A long time ago, I told you about thinking about how I would lay out my city after a trip to Disney World. I noted there that every street seemed to have a curve or a T intersection that didn't allow you to look beyond that point and see something that took away from the scene that the designers were trying to create. So I thought if it is good enough for Walt, it would be good enough for me.
But I quickly found out that commercially available road material didn't come in odd shapes like I would need to create the image I wanted to create. So I decided to make my own.
My creations are a bit deceiving in that I didn't allow for parking. In the interest of space, I felt this was a sacrifice that I had to make. A normal city street lane is about 15 feet wide. Allow for parking and you would quickly get to a minimum of 45 feet even if you only allowed parking on one side. So somewhere, off-layout, there must be some extra parking lots for all of my pedestrians to park their cars. Besides, they can ride the bus! : )
After determining that the width would be right around 30 feet, I went to work with my trusty computer and Paint Shop Pro software to lay out various street sections. I added a center line seam as I've seen many concrete roads with them. I also added sections as concrete was not laid in one continuous strip in the era of my layout. But I think that what really gives my streets character is that I randomly added cracks in the concrete, patches in certain places and even manhole covers and storm sewer drains. If you look at the photo above, you will see the drains and the manhole covers.
Alleys were made the same way only one lane wide. To differentiate, I made them darker so that they did contrast with the main streets. I didn't overdo it with any of the extra features but I did add curved aprons at the alleys' ends. By digitally saving the basic street pieces, I could add the extra features at will. This way, I was able to make several different sections to randomly "mix 'n' match" in my city scene.
Where a turn was required, I simply laid out one semi-circular piece of roadway then cut it to fit the curve that I needed. Again, these pieces received center lines, cracks and an occasional manhole cover for variety. What I didn't add but could have done so easily were crosswalks, STOP lines, turning arrows and other painted- on details that are readily seen on todays metropolitan thoroughfares.
But I did make one very large mistake... I printed these pieces on normal 20# bond paper. The moisture of the glue quickly caused them to wrinkle and now the city fathers have to come up with the cash to replace all of them. I plan to reprint them on cardstock and will use glue sparingly so as to not recreate the wrinkling problem that I had the first time around. This may allow me to redesign my city scene as some of the buildings just don't quite fit into the spaces available.