections to distant buildings like power plants and water treatment facilities).
Secondly, holy cow! There are roundabouts! Finally! And they look like a breeze to add, even to existing intersections:
Third, there's a simple way to make perfect city grids. I'm especially glad to see this because while I start off a new city drawing my roads very carefully, my cities always wind up a bit off-kilter, crooked, and messy. Parking lots are also new to Cities: Skylines 2 (they only recently made it into the original game in an update) which is great if you want to build an American-style city, many of which are made of roughly 98% parking lots.
There are also some neat ways to improve your roads by adding trees along the medians, sound barriers to protect nearby neighborhoods from the noise, and lots of other neat-looking features. Dictating traffic direction, adding intersections, and popping in traffic lights, traffic signs, and offramps… it all looks much easier than it is in the original game.
Or does it look… a little too easy? I want to be confident in my city building skills, but I've failed so many times to build a city that doesn't eventually descend into one big, miles-wide traffic jam that I'm not entirely sure I trust myself. I guess I'll find out when Cities: Skylines 2 launches in October. In the meantime, for a deeper dive into Cities: Skylines 2's new road tools, here's a dev diary that goes along with the trailer.