The main “east-west” arterial (actually more SW-NE) in the area I was raised was built, mostly, as a 6-lane, undivided boulevard, thankfully with sidewalks (eventually), and with a high school, retail, and multi-family housing (way more now than back in the day). A good mile or more of it actually went through what we called “the swamp” but would now be recognized as a wetland!
Not very attractive, not especially safe, and, interestingly, mostly under-capacity. So about a decade or so after it was completed, it was put on a road diet at first with the use of paint. A two-way (unprotected) bike lane was put along the north edge, taking up the space of about one lane. Then the city painted a median in the middle of the remaining five lanes. This allowed left turn bays at intersections as well as some separation between traffic flowing in opposite directions.
That’s a representative view of the road long after (long after) it was put on a diet. The brick building is a fire station. The large parking lot to the right of the firehouse was once the parking lot for a hockey arena that has been gone for over 20 years (but that hosted a concert featuring Procol Harum and The Eagles <mumble> years before that!). I don’t know what the AADT is for this road, but I’m certain it’s much more than it was when it was put on a diet.
Oh, and there are 5 transit routes along here, too. A local route (30-minute headway 0500-0100 plus extra runs at peak hours) and 3 express routes providing about the same number of buses but that end after the evening peak and that all end at either a commuter train or subway station. There is a night route that fills in the other hours, so basically 24-hour service. And this is far out in the ‘burbs. We had good transit when I still lived there <mumble> years ago –around the time of the diet, actually — but not nearly this good.
This article is five years old at this point, but the author makes interesting parallels between the 2007 I-35 bridge collapse in Minnesota, the financial industry collapse of 2008, and the closely-related collapse in the housing market in … well, I guess that’s kind of still going on. Read the article to see what the author means.