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Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Incorporating Roadway Access Management into Local Ordinances. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25750.
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Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Incorporating Roadway Access Management into Local Ordinances. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25750.
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Page 2
Page 3
Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Incorporating Roadway Access Management into Local Ordinances. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25750.
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Page 3
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Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Incorporating Roadway Access Management into Local Ordinances. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25750.
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Page 4
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Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Incorporating Roadway Access Management into Local Ordinances. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25750.
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1 Access management is vital to multimodal safety and operations. Managing access con- nections to roadways reduces crash frequency and improves the operational performance of roadways for all users. Access management is also a foundational element of thorough- fare and network planning and design. Roadway functional purpose, typology, existing and planned land use context, and modal priority are all integral to determining appropriate standards for access location, spacing, and design. Continuous and connected pedestrian and bicycle networks, and direct pedestrian and bicycle connections to developments and transit stops, are other components of access management programs. Tools used by state transportation agencies to manage roadway access include roadway design features, such as turn lanes and nontraversable medians, and permitting to manage the location, spacing, and design of driveway and street intersections. Transportation impact studies are used in the review of access proposals to identify improvements needed to miti- gate identified operational and safety impacts. These same tools are used by local agencies, which also have far-reaching authority to manage the use and subdivision of land, as well as the development of street and pedestrian/bicycle networks. Because of their many func- tions, local governments are well positioned to develop a comprehensive and effective access management process. Given the separation of authority between state and local governments over land devel- opment and access, intergovernmental coordination is integral to effective access manage- ment. State agencies have little or no authority over the land development process that leads to access requests, and local governments typically have little or no authority over access permitting decisions on state highways. Where state and local agencies have acted independently, the typical result has been inconsistent decision making and enforcement problems. State and local agencies can achieve far more through mutual cooperation than either agency could achieve alone. The objective of the synthesis is twofold. The synthesis documents regulatory tools and practices used by local governments to implement access management, and it provides examples of how state transportation agencies are coordinating with local governments to advance access management goals. Information documented in the synthesis relates to two key areas of inquiry: 1. Local access management ordinances: such as local regulatory plans; access manage- ment policies; roadway functional classification policies; zoning requirements that relate to access, land division, and subdivision regulations; site plan review requirements; and other relevant regulatory strategies. 2. State/local collaborative initiatives: examples of collaborative initiatives that pro- mote state and local coordination in arterial access management, such as cooperative S U M M A R Y Incorporating Roadway Access Management into Local Ordinances

2 Incorporating Roadway Access Management into Local Ordinances agreements, corridor plans, access classification schemes, training, outreach, funding, and technical assistance. The following methods were used to develop the synthesis: 1. A scanning survey was sent to each state transportation agency soliciting information on local agencies involved in access management and successful state and local government collaborative initiatives; 2. An announcement requesting examples of local access management ordinances and strategies was circulated through the ITE Community Member Forum, American Asso- ciation of Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and National Association of Regional Councils; 3. A review of the literature and agency guidance documents; internet resources; and adopted regulatory plans, cooperative agreements, and ordinances; and 4. Development of case examples of selected local practices and state/local collaborative initiatives through in-depth review of documents and discussions with staff. The scanning survey was distributed to each state transportation agency to gain insight into current practices related to state and local coordination in managing access to the state highway system. State officials were also asked to identify any local governments they are aware of that are active in access management in their state. Given the need for local knowledge, central office respondents were encouraged to share the survey with field staff or regional offices. A total of 38 states responded to the survey, with additional responses provided by field offices in a few of the states. Appendix B includes questions and responses received. Ninety-two percent of states responding to the scanning survey said that they coordinate to varying degrees with local governments when managing access to state highways in their local jurisdictions. A variety of activities were identified by the states with regard to coordi- nation with local governments in access management. These included coordination meet- ings, joint participation in development review, collaborative permitting processes, arterial management plans, and intergovernmental agreements or memoranda of understanding (MOUs) between state and local agencies. In this report, intergovernmental agreements are defined as binding contracts that create legal rights and obligations for each party as they work toward a shared goal. MOUs establish the intent to pursue shared goals and can serve as the basis for a more formal agreement. Eighty-two percent of states responding to the survey said that local agencies contacted or coordinated with their state agency at the early stages of development review prior to approval when development on local roads was anticipated to affect state highways. Sixty- six percent of states said that they review subdivision applications on state highways for conformance with state rules and regulations governing access. The remaining respondents indicated that they sometimes (24 percent) or do not (11 percent) review subdivision appli- cations for access conformance. Sixty-three percent of states have launched initiatives to promote improved state and local government collaboration on access management. Initiatives identified in the survey were manuals and training, technical assistance, model ordinances, brochures and other online resources, as well as corridor access management plans and agreements or MOUs. A few states, such as Kansas and Colorado, said that they provide some funding for local access management projects that support an adopted state highway access management plan. A number of examples of coordination and collaboration were provided by the states responding to the survey. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), for exam- ple, coordinates with local governments through local participation in arterial management

