How To Build Pedestrian Overpasses in Cities: Skylines

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If you’re not building overpasses in Cities: Skylines, you’re missing out on an important tool for making your cities more walkable and improving its traffic situation.

Having footbridges at the right places can encourage many of your citizens to walk or bike instead of drive (Cities: Skylines citizens are willing to walk quite a long way to their destination!)

They can also prevent slowdowns at busy intersections and roundabouts, caused by cars having to stop to let pedestrians cross.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on building them, and tips for maximizing their use!

 

Step 1: Unlock Pedestrian Paths

First, you’ll need to have pedestrian pavements unlocked.

You get this when you reach the “Tiny Town” milestone.

Once you do, you’ll find pedestrian paths by clicking on the Landscaping button in the build menu and going to the Paths tab.

 
Select the pavement path / Cities: Skylines
Select the pavement path.
 

Step 2. Build the Elevated Walkway

First, determine where the main part of the bridge, the elevated walkway, will be.

With the pedestrian path selected, place your cursor on one end of it.

Next, press Page Up once.

 
Pressing Page Up will bring the path builder cursor up one elevation step / Cities: Skylines
Pressing Page Up will bring the path builder cursor up one elevation step.
 

Left-click to start building the path across to the other side of the road or roads.

 
And there's your elevated walkway! Now how will people get on it? / Cities: Skylines
And there’s your elevated walkway! Now how will people get on it?
 

Step 3. Build the Ramps

With pavement paths still selected, place the cursor back on one end of the elevated walkway. Left-click to start building a path from it, towards where you want the ramp to meet the ground, then press Page Down.

 
Press “Page Down” to bring the path builder down to ground level, then left-click / Cities: Skylines
Press “Page Down” to bring the path builder down to ground level, then left-click.
 

The ramp will usually need to be at least 2 grid spaces away from the top, if you’ve built your walkway one full elevation step high.

 
Trying to build the ramp base too close to the top will result in a “Slope too steep” error / Cities: Skylines
Trying to build the ramp base too close to the top will result in a “Slope too steep” error.
 

Do the same thing on the other side of the overpass.

 

Step 4. Make Sure Your Overpass is Connected

Now that you’ve got your brand-new footbridge, you’ll need to make sure it’s connected to other pedestrian paths or your citizens won’t be able to use it at all!

 
Pedestrians won’t be able to use this overpass because the base of the ramp doesn’t connect to a walkable path / Cities: Skylines
Pedestrians won’t be able to use this overpass because the base of the ramp doesn’t connect to a walkable path.
 

If you’ve built the ramp right next to a road with sidewalks (i.e., not highways), the game will automatically connect the pathing from the sidewalk to the base of your ramp.

 
Citizens can get on this overpass coming from the sidewalk / Cities: Skylines
Citizens can get on this overpass coming from the sidewalk.
 

However, if the base of your ramp isn’t next to a sidewalk, you’ll have to manually build a pavement path to connect it to one.

 

Building More Advanced Elevated Walkways

You can form different shapes and networks with footbridges, just as you would with pedestrian paths on the ground.

You do have to be mindful of where you can place the pylons, which generate every time a footbridge segment reaches a certain length.

 
Pylon placement is key when building footbridges that go across multiple roads / Cities: Skylines
Pylon placement is key when building footbridges that go across multiple roads.
 
Turning off snapping can make it easier to position pylons precisely / Cities: Skylines
Turning off snapping can make it easier to position pylons precisely.
 

You can also customize the height of your walkway by using a smaller elevation step height, and paging Page Up or Page Down to adjust the build cursor height as you like.

The elevation step height toggle is on the lower left, beside the straight path tool.

 
Three slightly different walkway heights / Cities: Skylines
Three slightly different walkway heights. The one on the left was built by using the smallest elevation step and going up 3 times; the middle is using the default (full) elevation step once; the one on the right uses the smallest elevation step 5 times.
 

Optional: Build an Underpass

Pedestrian underpasses function in the same way as the overpasses, and can add some visual interest.

 
Underpass tunnel entrances / Cities: Skylines
Underpass tunnel entrances
 

The steps for building an underpass are very similar, except you start off by pressing Page Down.

This brings the path build cursor underground.

 
Pressing Page Down from ground level will put the screen in underground view / Cities: Skylines
Pressing Page Down from ground level will put the screen in underground view.
 

Of course, you’ll have to avoid any existing underground transport lines like metro lines or road tunnels, as they cannot intersect.

You could, however, build it on a lower level by pressing Page Down one more time. Take note that this will require a longer ramp to reach the ground level.

 

Using the Traffic Manager Mod To Turn Off Zebra Crossings

So you went through all the trouble to build a nice overpass, but your citizens say “No thanks!” and keep on crossing at a nearby pedestrian crosswalk instead, slowing down traffic.

At the time of writing (game version 1.14.1-f2) there isn’t a way to do it in the base game, but don’t worry — you can easily use the Traffic Manager mod to turn off pedestrian crossings.

Click on Junction restrictions in the Traffic manager panel, then click on the junction with the crosswalk you want to disable.

Then click the pedestrian crossing button to ban it.

 
Disabling pedestrian crossing forces people to use the overpass so they don’t slow down traffic at this intersection / Cities: Skylines
Disabling pedestrian crossing forces people to use the overpass so they don’t slow down traffic at this intersection.
 

Effective Uses for Pedestrian Overpasses

Now that you know how to build footbridges, it’s time to start taking advantage of it to make your cities much more walkable and reduce car traffic.

Here are some ideas:

1. Create overpasses at particularly busy intersections.

2. Use a footbridge to connect districts separated by highways.

 
A lot of citizens opt for this footbridge as it spares them a long trip by car / Cities: Skylines
A lot of citizens opt for this footbridge (and the elevated bike path on the left) as it spares them a long trip by car.
 

3. Create an overpass network that brings people from different residential blocks to popular spots like schools, parks, or attractions.

 
This walkway network crosses two four-lane roads and allows easy access to busy spots like the botanical garden and the subway station / Cities: Skylines
This walkway network crosses two four-lane roads and allows easy access to busy spots like the botanical garden and the subway station.
 

4. Always build one close to facilitate between transport hubs, e.g., bus stops and terminals, metro/train/tram stations, and airports.

 
This long overpass allows easy transfer between a local metro line and a train line going in and out of the city / Cities: Skylines
This long overpass allows easy transfer between a local metro line and a train line going in and out of the city.
 

5. Build a circular elevated walkway to go with your roundabouts.

 
This circular elevated walkway keeps the roundabout from being slowed by pedestrians crossing / Cities: Skylines
This circular elevated walkway keeps the roundabout from being slowed by pedestrians crossing.
 
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Liz Villegas

Liz is a writer and photographer with a love for building and strategy games. Her spare time is often split between lifting, reading, drawing, annoying her dog Mr. Porky Butt, and squinting at stat tables on the wiki pages of whatever game she's currently playing.