Introduction: Drawing a Small Road Layout

Have you ever wanted to draw some roads, but didn't know where to start? I'd love to help!

I've been drawing roads for a few years now, and in that time, I have learned quite a lot. I figured it was time to show everyone else how I do it without making a massive mess.

Be prepared to take a couple of hours to do your drawing. Some of my drawings have taken a few weeks to complete, while others take only a half hour or so.

Remember, for this Instructable, we are only looking at the basics of drawing. You do not need to copy my drawing, but of course, feel free to do so if you'd like. You can use my basic steps to help assist you when you draw your own layout.

Step 1: Materials

  1. A piece of Notebook Paper (27.9 cm by 21.6 cm) (11 in by 8.5 in).
  2. Glove to prevent smudging (optional).
  3. Circle template (optional).
  4. Ruler with metric markings (optional but HIGHLY suggested).
  5. Pencil (eraser attached or otherwise).

Step 2: Draw a Main Thoroughfare

  • Ruler is incredibly helpful for this part
  • Center median can be any width, but I chose it to be the equivalent of two lanes (so 11mm).
  • Total road width = 55 mm

Step 3: Draw Another Main Thoroughfare

  • Use of a ruler here is also extremely helpful
  • This road has two lanes in each direction, with a center median equivalent of 1 lane (so 5.5 mm)
  • Because each direction has two lanes (11 mm each side of the median), it is important to place some dots 11 mm perpendicular to the median, and then draw the road edge.
  • Total road width = 27.5 mm

Step 4: Draw Slip Lanes (optional)

  • A slip lane is a road traffic lane provided at an intersection to allow vehicles to turn at the intersection without actually entering it and interfering with through traffic. These are useful where heavy traffic is present, such as at the intersection seen in the preview drawing. You might not want to draw slip lanes.
  • It is best to eye them.

Step 5: Draw Turn Lane Lines

These lines are useful for when we draw in the directional lines for the turn lanes.

Please watch the video for clarification on this step.

Step 6: Erase Turn Paths and Draw in Some Lane Lines

  • Erase what we did in the last step, and then draw in some of the turn lanes. The second photo shows another road I was working on.
  • You may also erase the lines that separate the slip lanes and turn lanes from the main through-lanes.

At this point, your drawing should look something like the last photo. Of course, this is your drawing, so it will probably look like something completely different.

Step 7: Draw Stop Lines, Yield Lines, and the Rest of the Lane Lines

  • Yield lines can be solid or dashed.
  • Stop lines should always be solid.
  • Draw the rest of the lanes. The length of each individual dash is entirely up to you.

The video helps to clarify where to place stop lines and yield lines.

Step 8: Draw Lane Markings and "decorations"

  • Turn markings.
  • Arrows.
  • Stop lines (corrections if necessary).
  • Median fillings.
  • Yield markings.

Step 9: Done!

At this point, you can continue to build and draw all sorts of other things, including

  • Parking lots
  • Road decorations
  • Individual cars
  • Other roads
  • Buildings
  • Roundabouts!

This Instructable was intentionally vague, so as to encourage creativity on your part. My drawing was just my drawing, but your drawing can look however you want!

I hope this was helpful!