From Arterial to Asset: Examining the Role of the Multiway Boulevard in Coordinated Transportation and Land Use Planning


Mark L. Gillem

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - coordination, land use - planning, policy - fares, policy - environment, place - urban, mode - subway/metro


Urban planning, Transportation planning, Town planning, Through highways, Thoroughfares, Thorofares, Stakeholders, Springfield (Oregon), Residential buildings, Quality of life, Public participation, Public involvement, Mixed use development, Metropolitan area planning, Main roads, Local participation, Land use planning, Joint occupancy of buildings, Houses, Eugene (Oregon), Environmental protection, Energy utilization, Energy consumption, Dwellings, Coordination, Community planning, City planning, Citizen participation, Case studies, Boulevards, Arterial streets, Arterial highways


Cities struggling with congestion need options to automobile-dependent transportation and land use patterns. Multiway boulevards are one alternative. Through lanes in the middle are separated by landscaped medians from side access lanes for bicycles and slow-moving local traffic. Using a case study from Oregon’s Eugene–Springfield metropolitan area, this project considers what could happen if cities built arterials as multiway boulevards. This interdisciplinary study, which included widespread stakeholder and public participation as well as detailed land use and transportation modeling, was instrumental in the Eugene Planning Commission’s decision to endorse converting a portion of the arterial into a multiway boulevard. Although the case study arterial, with its existing bus rapid transit lanes, requires an unusually wide right-of-way, the results show that the arterial could better accommodate residential and mixed-use buildings at the edges if reconfigured as a multiway boulevard. Projected benefits include the possibility of supporting 8,400 dwelling units, reducing annual vehicle miles traveled by nearly 100 million miles (161 million km), and reducing annual carbon emissions by nearly 110 million lb (50 million kg). Development along the boulevard can preserve up to 1,680 acres (680 ha) of farmland and lead to an annual transportation savings per household of about $1,500. New residences could generate more than $17 million annually in property tax revenue. This study offers lessons for communities interested in promoting environmental protection, enhancing quality of life, and reducing energy consumption.