TRB Access Management AHB70

Increasing the awareness and use of Access Management

RN Update of the TRB Access Management Manual

View TRB Research Needs Statement



Update of the TRB Access Management Manual


Access management addresses the three following topic areas identified by the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission: 1) Safety, 2) Congestion, and 3) Freight Movement. Access management practices and techniques have been found to reduce vehicular crashes by as much as 70%; whereas an increase in the number of access points from 10 to 60 per mile has been found to result in a four-fold increase in vehicular crashes. Access management can also mitigate congestion by reducing traffic conflicts, thereby increasing throughput and enhancing highway freight movement.

The Access Management Manual published by the Transportation Research Board in 2003 has proven to be a valuable resource to state, regional and local personnel concerned with transportation systems management and improved access management. As of January 2008, some 3000 copies have been sold. The Manual is also the text for the revised National Highway Institute Course No. 133078, “Access Management, Location and Design”. It is important that it contain current and up-to-date information regarding research and access management practices.

The TRB Access Management Committee has identified gaps in the material covered in the Manual and has received comments from users regarding the need for more information on certain topics. In particular there is a desire for additional information relative to the following:

  • Methodology for establishing access management categories and additional state and local government examples
  • Access management in the vicinity of interchanges (possible new chapter)
  • Integrating access management into transportation planning
  • Performance measures for evaluating an access management program
  • The effect of access management on limiting congestion, increasing throughput, improving fuel efficiency, and reducing vehicular emissions.
  • Additional information on reducing vehicular crashes and improving pedestrian and bicycle safety.
  • Economic effects of access management
  • Guidelines for access location and design elements to be addressed in a corridor plan
  • Short range and long range strategies for implementing corridor access management plans including supporting circulation, site plan review, traffic impact assessment, funding mechanisms and local land development regulations
  • Additional examples of corridor plans including plan development and implementation; examples of interagency agreements, access management overlay zones, and other practices for plan implementation
  • Examples of effective intergovernmental coordination and cooperative agreements for access permitting
  • Examples of effective outreach by state DOT’s and local government to develop support for access management
  • Procedures for maintaining consistent application of access regulations and monitoring the permitting process
  • Right-turn lane warrants and design
  • Left-turn lane warrants and design
  • Driveway design guidelines
  • Site design and site plan review/approval strategies to implement access management
  • State and local government practices for traffic impact assessment and developer mitigation in support of access management and alternative funding mechanisms
  • Access management strategies and practices for small municipalities and rural/sparsely developed areas
  • Access management practices and application of access management standards and roadways in existing developed areas
  • Access management standards and procedures for deviation from adopted standards
  • Emerging, or overlooked, access management techniques such as: acquisition of development rights, transfer of development rights, inclusive of conditions of use on the access connection permit, use of the building permit or certificate of occupancy permit by local government to promote access management
  • Multi-modal aspects of access management (e.g., bicycle, pedestrian and transit interface; susceptibility to left-turns, frequency of driveways, driveway design, median refuge, maintaining pedestrian/sidewalk connectivity in a hierarchical street network)
  • Lessons learned; do’s and don’ts


Since the Access Management Manual was published by TRB in 2003, several sources of new information such as the following become available.

1. Publication of the following NCHRP Reports and Syntheses:

  •  NCHRP Report 546: Incorporating Safety into Long Range Transportation Planning
  •  NCHRP Report 534: Safety of U-turns at Unsignalized Median Openings
  •  NCHRP Report 548: A Guidebook for Including Access Management in Transportation Planning
  •  NCHRP Synthesis 304: Driveway Regulation Practices
  •  NCHRP Synthesis 332: Access Location on Crossroads in the Vicinity of Interchanges
  •  NCHRP Synthesis 337: Cooperative Agreement for Corridor Management
  •  NCHRP Synthesis 351: Acquisition of Access Rights

2. Current NCHRP Projects:

  •  NCHRP Project 15-35: Geometric Design of Driveways
  •  NCHRP Project 03-72: Lane Widths, Channelized Right-Turns and Right-Turn Deceleration Lanes
  •  NCHRP Project 03-91: Guidance for the Provision of Left-Turn Lanes at Unsignalized Intersections

3. Papers presented at the 2004, 2006, 2008, and scheduled 2010 Access Management Conferences, as well as the 2003, 2005 and 2007 Urban Street Symposium and selected papers presented at ITE, TRB and APA.

4. Several state transportation agencies have also funded access management studies or engaged in the development of significant new access management resources. These are too numerous to list here. For example, Florida alone has produced the following studies and resources since the Manual was completed:

  •  Work Plan for FDOT Site Impact Handbook Update (2008, underway)
  •  Analysis of Corridor Management Practices on Selected Critical SIS Facilities (FDOT 2007)
  •  BD545-14, Development of Guidelines for Driveway Location and Median Configuration in the Vicinity of Interchanges (FDOT 2006)
  •  Florida Driveway Handbook (FDOT, updated 2006)
  •  Florida Median Handbook (FDOT, updated 2006)
  •  Effective Strategies for Comprehensive Corridor Management, (FDOT 2004)
  •  Costs and Benefits of Strategic Acquisition of Limited Access Right-of-Way at Freeway Interchange Areas (FDOT 2004)
  •  Model Regulations and Plan Amendments for Multimodal Transportation Districts (FDOT 2004)

5. Additionally, more than 50 papers and other sources of new information have been identified.


The objective of this research activity is to develop a revised and updated Access Management Manual. This objective will be accomplished by the following key tasks:

  1. Assemble research reports and papers published since preparation of the first edition of the Access Management Manual.
  2. Obtain additional examples relative to access management programs and practices of state DOT’s and local governments, such as comprehensive access management programs, outreach, permitting, corridor plans and their implementation, state regulations, local ordinances, access management standards, criteria and procedures for deviations from adopted standards, and other administrative practices and procedures.
  3. Compare the new information of the organization and content of the existing Access Management Manual.
  4. Proposed a revised structure and contents including revisions to existing chapters and possible new chapters for the Project Panel’s review and approval.
  5.  Prepare and submit a draft of a revised and updated Access Management Manual for TRB’s consideration, approval and publication.


Is it estimated that this project will require funding of at least $250,000 and require 24 months to complete.


As stated in SAFETEA-LU, “Surface transportation research and development shall include all activities leading to technology development and transfer, as well as the introduction of new and innovative ideas, practices and approaches through such mechanisms as filed application, education and training and technical support.” The Access Management Manual supports the implementation of innovation through technical support, training and education. Technical support is provided to transportation professionals at the state, regional and local governments as well as by consultants in the development of access management plans, regulations, design standards, access management practices and procedures and in making access related decisions involved in the development and redevelopment of property abutting the nation’s major roadways. Education and training functions are addressed through use of the Manual as the text for NHI Course No. 133078 (the course is typically taught eight to ten times per year, with up to 30 participants per course offering).


Kristine Williams, Chair TRB Committee AHB70
Vergil G. Stover, College Station, Texas
Gary Sokolow, Florida DOT


Gary Sokolow
Florida Department of Transportation
Systems Planning
605 Suwannee St., #19
Burns Building, SRD Unit 3920
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
(850) 414-4912
Fax: (850) 414-4876



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