Summary 3 plans, the comprehensive plan development process, a biennial transportation and land use planning conference to share information with local agencies, and informal communica- tion with local agencies during the land use and project development process. Pennsylvania DOT leads a local government outreach program called PennDOT Connects, which helps establish coordination through training modules, requirements for state/local collabora- tion, implementation timelines, and other resources. Tennessee DOT uses corridor management agreements to work closely with local and regional agencies to coordinate transportation and land use decisions along state high- ways. California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has a local development- intergovernmental review (LD-IGR) process designed to manage potentially adverse impacts of local development on the transportation system. New Hampshire DOT has MOUs with local agencies that outline the terms of coordination for local/state highway access management processes. Joint responsibilities as outlined in the MOUs include devel- oping procedures for coordinating site plan approvals and driveway access permits and establishing an access management technical committee to coordinate concurrent review of site plans and driveway access permit applications. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) commissioned the development of model regulations for local governments in the 1990s to address widespread access manage- ment problems associated with splitting subdivisions and lots along state highways. Sub- sequent training resulted in adoption and implementation of access management policies and regulations in numerous Florida cities and counties, and many other jurisdictions across the United States. The model access management regulations were updated in 2017, and are discussed in this report. Numerous local government access management ordinances and regulatory plans were also identified and reviewed for the synthesis (see Chapter 4 and Appendix D). Typical features of local ordinances reviewed included (1) access classification schemes and cor- responding spacing standards, (2) interparcel cross access requirements, (3) intersection functional area or corner clearance standards, (4) limits on driveways per site, (5) unified access and circulation requirements for outparcels, (6) allowances for deviations from stan- dards, and (7) access permitting and development (site plan) review procedures and crite- ria. Some smaller or more rural jurisdictions extended access spacing criteria to non–state highways on the basis of the posted speed limit. Some local agencies had detailed traffic impact study requirements that addressed access and site circulation issues and a few had provisions for auxiliary lanes and medians. Methods to address existing nonconforming access in ordinances include thresholds or criteria whereby existing site access is subject to new standards, review, and approval procedures. Many of the communities reviewed are seeking to improve network connectivity rela- tive to streets and bicycle/pedestrian ways. Methods include subdivision regulations, street spacing and connectivity requirements, form-based codes, density bonuses, and limits on culs-de-sac or pedestrian cut-through requirements. An example is the I-Drive Overlay District in Orlando, Florida, which uses a form-based code to emphasize street networks and access in a high-density theme park district. St. Louis County, Missouri, uses form- based zoning overlays, offers bonuses for density near transit stops, and aims to integrate transit with bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Other types of density bonuses incentivize pedestrian connections in subdivisions, particularly in developments with culs-de-sac, as in Mesa County, Colorado, and the city of Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Some local governments use zoning overlays specifically to implement access manage- ment; examples include South Burlington, Vermont’s performance-based Traffic Overlay

