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57 CHAPTER FOUR Program Implementation This chapter provides an overview of the implementation NCHRP Report 548 (3, p. 75) provides guidance for aspects of the various states' access management programs, establishing a policy and planning basis for access man- including the organizational "location" of access management agement so that decisions are not made on a project-by- activities within each DOT, the number of staff members ded- project or permit-by-permit basis. It can be used to address icated to access management, and access management-related access management at the policy, system, and corridor resources typically consulted. It includes a literature search planning levels. The guidance also identifies how the regarding key aspects of program implementation, such as land use planning and development review processes may transportation and land use coordination, AMPs, education address access management. Figure 30 lists the individual and training activities, and community outreach. The chap- guidance areas included in NCHRP Report 548 and speci- ter concludes with state-of-the-practice information from the fies the jurisdiction levels to which they are applicable. survey of state DOTs regarding program implementation. The report provides further guidance on the implementa- tion steps and issues that need to be addressed as well as Although strong program implementation is one of the information on cases in which the planning process has keys to the success of any access management program, incorporated access management and resources for addi- there is comparatively little background literature available tional information. in comparison to other elements of access management. However, the feedback from survey participants presented at Land Use and Transportation Coordination the end of this chapter is useful in gaining an understanding of the current state of the practice in this area. A profile of the A critical element of access management is the land use Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development's authority held by local units of government. While state (DOTD) approach to implementing access management is DOTs are responsible for state highways, land use decisions highlighted in chapter six as a recent example of how access for adjacent and nearby properties most often are made by management may be implemented strategically. local governments. Local planning, zoning, and elected officials are the community land use decision makers, and they ensure that new development is consistent with local Literature Search land use (or master) plans, compatible with other land uses in the community, and in compliance with local regula- Organization and Staffing tions. These local officials are responsible for assessing the affects of land use decisions within their community's Transportation agencies apply access management in a vari- borders, but not beyond. The local development review pro- ety of ways, including at the statewide, corridor, project, or cess often is segregated. In other words, local officials often permit levels. Statewide applications may include policies review development plans without consulting the appro- that apply broadly to the entire state highway system, the priate road agency (city, county, or state) responsible for development of an overall ACS and associated design stan- managing access in their area. Through zoning, subdivision dards for all state highways, or legislative actions that estab- regulations, condominium regulations, private road regula- lish a legal basis for access management throughout the state. tions, and building codes, local governments can approve Access management can be applied by states at the corridor new developments with or without considering the impact level, through efforts focused on managing property access on access (73, p. 9). along specific, high-priority state highways or segments of highways. Access management may be implemented at the A large body of literature discusses the actions that local project level, with state DOT taking actions to incorporate agencies may take to foster access management. The www. access management treatments in conjunction with highway accessmanagement.info website contains materials from improvement projects. Finally, access management may be various sources with information on different strategies that applied at the permit level, with state DOT making decisions local agencies could use not only to enhance their own pro- in response to specific requests for access made by property grams, but also to better coordinate transportation and land owners abutting the state highway system. use planning and decision making.

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58 (figure continues on next page.)

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59 FIGURE 30 Guidance areas from NCHRP Report 548. Source : Rose et al. (3 ).

