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Comparing US City Street Orientations - Geoff Boeing

“We say the cows laid out Boston. Well, there are worse surveyors.” Ralph Waldo Emerson. In 1960, one hundred years after Emerson’s quote, Kevin Lynch published The Image of the City, his treatise on the legibility of urban patterns. How coherent is a city’s spatial organization? How do these patterns help or hinder urban navigation? I recently wrote about visualizing street orientations withPython and OSMnx . That is, how is a city’s streetnetwork orientedin terms of the streets’ compass bearings? How well does it adhere to a straightforward north-south-east-west layout? I wanted to revisit this by comparing 25 major US cities’ orientations (EDIT: by popular request, see also this follow-up comparing world cities):