4 Incorporating Roadway Access Management into Local Ordinances District and Yamhill County, Oregon’s Interchange Overlay District. Bothell, Washington, has a Transportation Benefit District overlay that serves to fund access management and related projects through increased vehicle registration fees within a bounded area. Major thoroughfare plans, as exemplified by the Tennessee cities of Franklin and Lebanon and the city of Orlando, Florida, were used to establish design standards for different access clas- sifications within the area of the major thoroughfare. The case examples offer insights into local government motivations for engaging in access management. These motivations include economic development, a desire to improve safety, and opportunities to gain funding for roadway improvements. Quality of life issues were also mentioned, with some seeing access management as a way to preserve community character and avoid the adverse consequences of urban sprawl as the area grows. In addition, technical assistance from the state transportation agency, county transportation agency, or both in access management planning, development or lot split review, model ordinances, and guidance documents was seen as beneficial to advancing the state of local practice. Case example participants acknowledged that their access management efforts have been beneficial and offered several examples, such as internalizing access onto street networks and removing or reconstructing unsafe intersections. Yet they also indicated that political and legal barriers continue to impede access management progress at both the state and local government level. Pressures and political influence from the development commu- nity for unrestricted access, coupled with a local desire for economic development, were identified as continuing challenges. Strategies for more effectively communicating the value of access management may be beneficial in overcoming these barriers, as would periodic outreach to local officials. State transportation agencies were important influencers in advancing local access man- agement plans and ordinances. Many state transportation agencies have an access manage- ment program that includes some form of access classification system for state highways. Local governments frequently adapted these state DOT access classification schemes for application on state and local thoroughfares, or they adopted the state scheme by reference into their regulatory code to ensure consistent application on state highways. Some states, such as Kentucky, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota, have produced model ordinances, elements of which have been adopted in varying degrees into local government codes. Many of the state transportation agencies also have actively worked with local governments on access management plans, components of which have been adopted into local ordinances or implementation practices. When states were asked about effective practices and lessons learned, the consensus was that early and frequent communication is the key to successful coordination with local agencies on access management. The development of strong working relationships with local agencies was another important success factor identified by the states. Other lessons include maintaining consistency in feedback to local agencies, providing frequent opportu- nities for education and technical assistance, and constantly working to build trust between state and local agencies. Consistent state and local standards and frequent communication are also identified in the literature review as key to effective state and local government coordination in access management. Gaps in current knowledge include a shortage of information on how local governments are addressing access management in the context of complete streets and multimodal initia- tives. Complete streets are an important and evolving consideration for access management not only for local agencies, but also for state transportation agencies. Yet few examples were identified of this important interface, and technical guidance is still emerging on effective

Summary 5 access management and design practices for multimodal corridors. Research is needed to develop model ordinances and agreements for different local government and land use contexts, including applications related to complete streets, form-based codes, and transit- oriented development. Such guidance material would provide a useful starting point for practitioners struggling to move forward. Another gap identified is a lack of information at the state level on the number of local jurisdictions that have or have not adopted an access management ordinance. The responses from state departments of transportation (DOTs) suggest that, despite regular coordination with some local agencies, many other local governments have either not adopted access management ordinances or do little to coordinate with the state DOT on arterial access management. Research could be initiated to track the number and cover- age of local access management ordinances on a regional or statewide basis. Such research would provide a useful database for DOTs and could include success stories, effective implementation practices, and areas for future improvement.

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Managing access connections to roadways is vital to safety and operational performance of roadways for all users. Given the separation of authority between state and local governments over land development and access, intergovernmental coordination is integral to effective access management.

The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program's NCHRP Synthesis 549: Incorporating Roadway Access Management into Local Ordinances documents regulatory tools and practices used by local governments to implement access management, as well as provides examples of how state transportation agencies are coordinating with local governments to advance access management objectives.

The review of local ordinances and state and local government coordination practices indicates that access management is being actively implemented throughout the United States. Typical features of local ordinances reviewed included access classification schemes and corresponding spacing standards, interparcel cross access requirements, intersection functional area or corner clearance standards, limits on driveways per site, unified access and circulation requirements for outparcels, allowances for deviations from standards, and access permitting and development (site plan) review procedures and criteria.

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