Multi -way boulevards accomplish the fundamental goals of vehicular movement, yet they also allow for the basics in creating a pedestrian friendly environment (on-street parking, slower traffic, opportunities for transit, multi-modal applications and the enabling of buildings closer or at the right-of-way line). Vehicular circulation is still accommodated for faster speeds in the central four lanes (two lanes each way), while a context-sensitive slower speed street is provided at the outside of the right-of-way. This slower speed street is suitable for on-street parking, bicycle traffic and transit. The slower speeds and on-street parking provide a necessary buffer yet the lively street necessary for desirable, usable sidewalks. The desire to utilize the sidewalks works hand in hand with buildings with proper fenestration, entrance frequency and human scale.
I feel that a multi-way boulevard approach accommodated with a good urban form (via form-based code) for our country’s dying strip-mall corridors (vast majority of City arterial roads constructed post WWII) would create a great potential for resilience of urban fabric for many years to come. We need to plan our cities’ infrastructure and buildings for more than the 30-year increment they are currently planned. This practice is not sustainable regardless of amount of recycled materials, etc. that go into it.
For more literature about multi-way boulevards, see A Paean to a Road or The Boulevard Book
Other Related Posts from www.olsonplanning.com: AIA Colorado South Livable Communities Workshop/Charrette;