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60 The importance of coordinating permit and access man- Many local governments may not be well informed of agement decisions between state, county, and local agen- state driveway permitting requirements. They may know cies cannot be understated. Michigan's Access Management little about how development decisions affect the safety and Guidebook (74) notes that: function of state highways and other roads. Moreover, the process of access permitting often does not occur until after To optimize the benefits of access management, multi-jurisdictional coordination with all appropriate land use decisions are made. As a result, state DOTs and transportation agencies is essential when applying access other road agencies often have little, if any, input regarding management standards on driveway permit, lot split, land use decisions. This can result in frustration among all subdivision, site plan and other local zoning reviews. This participants if project design changes are needed to obtain a is best accomplished through coordinated permit review and approval procedures involving local governments driveway permit. If access problems are identified too late in and road authorities. (pp. 416) the decision process, some solutions that may have worked earlier in the design stage may no longer be options. Simply involving the state DOT or local road agency early in the When local governments approve development or rede- process of planning and reviewing a development can pro- velopment on a site without considering access issues typi- duce many benefits. Access-related issues can be raised ear- cally addressed by road authorities during the driveway lier and solutions more easily identified. Although no laws permit process, unnecessary conflict and project delays can or regulations may require local planning, zoning, and build- occur. The same problem can arise if a road authority issues ing permitting agencies to coordinate their efforts with state a driveway permit without local input. Access management DOTs (or local road agencies), some local governments have is best achieved when state, regional, county, and local units worked out procedures, some informal, with their state's of government cooperate in land use and transportation local district or subdistrict offices (73, p. 10). management decisions. Figure 31 from Michigan's Access Management Guide- The Michigan Access Management Guidebook identi- book (74) shows the typical separate project review pro- fies local regulatory techniques to help solve common traf- cedures most often used by local governments and road fic problems (74, pp. 4-14-9). Many access management agencies, as well as an alternative procedure used in some techniques are best implemented through local zoning regu- communities that coordinate development reviews with road lations and others through local lot split, subdivision, condo- authorities. Coordinated reviews help achieve the objectives minium, and private road regulations. Lot split, subdivision of all parties involved. The coordination works best when and condominium regulations are frontline ordinances that everyone understands that both site plans and driveway come into play when lots are first being designed. This is the permit approvals are required before a developer can begin best time to prevent common access problems. The guide- development or redevelopment activity (74, p. 5-5). book provides guidance concerning narrow lots, flag lots, corner lots, double frontage lots (frontage on a local road and Better project review coordination between state and an arterial), and width-to-depth requirements. It identifies local governments leads to better access management. Bet- how subdivision regulations and zoning ordinances can be ter access management allows motorists to conveniently and coordinated with access management and how overlay zones safely access their homes and local businesses with fewer may be used to manage access. delays. If local permit procedures are coordinated with driveway permit procedures, many access-related conflicts Guidance from the Community Planning Association and issues can be avoided. Coordinated land use and access of Southwest Idaho indicates that one of the most effective management decision making can achieve the following: tools in applying corridor standards is a corridor overlay dis- trict. Similar standards can be adopted with a corridor plan Prevent conflicts involving the community, developer, or map, but the overlay district can be more effective because and road authority created because-- it stays in the forefront during planning decisions and zon- A driveway permit was issued by the state DOT before ing actions. An overlay district, or corridor plan, applies to local site plan review has been completed; and parcels that are adjoining or within a certain distance from The community approved a site plan or building a roadway, usually an arterial or state highway. A corridor permit before determining whether a driveway per- ordinance contains additional regulations that are overriding, mit has been issued by the state DOT. and in some cases, additive to existing zoning regulations. Build a professional relationship based on a common It should involve standards governing access, visibility, and understanding of local road issues, which in turn can corridor aesthetics and provide standards for the number and improve cooperation and mutual support on future location of access points, interparcel connections, size and maintenance or improvement projects. location of signs, and landscaping and buffer requirements Prevent unnecessary redesign, which typically results (55, p. 7). in higher development costs.

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61 FIGURE 31 Typical and preferred permit review processes. Source: Reducing Traffic Congestion and Improving Traffic Safety in Michigan Communities: The Access Management Guidebook (74, p. 5-5).

