This street could have been laid out with sharp corners, instead of the gentle sweep that we see. The result is a complex intersection, with side streets coming in from two or more directions, that almost forms a square. It is not a good arrangement for vehicular traffic, but works fine for pedestrians and bicyclists.
One advantage of gentle curves is that they facilitate the installation of trams, which have difficulty negotiating sharp curves. A disadvantage, if automobile traffic is allowed, is that the cars can negotiate the corner at much higher speed.
The scene is free of overhead wires, which implies that the trams are still drawn by horses.
Notice that the buildings are actually fairly large. When coupled with the very steep roofs in use, this leads to as many as three occupied floors inside the roof. This is an efficient and economical way to create space, although it would be a long climb to the uppermost floor, a garret that is well suited to the needs of young people with limited income, such as students and struggling artists. It is important to provide spaces to meet these needs, and this is an excellent solution.
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