TRB Access Management AHB70

Increasing the awareness and use of Access Management

Elements of a Comprehensive Program


The manual provides specific guidance to state, regional and local agencies on developing and implementing an access management program or corridor access management plan. Comprehensive, system-wide access management programs involve the following key elements:

  1. Classifying roadways into a logical hierarchy according to
    function,
  2. Planning, designing, and maintaining roadway systems based
    on functional classification and road geometry,
  3. Defining acceptable levels of access for each class of
    roadway to preserve its function, including criteria for the spacing of
    signalized and unsignalized access points,
  4. Applying appropriate geometric design criteria and traffic
    engineering analysis to each allowable access point, and
  5. Establishing policies, regulations, and permitting
    procedures to carry out and support the program.

State and local agencies may adopt specific policies, directives, regulations, or guidelines that are directly or indirectly related to access management. Access anagement regulations may address a variety of issues, such as access spacing and design, and are more enforceable than guidelines. Local agencies also establish land development regulations that affect access outcomes, such as subdivision regulations and lot dimensional requirements.

Another option is for state transportation agencies or local governments to acquire property access rights through purchase or eminent domain. The acquisition of access rights, while often costly and time consuming, is a strong and long lasting solution.

Some aspects of access management are addressed at the development review stage, in response to a request for a development or connection permit. This may be accomplished through the subdivision or site plan review process of local agencies or during the access permitting process of state agencies. Larger evelopments are often required to submit a traffic impact assessment to assist the agency in its review. Access management is also addressed through roadway design.
Geometric design features, such as interchanges, frontage roads, medians, median openings, auxiliary lanes, driveway design, and intersection hannelization are used to manage access and vehicular turning movements. Geometric design criteria are normally included in design manuals and design objectives are advanced through the roadway improvement process.

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