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62 The key elements of coordinated decision making are as or visitor pressures. The corridor planning and preservation follows: program includes corridors where Maine DOT joins forces with adjoining municipalities, property owners, corridor Simultaneous review--all relevant government agen- committees, scenic byway corridor committees, and other cies review proposed projects at the same time stakeholders along a mobility arterial to develop strategies Compatible standards that ensure that the stated purposes of the Access Manage- Conditional approval--each permit is approved on ment Law are met and maintained. The initiative is intended receipt of required permits issued by other approving to address many dimensions, including access management. authorities Route 1 serves multiple purposes because there is no parallel interstate highway route. As a result, Maine DOT needs to Coordinated decision making requires the state DOT or balance the needs of local traffic and through traffic. other road agency to review proposed site plans for most projects at the same time they are being reviewed by local Planning for and implementing access management prac- zoning authorities. Very large projects should go through a tices along the Gateway 1 Corridor has successfully aided in two-step review process, in which the developer meets with moving traffic and maintaining a level of aesthetics accept- the road authorities and local government officials early in able to the affected town. Towns that controlled access by the project design process. At the discretion of local officials, buying access rights along that corridor have achieved dif- these preliminary site plan review meetings should be con- ferent outcomes. The program has successfully improved ducted together with the appropriate road authorities. If local and maintained relationships between multiple jurisdictions zoning authorities have no access management standards, along the corridor (75). compatibility of standards is not an issue. But if local access management regulations do exist, and they conflict with the The Michigan Access Management Guidebook contains road agency's standards, then in most cases, the developer sample access management model ordinances for three com- must comply with the more stringent regulations. If the mon local situations (74, pp. 8-18-40): responsible road authority is not aware of local standards, it could issue a driveway permit that is inconsistent with local Option 1: for a slowly growing rural community with requirements. one or two state highways or major county roads Option 2: for a rural community in the path of growth By conditioning local site plan approval on receipt of or a growing suburb with significant undeveloped land required permits from the responsible road authority, the along major arterials local government will ensure compliance of the project with Option 3: for an urban community with little unde- the standards of the state or other road agencies. Similarly, veloped land and many retrofit or redevelopment state DOT and county road agencies that condition approval opportunities of their permits with local land use standards will help ensure that new development does not violate local zoning and Williams and Sokolow (47 ) provide model ordinance lan- related requirements. Coordination between road authorities guage for Florida cities or counties wishing to incorporate and local land use authorities is the best way to ensure that access management and other regulatory techniques into future land use decisions protect motorists and the public's their local land development codes. Commentary is provided investment in the highway system. for guidance in interpreting the model language and identify- ing issues associated with some of the regulatory standards. The FHWA Domestic Access Management Scan provides Local governments are encouraged to modify the standards an example involving the Gateway 1 Corridor in mid-coast to fit local conditions and administrative practices. Maine. This initiative has shown success in gaining support and cooperation from all 21 existing towns along the corri- The Kentucky Model Access Management Ordinance (76 ) dor. Access management practices and strategies have been was adapted from the Florida Model Land Development and progressed along the corridor, while carefully preserving the Subdivision Regulations That Support Access Management. local culture of each town (75). The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet prepared this model ordinance to assist Kentucky cities and counties in devel- The Gateway 1 Corridor initiative is consistent with the oping access management ordinances to further improve Maine access management program, which includes access safety and traffic flow efficiency of Kentucky's roadways. management rules, corridor planning, and preservation ini- The introduction to the document notes that, although the tiatives. The program focus is on prioritized planning and ordinance does not cover all access treatments, it does cover the preservation of mobility arterial corridors that are most at the most-used treatments. It urges municipalities to tailor the risk of losing capacity, reducing safety, and decreasing posted ordinance to meet local needs and develop additional lan- speeds, as a result of increasing development and commuter guage as necessary.

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63 Access Management Plans oper can use the plan to establish permissible access points and can be assured that access permits will be As defined in the Access Management Manual (1), an AMP forthcoming where access conforms to the plan. is a planning tool that addresses land development and access management considerations along a roadway corridor, or An AMP should be a clear and concise document. It series of corridors, within the study area. A typical AMP should include a map and an accompanying report show- shows the location--and in some cases the design--of access ing where and how access can be provided, specifying how for every parcel on the roadway segment(s) within the study development and associated roadway network changes area. The plan is often jointly developed and adopted by the should be implemented, and indicating who is responsible state (if the road is a state highway) and local agencies that for each element. have jurisdiction over land development in the affected area. The major steps involved in preparing an AMP are as fol- An AMP is useful for dealing with areas that are unde- lows (3, pp. 4546): veloped, or areas where redevelopment is possible. An AMP may be a stand-alone document, or prepared as part of sub- Identify the study area and participating agencies/ area or corridor plan. The agency lead in preparing an AMP stakeholders. may be a state department of transportation, an MPO, or a Develop a public involvement plan that will engage local government. The plan essentially focuses on a specific interested parties and consider different opinions for area, of smaller geographic scale than a statewide or MPO the future of the corridor to shape a realistic plan. plan. It may address, for example, several communities or Establish a vision and supporting goals and objectives areas with roadways that are projected to be or are in need to provide a basis for weighing various options. of improvement. An AMP may be prepared as an integral Perform policy, land use, and traffic analyses to provide component of areawide plans or as an independent effort, a basis for the development of alternative options and the and should incorporate provisions for coordination of area selection of the components to include in the AMP. growth with development of the roadway network and any Evaluate options based on potential social, economic, required traffic mitigation. An AMP relates to both com- and environmental impacts, as well as specific impacts prehensive (that is, areawide) transportation planning and to on (1) roadway safety, (2) roadway efficiency and oper- detailed construction plans. ation, (3) the supporting road network, (4) accessibility of neighborhoods and commercial areas, and (5) diver- An AMP has several important features as identified sion of nonlocal trips through an existing residential in NCHRP Report 548: A Guidebook for Including Access area. Management in Transportation Planning (3, p. 45): Establish the responsibilities of each of the participants for the improvements contemplated by the plan. It is designed to achieve better long-range planning for Identify the manner in which the timing and sequence of highway access. It enables the state, MPO, county, or construction of the improvements are to be implemented. local jurisdictions to specify, in advance, where access Provide, if necessary, for temporary access pending in a given area or along a given stretch of highway can completion of the improvements. be provided. It also enables these agencies to iden- Identify expected future mitigation measures, includ- tify current access problems and to work toward their ing traffic limitations and lots with "nonconforming" alleviation. access (as in Florida and New Jersey). It provides a coherent frame of reference for develop- ers and local governments. It provides a predictable As identified in NCHRP 548, the following issues should and consistent basis by which to plan and locate access be addressed in an AMP (3, p. 46): points, thereby introducing access considerations into the local planning process. Intergovernmental collaboration--The defining char- It gives property owners guidance for sharing access acteristic of a successful AMP is the level of coop- between two adjacent lots, consolidating access for eration achieved among affected property owners and contiguous lots, and obtaining alternative access via agencies involved in carrying out the plan. collector streets, local streets, or frontage roads. Access plans--These plans can be incorporated into the It can lead to a higher density of development from the project through the National Environmental Protection improved road capacity resulting from better traffic Act, road design, and public involvement processes and management. This translates into higher land values. documents. It can facilitate the administration of access regulations Incentives--Provide incentives to encourage local and the issuance of driveway permits. It assists munic- governments to initiate and develop plans. Incentives ipalities and developers by defining the conditions could include state and local sharing of costs and facili- under which driveway permits will be issued. A devel- tation of the permit review process.

