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80 The review of local ordinances and state and local government coordination practices indi- cates that access management is being actively implemented throughout the United States. Some local governments have enacted systemwide thoroughfare plans and ordinances. Others have enacted intergovernmental corridor access management agreements and overlay districts for high-priority corridors. Unique practices also were identified, such as county use of subdivi- sion authority to manage and control access in Dakota County, Minnesota; Evansville, Indiana, MPOâs multimodal access management guidelines; and, in Vermont, South Burlingtonâs use of trip budgets to incentivize access management. Typical features of local ordinances reviewed included access classification schemes and cor- responding 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. Some smaller or more rural juris- dictions extended access spacing criteria to nonstate highways on the basis of 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 relative to streets and bicycle/pedestrian ways. Methods include subdivision regulations, street spacing and connectivity requirements, form-based codes, density bonuses, pedestrian cut-through require- ments, and limits on culs-de-sac. 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 infrastruc- ture. Other types of density bonuses incentivize pedestrian connections in subdivisions, par- ticularly in developments with culs-de-sac, as in Mesa County, Colorado, and the city of Leeâs Summit, Missouri. Some local governments use zoning overlays specifically to implement access management; examples include the performance-based traffic overlay district in South Burlington, Vermont, and the interchange overlay district in Yamhill County, Oregon. Bothell, Washington, has a transportation benefit district overlay that serves to fund access management and related proj- ects 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 classifications within the area of the major thoroughfare. C H A P T E R 6 Conclusions
Conclusions 81 State transportation agencies were important influencers in advancing local access manage- ment plans and ordinances. A majority of state transportation agencies have an access manage- ment program that includes some form of access classification system for state highways (Gluck and Lorenz, 2010). Local governments frequently adapted these state DOT access classification schemes for application on state and local thoroughfares, adopted the state scheme by refer- ence into their regulatory code to ensure consistent application on state highways, or both. In addition, some states, such as Kentucky, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota, have produced model ordinances, and elements of these have been adopted in varying degrees into local gov- ernment codes. Many of the state transportation agencies have also actively worked with local governments on access management plans, components of which have been carried through into local ordinances or implementation practices. A majority of the states responding to the survey (92 percent) said that they do coordinate with local governments when managing access to state highways in their local jurisdictions. Eighty-seven percent are contacted by local agencies at the early stages of development review when development on local roads is anticipated to affect state highways. However, several states added that such coordination is limited or sporadic. Some states added that the level of coordi- nation varies depending on certain factors, such as the size of a development, the type of highway where access is requested, or whether the local agency has entered a corridor access management agreement. And although subdivision regulation is a first line of defense against access problems, only 66 percent of states said that they review subdivision applications on state highways for conformance with state rules and regulations governing access. A variety of activities were identified by the states with regard to coordination with local gov- ernments in access management. These included coordination meetings, joint participation in development review and permitting, arterial management plans, and intergovernmental agree- ments or memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with local agencies relative to access manage- ment plans and strategies. More than half of the states responding to the survey (63 percent) have launched initiatives to strengthen state and local government collaboration on access management. These initiatives included manuals and training, technical assistance, model ordinances, brochures and online resources, and corridor access management plans and agreements, as mentioned. A few states, such as Kansas and Colorado, also said that they provide some funding for local access manage- ment projects that support an adopted state highway access management plan. Several examples of coordination and collaboration were provided by the states. Tennessee DOT, for example, uses corridor management agreements and committees to work closely with local and regional agencies to coordinate transportation and land use decisions along state high- ways. Virginia DOT coordinates with local governments in preparing and implementing arte- rial management plans in the comprehensive plan development process and through informal communication during the land use and project development process. Virginia DOT also offers a biennial transportation and land use planning conference to disseminate planning best prac- tices, including access management. 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 developing 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. Caltrans has a local development- intergovernmental review process designed to manage potentially adverse impacts of local devel- opment on the transportation system.
82 Incorporating Roadway Access Management into Local Ordinances Pennsylvania DOT leads a local government outreach program called PennDOT Connects, which helps establish coordination through training modules, requirements for state/local col- laboration, implementation timelines, and other resources. Vermont agencies (VTrans and Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission) have also established a precedent for formal outreach to localities, a strategy that can encourage use of the access management resources already available through the states. When the states were asked about effective practices and lessons learned, the consensus was that early and frequent communication is the key to successful cooperation and coordination between state and local agencies on access management. Developing strong working relation- ships with local agencies was another important success factor identified by the states. Other lessons include maintaining consistency in feedback to local agencies, providing frequent oppor- tunities for education and technical assistance, and constantly working to build trust between state and local agencies. Case example participants indicated that local motivations for engaging in access manage- ment include economic development, a desire to improve safety, and opportunities to receive funding for roadway improvements. Quality of life issues also were mentioned, with some seeing access management as a way to preserve community character as the area grows. Technical assis- tance in access management planning, model ordinances, and guidance documents from the state transportation agency were mentioned as beneficial to advancing the state of local practice, and their use was clearly evident in several of the ordinances reviewed. State or county transportation agency review of lot splits was also seen as effective in raising local awareness of the need for internalizing and consolidating access to individual lots on major roadways. Early intervention by the state on land division and access management strategies could increase local government cooperation in newly urbanizing areas. After land is divided and sold to separate owners, achieving a coordinated plan for future access is far more chal- lenging. Simple lot split requirements, such as those used by Citrus County, Florida, on U.S. Highway 19, also were seen as successful in preventing access problems before they occur. In high-growth regions, states could also provide access management workshops or regularly scheduled opportunities to discuss access permitting with affected local governments, as is done by some Florida DOT Districts. Case example participants acknowledged that their access management efforts have been ben- eficial, and they 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 community 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. Gaps in current knowledge include a lack of information on how local governments are addressing access management in the context of complete streets and multimodal initiatives. 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 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. Having such guidance material would provide an excellent starting point for practitioners struggling to move forward.
Conclusions 83 Another gap identified is a lack of information at the state level on the number of local juris- dictions that have or have not adopted an access management ordinance. The responses from state 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 coor- dinate with the state DOT on arterial access management. Research could be initiated to track the number and coverage of local access management ordinances on a regional or statewide basis. This would provide a useful database for DOTs and could include success stories, effective implementation practices, and areas for future improvement.