Original plat parallel to river. Black line marks change of platting to conform to U. S. section lines. Denver.
Tokio, Japan. Example of star-shaped city, normal type of growth.
SALT LAKE CITY Fig. 1. Simplest form - block divided into quarters.
PORTLAND OR Fig 2. Quarters of block divided in half.
SEATTLE Fig. 3. Same as No. 2, except for alley.
Turning to a more detailed consideration of plats, variations in the width of streets and sizes of blocks involves the proportion of public land used for communication, and of private land used for buildings. In rectangular plats streets usually range in width from forty to eighty feet, sixty feet being a fair average in the newer cities, though every city shows wide variations. There is a common impression that additional width in the street always adds to its value, since the. wider the street the greater the volume of traffic which can be accommodated. In a business street width is practically disregarded, but few streets in the world having more traffic than they can carry, additional transportation facilities below ground and above relieving the pressure. In a residence section, however, a wide street is always desirable. A somewhat narrow business street has a slight advantage in facilitating intercourse between the sides of the street, especially as lack of width does not operate to limit the height of buildings, although prominent locations on open squares are sought for some forms of business.
Alleys are modern developments not found in older cities and usually run parallel to the principal business streets, or the streets which are expected to be the principal business streets when the city was laid out. While in cities of moderate size alleys are useful in furnishing access to the rear of buildings, in the larger cities, where land is closely utilized by means of interior courts and light wells, they are a detriment in interfering with such economic arrangements.
DES MOINES. 1A Fig. 4. Same as No. 3, except for double alley.
TOLEDO Fig. 5. Variation on No. 3. The more valuable frontage cut into smaller lots. Corner lots face on Jefferson St. because more valuable than St. Clair St.
MINNEAPOLIS Fig. 6. Variation on No. 3. Lots face the most valuable frontage.
Blocks range in size from 200 feet square to 660 feet square, any depth over 200 to 250 feet involving a waste of land at the interior of the blocks owing to non-accessibility. Salt Lake City with blocks 660 feet square furnishes an aggravated case of loss of value in land by bad platting. The attempts which have been made to utilize, the interior waste land by cutting streets through the large blocks, exhibit a reversion to the primitive methods of individual rather than municipal laying out of streets, these being narrow, irregularly laid out and lacking the vital feature of continuity through the various blocks, thus defeating their avowed object of attracting traffic into the interior of the blocks. The shortsightedness of these owners is due to a supposition that the value of retail business land is based on area instead of on frontage on traffic streets.