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64 cials, citizens, and attorneys who interact with each other Support--Successful plans require supporting land and agency staff to shape land use and transportation poli- use actions by local jurisdictions. cies and make access decisions. A variety of jurisdictions New access approaches--The issuance of temporary may be involved, including local governments that share a access permits is one strategy for phasing and adjust- transportation corridor, state transportation agencies, and ing access as an area develops or is redeveloped. A tem- environmental agencies that address land use and devel- porary permit can specify when a temporary driveway opment issues. Because access management is multidisci- is to be removed and a permanent driveway installed. plinary, it requires partnerships within organizations and This requires careful planning and coordination and a greater awareness of how decisions of one division affect clear understanding of who pays for what. the next. Government agencies must collaborate--both internally and with other agencies--if they are to manage As indicated in the Access Management Manual, the access effectively. defining characteristic of a successful AMP is the level of cooperation achieved among affected property owners and Implementation of an access management program often agencies involved in carrying out the plan. If a state high- requires new staff skills and involves new agency proce- way is involved, such cooperation is even more critical. This dures. It is advisable, therefore, to provide early and ongo- cooperation is critical because state agencies have little or ing training for agency staff. Training provides a variety of no jurisdiction over land development issues that must be benefits, including the following (1, p. 47): addressed to carry out the plan. Such authority rests with local planning and development agencies and is exercised Preparing staff and consultants to address various through the political process--a process heavily influenced challenges in planning, design, and permitting, includ- by affected property owners and the general public (1, pp. ing methods of working with applicants and the public 8384). Keeping staff and consultants up to date on technical advances in the field Identifying implementation problems Promoting good communication and dialogue within Education, Training, and Community Outreach and across agencies involved in access issues Building interest in and support for access As indicated in the Access Management Manual (1, pp. management 1011), access management has many dimensions. It Improving consistency in decision making crosses jurisdictions, organizational lines, and profes- sions. The primary professions that guide development-- Workshops provide an opportunity for closer interaction planners, engineers, and architects--have important roles between agency personnel and those with expertise in access in determining access outcomes (summarized in Table management or related issues. This interaction can be benefi- 18). Other key players include developers, elected offi- cial for addressing specific program objectives, such as median TABLE 18 TYPICAL PROFESSIONAL ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN ACCESS MANAGEMENT Architects/Site Transportation/Urban Planners Transportation Engineers a Civil/Design Engineers a Designers a Classify roadway by function and Establish right-of-way widths and Develop construction specifica- Influence roadway design desired level of access control roadway cross sections tions and standards and cross-section criteria Produce plans, studies and poli- Develop standards and guidelines Prepare roadway construction Establish design and lay- cies that relate to access for access design, location and plans and specifications out of development sites spacing Develop regulatory programs for Prepare construction plans and Determine relationship of Review access and signal requests, land development and access specifications for site buildings to internal and prepare traffic impact analyses management improvements external circulation Review traffic impact analyses and Address access issues in subdivi- Review and approve construc- Prepare site access and cir- approve site access and circulation sion and site plan review tion plans and design variances culation plans plans; issues access permits Source: Access Management Manual (1, Chapter 1, p.11, Table 1-1). Note: These roles and responsibilities are not necessarily discrete, given the overlap across the planning, engineering, and architectural professions. a Have liability for access design decisions under tort claims.