StreetMix.net is an intuitive, free, simple app for preparing cross-sections of existing streets or potential streets (note – I have no affiliation with StreetMix).
Below is the cross section for West 36th Street where our office is located. Including figuring out how the app works, it took me less than five minutes to prepare the graphic. When you’re in the app, it flags widths of different components when they may be too big or too small. The app also starts with the corridor width so you can iterate different features like bike lanes, parking lanes, transit lanes, etc within the existing corridor or it will add up the components to identify what corridor width is needed.
The huge strength of StreetMix being so simple to use is also a slight weakness. There are only two types of trees, two light standards, a single car, etc. A landscape architect could come up with a richer pallet when creating cross sections. But this shouldn’t matter in 99% of design situations. The cross-sections generated in StreetMix are good enough for any professional report or design board.
Anyone involved in designing streets should use StreetMix, at least for preliminary design sketches. It is also a great interactive tool to use in a public house style meeting or design charrette where potential street designs are being discussed.
Thank you Code for America for coming up with such a great free tool. It is really, really well done. And thanks to Jon McGowan for telling me about StreetMix.