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23 the Chief Engineer, Project Manager, and/or Planning Man- Utility Policy Administrator as a double check to avoid this ager. Figure 8 in chapter two provides a summary of the problem. In Kentucky, the permits branch within the Divi- number of agencies assigning this responsibility in the acqui- sion of Traffic is responsible for reviewing the location and sition of access rights along nonfreeways and arterials. A checking to ensure that no control of access is violated. In number of agencies assigned the responsibility to multiple Nebraska, the right-of-way staff is responsible for checking persons. For example, Louisiana gives the responsibility to each application to determine if access rights are owned. the Chief Engineer, Right-of-Way Director, Project Man- ager, and Planning Manager. Wisconsin does not have a system in place to prevent this situation and relies on staff to voluntarily conduct the research. Interestingly enough, one-half of the responding agencies However, the state is developing a new database of all access indicated that different people coordinate the acquisition of rights with a map interface. This will prevent the inadvertent access and the disposal of access. Fewer states give the approval of driveway permits in locations where the property responsibility to the Right-of-Way Director and more states owner does not have a right of access. The Oregon DOT has give responsibility to the Chief Engineer and/or Transporta- an automated system that sends an e-mail copy of each drive- tion Commission. way application to the right-of-way section. Right-of-way staff then researches the files and maps and responds to the permit- During the acquisition of access rights, approximately ting staff as to property owner's right of access. half of the responding agencies require coordination between the permitting staff and right-of-way staff, including Col- orado, Iowa, North Dakota, Texas, and Utah. In South RECORDS MANAGEMENT Dakota, both staff units are housed in the same building and collaborate on decisions. Other states, such as Minnesota and Access rights are a valuable resource to an agency and Montana, often include additional functional groups in the require proper recording to ensure the longevity of the decision process including planning and design. Oregon has resource. Agencies manage their records in various ways: official access lists that are approved by the Project Devel- electronic records, electronic right-of-way maps, paper or opment Team and Area Manager. Both the right-of-way and hard copy right-of-way maps, paper tabulations, spread- permitting staff work off of the approved list to maintain con- sheets, and paper or hard copy files. Figure 11 summarizes sistency. The process also allows for both staffs to provide the techniques used. input into the development of the access list. In Connecticut, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Virginia the As shown in Figure 11, the vast majority of records (more permitting staff is not involved in decisions regarding the than 80%) are part of the hard copy or paper files and right- acquisition of access rights. of-way maps. This is not surprising considering that this was the most common method to store data over the past several During the permitting phase of driveways, 66% of the decades. Wisconsin is developing a database of all state agencies require coordination between the permitting staff access rights with a map interface as a means to eliminate and right-of-way staff. In Washington State, the coordination may be required, but depends primarily on the project type. several tasks. Minnesota involves additional resources in the decision, including expertise from planning, design, and traffic units. The Kansas DOT has implemented an Enterprise Wide In Nebraska, the permitting staff reviews the request and, if Records and Workflow Management (RWM) system. This approved, the right-of-way staff issues the permit. system acts as a central library for electronic documents and currently contains more than 1 million entries. Approximately After the purchase of access control, it is important to 5 years ago, Kansas embarked on an effort to reengineer its ensure that staff does not approve a driveway where an access permit application and approval process. During the agency owns access rights. Most respondents indicated that design phase, it was decided that this effort would capitalize they have policy direction to ensure that agency staff does on the RWM system under development. All access permit- not inadvertently approve access where the agency owns related forms were converted to an electronic format. The access control. A small percentage of respondents indicated workflow of an access permit was also modeled so that it that no controls were in place, and another small percentage could be forwarded, reviewed, approved, denied, or consulted indicated that it was voluntary if staff chose to conduct the with the push of a button. The signatures on the permit forms research on the access ownership. were made electronic and are protected by login identification and password protection. When the workflow stops, all doc- Most agencies have a system in place to review driveway uments associated with the permit are rendered into a PDF permits relative to where an agency owns access rights. format and are stored in the document management library. Sixty percent of the agencies accomplish this through a pol- icy direction, whereas only one agency has incorporated an As a result of this process, any permit or document related automated check before the application can be approved. to a permit can be recalled from the document management Iowa has all driveway permits reviewed by the Access/ library by a search function. In addition, this system also
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24 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Electronic Records 44% Electronic Right-of-Way Maps 41% Paper/Hard Copy Right-of- Way Maps 81% Paper Tabulation 16% Spreadsheets 13% Paper/Hard Copy Files 66% Other 9% FIGURE 11 Answers to Question 18: "Where your agency has acquired a right of access, how do you manage the records?" (Note: Multiple responses were possible.) creates a record table in the Kansas DOT's central planning agencies allow pedestrian and cyclist facilities to cross the database. The tables contain a complete inventory of all at- access control line, whereas the remaining 46% do not. grade intersections and access points on the Kansas State Highway System. These points are located spatially and have Some agencies reported that the acquisition of access a number of attribute fields associated with them. The RWM rights is meant to limit vehicular ingress and egress from the and database systems communicate with one another such highway and specify when it is permissible for pedestrians that the inventory is automatically maintained. and cyclists to cross the partial access control line. Other agencies noted that the partial access control line is meant to The Kansas DOT is considering a Geographic Informa- keep all modes of traffic from crossing the control line and tion System component as a potential future improvement. out of the right-of-way entirely. This would allow driveway permitting staff to download and view the DOT's right-of-way and determine whether or not Connecticut, Georgia, and Iowa do not allow pedestrians it owns access control for a section of roadway. and cyclists to cross the access control line except at openings, whereas Louisiana cited liability concerns if it were allowed. Once access is acquired from property owners, the decision is almost always memorialized in property deeds and on the Colorado addresses the concern by issuing a revocable right-of-way map, as shown in Figure 12. Other methods license agreement to allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross include public records, agency records, and spreadsheets. Only over the access control line. This preserves property rights 19% of the respondents identified electronic records as a means and prevents any future claims of prescriptive rights by use. to memorialize the decision. The Utah DOT has initiated a proj- Both Maine and South Dakota issue permits. In Washington ect to scan the existing right-of-way maps into an electronic State a request goes through a review process to determine if database to help assist in the research of access rights. the use affects the safety and operational efficiency of the route. Virginia will rarely grant an approval and only at the At one time, Montana included the location of access request of a local government. Pennsylvania completes an points directly in its property deeds; however, this proved to analysis and, if approved, the owner or sponsor of the pedes- be a challenge when the request for a driveway resulted in a trian or bicycle facility must sign a legal agreement before denial. They now require property owners to sign an access access will be allowed. control deed that will reserve the right to reasonable access as shown on right-of-way plans, but no actual access Missouri, Montana, and Nebraska all view the access con- points will be identified. trol as a means to restrict vehicular access to and from the roadway (except on the Interstate system) and therefore In the 1950s and 1960s when many agencies acquired full allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross the access control line. and partial access rights, they often did not address what the access control was controlling other than vehicular access by Based on the potential inconsistencies in definition means of an intersection or driveway. The responses to this between modes, an agency should clearly define its objectives question revealed a broad continuum of practice; 54% of the before acquiring partial access rights along a given facility. If