Regulating interchanges, intersections, driveways and median openings to a roadway is known as Access Management. Its objectives are to enable access to land uses while maintaining roadway safety and mobility by controlling access location, design, spacing and operation. The goals of access management are to increase corridor travel efficiencies, decrease conflict points, increase overall safety, provide a friendlier bike/pedestrian environment and enhanced corridor character.
Examples of poor access management include, high volume corridors lined with individual driveways, continuous turning lanes used as acceleration lanes and congestion caused by constant turning. Addressing problems resulting from poor access management may require adjustment to ordinances, comprehensive plans and multi-municipal or PennDOT coordination. Successful access management requires the cooperation of officials, professionals, landowners and the public.
In 2006, PennDOT published Access Management: Model Ordinances for Pennsylvania Municipalities Handbook. The handbook sets down access management goals and includes model ordinances. The handbook also outlines 10 principles for an access management system:
- Provide a specialized roadway system
- Limit direct access to major roadways
- Promote intersection hierarchy
- Locate signals to promote through movements
- Preserve the functional area of intersection and interchanges
- Limit the number of conflict points
- Separate conflict areas
- Remove turning vehicles from through-traffic lanes
- Use non-traversable medians to manage turn movements
- Provide a supporting street and circulation system
In 2003, the Transportation Research Board published “The Access Management Manual.” This document must be ordered from the organization at a cost of $80. It focuses on engineering solutions and best design practices for access management along corridors. It provides a menu of options for municipal engineers and planners to choose from when implementing an access management program.
- More efficient travel along corridors
- Better roadway safety
- Provision of adequate bike/pedestrian facilities
- Opportunities to create better spatial character
- Pushback from property owners concerned that limiting access will hinder economic development
- Some strategies can be expensive through the study and planning process to implementation of improvements.
- Contact your local PennDOT for access management policies and to identify state roads
- Engage landowners early in the process
- Contact the Harrisburg Area Transportation Study (HATS) for technical support
[i] TR News “Access Management Manual: TRB Committee Documents the State of the Art” September/October 2003 http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/trnews/trnews228_p39-40.pdf, Accessed 4/27/12