The degree to which our streets connect with each other has a major impact on how our communities feel and function, and a major effect also on their walkability. Generally speaking, the more connections (more frequent intersections, smaller block sizes) the better for making travel routes more efficient and attractive. This allows the substitution of walking or bicycling for some trips that in a disconnected neighborhood would be made by car, and it also shortens driving distances, reducing emissions in the process. Being connected is a good thing when it comes to neighborhoods.
I’ve written about this subject before, and so has my colleague Rachel Sohmer. I am returning to it now because David Roberts of Grist has written one of the best lay person’s explanations I have seen of how connectivity can work to improve a community, using his own neighborhood in Seattle as an example.