American Multiway Boulevard examples

The multiway boulevard is an alternative to conventional higher-volume, higher-speed arterial streets. This thoroughfare type may be used where the community’s objective is to accommodate urban mixed use or residential development and a walkable environment on corridors with high traffic demands. A multiway boulevard combines a central thoroughfare for higher-speed through movements bordered by landscaped medians that separate the central thoroughfare from one-way access lanes on each side of the boulevard. The access lanes provide for slower local traffic, parking, bicycle travel and a pedestrian oriented streetside and are designed to discourage through traffic. Multiway boulevards may be considered where a community desires to make a very wide arterial street more pedestrian friendly yet recognizes the need to retain traffic capacity. ( ITE Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares Manual)

Multiway Boulevards aren’t that common in the United States. Although recently, they have begun to experience a renaissance. They are much more common in European Cities such as Paris. Below are examples of American multiway boulevards. It is hoped that this list will benefit the planner, engineer, or citizen that is interested in advocating or implementing this type of roadway.

Please feel free to add other multiway boulevard in the comments.

Esplanade Chico, California

This road is unusual in that it was constructed in the 1950s. The design was developed in two hours based on a desire to keep the existing trees. Here is a good article on the history of the Esplanade.

Pendleton Ave. – Lewis-Mc Chord military base (No google street view available, recently constructed)

Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard West Palm Beach Florida. This is unique in that is was constructed after WWII (late 1960s) after multiway boulevards had fallen out of favor and prior to Allan Jacobs work on resurrecting the multiway boulevard.

SE Dixie Highway Hobe Sound Florida. (Service lanes on one side of highway)

K street District of Columbia – There is a photo of this boulevard in the 1957 AASHO Policy on Atertial Highways in Urban Areas (figure E-16).

Octavia Blvd. San Fran. (This project began the multi-way boulevard renaissance. It replaced a double deck freeway spur that was severely damaged in the Loma Prieta earthquake).

El Camino Real Milbrae, CA (Note the very narrow outer median. In order to allow street trees in the outer median the parallel parking is periodically eliminated to allow outer median to widen for street trees. Boulevard on one side).

San Francisco Blvd. Sacramento CA. Suburban street car subdivision. Small multiway boulevard. Center road only has two lanes.

Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA

E Palm Canyon Dr, Cathedral City, CA (This was a retrofit to your typical post war Stroad. A google search will reveal the amazing before and after pictures.)

Pearl Parkway Boulder Colorado (Recent construction)

Southern Parkway, Louisville, KY

Bothell Way, Bothell Washington (Recent construction, currently not shown in google maps)

Lincoln Parkway Buffalo, New York

Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, NY

Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY

Grand Concourse, NY (An example of what not to do when designing a multi-way boulevard. Vehicle speeds are too high on service lanes. Poor crash history.)


  1. @LittlePig1

    I love the whole concept of multiway blvds -especially for our #AustralianAvenue in #WPB!!!! But lets say we do not have resources/funds for a “complete” redo – could a single way blvd work to slow the traffic, have bike-able both sides, turn lanes where needed? Our counts are I believe about 22-24,000, correct and that’s down from historic counts, correct? There is a single way blvd (from a 4 lane) in Tallahassee that woks beautifully – I forget the name Grant, maybe? Have you heard f it?

  2. Baron Haussmann

    A four lane road is sufficient for 22,000 cars a day. There might be a need for additional turn lanes at the Palm Beach Lakes intersection. Maybe a second left in the north to west direction.

    If budget was a concern you could add curb to the outside of the road with street trees. These would be in the correct location for a future multiway boulevard. I’m not a big fan of bike lanes right next to the car lane. It would be nice if they were placed behind the tree lined buffer.

    The service road would add roadway capacity. It would also allow a safe place for cyclists. If more people cycle that means they aren’t driving which means you are creating roadway capacity.

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