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Traffic flow in your landscape matters more than people generally realize, often until after their landscape project is over.

 

When planning your outdoor spaces, most people start by considering what they’ll use the space for or what they want it to look like in terms of colors, textures, favorite plants. They probably consider available budget and time before it needs to be done. Maybe they even evaluate pollen levels, or how much a particular plant attract butterflies. Often many small details get considered before traffic pattern is looked at, if planning walkways gets consideration at all.

 

Planning Walkways Matters

 

Why does traffic flow matter? Because it will determine how you ultimately enjoy your space. Creating a nice little dinner nook under a beautiful gazebo will be useless to you if the walk there is unpleasant or inconvenient, and so you sit on the steps closer to home instead. Also, your private writing spot is not going to work out if just on the other side of a bush, the kids noisily walk by on their way to and from the house. Even an extra winding route or crowded feeling path with effect how much and how you use different areas of your property.

 

Path Planning

 

Ideally, if you want all areas of the grounds to get ample use, it should be easy to get from any useful area to any other. Doors to your home, garage, or out to the sidewalk or extended property should all be easy to get to. Places like the barbeque, pool, porch, or other focal points should be mutually accessible. Generally two paths to each area is best, one larger and one smaller. You can think of it as an entrance and an exit so that many people can arrive at once, and they can leave one-by-one. Keep this in mind when you plan a meandering route past your fountain to reach the yard where your dogs will play. Will you always appreciate the forced meander? If not, plan as short straight path as well.

The old saying, “the shortest distance between two points is a straight line” applies here.  However, that doesn’t mean that you have to have only straight lines; it just means that you should remember that there are two points and that most of the time you want both a major and a minor access to them.  Having choices makes people feel in control and adds to their satisfaction with the space that their in.

-Trey McBride, BLA

Functional Traffic Flow Details

 

There are many functional details to consider when planning traffic flow. In seating areas a person serving food should be able to easily walk around behind all the chairs while people are seated. You will appreciate a convenient route to the indoor restroom from any place that people will gather. Outdoor kitchens will benefit from proximity to the house’s kitchen if you entertain often. Will this route need to be smooth enough for bikes to travel it? There are many variables that come up when we consider how places will be used, and how people with move within and between them. Our landscape design experts can assist with these decisions, knowing what to address and how to make the design relevant to the planned use of the patio space. Contact Meadowbrook Design today for professional assistance creating the space you need.