Western Boulevard, as the name implies, is a major thoroughfare in the western portion of the city of Raleigh.
Western Boulevard begins at a complex intersection with Hillsborough Street and Jones Franklin Road. It travels east as a four lane median-divided facility through a mostly residential area. After an interchange with I-440, the boulevard's development switches to primarily commercial. At Gorman Street, Western Boulevard turns to the southeast as it passes by North Carolina State University as well as Dorthea Dix Park and the North Carolina Central Prison. The roadway then travels through more residential development just south of Downtown Raleigh before terminating at a partial cloverleaf interchange with Dawson and McDowell Streets, with the physical roadway continuing east as Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
As part of a larger project to widen I-440 from I-40 to Wade Avenue, the North Carolina Department of Transportation plans to overhaul the interchange between 440 and Western Boulevard. The project replaces the existing partial cloverleaf interchange with a diverging diamond interchange, which involves traffic temporarily switching to the opposite side of the road at two traffic signals. The project began in 2019 and is expected to last approximately four years.
As part of the Wake Transit Plan adopted by GoTriangle in 2016, Western Boulevard is one of four corridors proposed to have a Bus Rapid Transit system. The service will connect Downtown Raleigh to NC State University and the town of Cary in an effort to reduce existing and future traffic congestion in the area. As part of the project, the city is studying the implementation of transit-oriented development, alongside the development of exploring urban design opportunities along the corridor.
In 2020, the city has chosen a locally preferred alternative for the bus route, which will coincide with long-term plans to extend Western Boulevard from its current western terminus at Hillsborough Street and Jones Franklin Road west to the eastern terminus of Cary Town Boulevard near its interchange with I-40.