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27 CHAPTER FOUR DISPOSAL OF ACCESS RIGHTS A freeway or a segment of the Interstate highway is unlikely TABLE 2 to become obsolete and limiting access no longer a priority. PERCENTAGE OF RESPONDING AGENCIES THAT HAVE A PROCESS FOR A PROPERTY OWNER TO ACQUIRE AN The same may not be true for other roadways where an ACCESS RIGHT WHERE THE AGENCY HAS ACQUIRED FULL agency has acquired limited access rights from properties AND/OR PARTIAL ACCESS CONTROL ON NONFREEWAYS abutting those roadways. The literature search conducted for AND ARTERIALS AND CROSSROADS AT INTERCHANGES the synthesis revealed that there is a lack of information avail- Yes No able on the disposal of access rights. This chapter includes a Nonfreeways and discussion on the (1) Disposal of Access, (2) Factors in Val- Arterials uation and Negotiation, and (3) Complexities of Disposal. Full control 70% 30% Partial control 94% 6% Crossroads at During the life of an agency-owned transportation facil- Interchanges ity, access rights may become unnecessary for a number of Full control 65% 35% reasons. One reason may be when an agency decides to allow Partial control 91% 9% a driveway where it was previously not allowed. Another type of event could include the construction of a parallel free- way, highway, or bypass that serves the function of a high- speed, access-controlled facility. Access rights may also DISPOSAL OF ACCESS become unnecessary with the growth and expansion of com- Most responding agencies have a process and organizational munities along roadways that used to be predominately rural structure for the disposal of access rights. These issues are highways serving farms. In situations where the roadway is addressed in the following two sections on disposal policy now meant to accommodate local street connections and and disposal management. adjacent properties within the community, there may not be a need to retain access control that supported unimpeded through traffic. The partial access control strategy may have Disposal Policy been appropriate in the 1950s when the access rights were acquired and the farmland was 3 mi from the downtown. As When agencies have a process for disposal, most have either the communities expand along these roadways, the travel statutes or policies to guide them in this process. Figure 14 speeds are usually reduced and the function of the roadway depicts the various techniques used to determine when and often becomes more oriented to serve local needs and the how to dispose of access rights on nonfreeways and arterials land uses adjacent to the roadway. The long distances and crossroads. between openings in the partial access control line may have been suitable for farms with significant roadway The Minnesota DOT is guided by Minnesota Statute frontage, but the driveway spacing may not be appropriate 161.43 (25) on the disposal of highway easements. The statute for pedestrian- and bicyclist-oriented communities. allows the commissioner of transportation to dispose of ease- ments when it is determined that they are no longer needed. Table 2 shows the percentage of responding agencies that The abutting landowner is able to pay the appraised value for have a process for a property owner to acquire an access right the rights. If the owner refuses to purchase the access rights, where an agency had already acquired full and/or partial the transportation commission may transfer the easement to access control on nonfreeways and arterials and interchange another agency when the terms and conditions are agreed on. crossroads. Unlike Minnesota, some states have a process for dis- In general, most agencies have a process for a property posal, but have no statutes or polices in place to guide them. owner to acquire an access right to the roadway at a later date These states often rely on their state rules and individual after the agency has acquired full access rights on both analysis. In addition to these guiding practices, Oregon uses nonfreeways and arterials and crossroads. Approximately a statewide Grant Review Committee. Depending on the type one-third do not have a process for disposal when full access of facility, Colorado will use corridor plans, design plans, or control is acquired. its right-of-way manual.
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28 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 33% Statutes 33% 27% Rules 36% 82% Agency Policies 58% 12% Corridor Plans 15% 33% Design Plans 30% 58% Individual Analysis 58% 30% Other 27% Nonfreeways and Arterials Crossroads at Interchanges FIGURE 14 Answers to Questions 22b and 23b: "Which of the following do you use to determine when and how to dispose of access rights?" (Note: Multiple responses were possible.) An agency might also decide to transfer ownership of a access rights. As shown in the figure, the Right-of-Way Direc- section of roadway, or possibly the entire roadway, through tor is most often responsible for the disposal of access rights, a type of interjurisdiction transfer mechanism to another although the responsibility can also belong to multiple persons agency. In those situations where the agency has acquired including chief engineers, project managers, traffic engineers, rights of access, there may need to be special provisions on and others. Approximately half of the agencies give the how to deal with the access rights. responsibility of the disposal of access to the same people as those that are responsible for acquiring it. The remaining agen- cies either assign these responsibilities to different people or Disposal Management give the responsibility to multiple persons, of which only some can acquire and dispose of access. It would seem logical to Figure 15 shows the percentage of agencies using specific allow the same persons to acquire and dispose of access unless individuals for administering the process of the disposal of the disposal is considered a more important action. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 18% Chief Engineer 18% 67% Right-of-Way Director 61% 15% Traffic Engineer 18% 12% Project Manager 12% 52% Other 55% Nonfreeways and Arterials Crossroads at Interchanges FIGURE 15 Answers to Questions 22c and 23c: "If you dispose of access rights, who is responsible to administer this process for your agency?" (Note: Multiple responses were possible.)