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1996 National Conference on Access Management
A Compendium of Papers from the 2nd National Conference on Access Management
Held In Vail, Colorado
August 1 - 14, 1996
The Second National Conference on Access Management emphasized how comprehensive access management is an effective response to both the loss of arterial capacity and the high incidence of access related accidents that are plaguing our nations street systems. Many of the papers presented at the conference showed that a properly administered program of access management can reduce the frequency of fatal, injury, and property damage accidents; prolong the functional life of existing highways; and maintain the efficiency of the transportation system.
Session 1 - Whats Happening In Access Management
The opening session provided an overview of access management policies, standards, practices and issues. The
focus was on what is happening at both State and local levels of govemment.
The first speaker was Mr. Herb Levinson, a transportation consultant from New Haven, Connecticut. In his
presentation, entitled An Overview of Access Management at Selected State DOTS, Mr. Levinson presented
the results of a survey of eleven state departments of transportation. The survey addressed existing standards,
codes, policies and design guidelines. Court decisions that reinforced or had a negative impact on existing
practices were identified as were the reasons for past or planned revisions in practices.
The second speaker was Ms. Kristine Williams, a research associate with the Center for Urban Transportation
Research at the University of South Florida. Her presentation, entitled Local Governments and MPOs
Implementing Access Management provided information on access management implementation activities
practiced by selected local governments and MPOs.
Session 2 - Public Involvement and the Selling of Access Management
This session focused on methods, techniques and practices that can be implemented to generate public and
political support for access management programs and plans. This session focused on new ideas and lessons
learned in educating the public and obtaining buy-in from politicians, developers and citizens.
The first speaker was Ms. Kristine Williams from the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University
of South Florida. Her presentation entitled, Public Involvement and the Politics of Access Management,
reviewed federal requirements for public involvement in transportation, principles of public involvement, and
findings on how to effectively involve the public in access management decisions.
The next speaker was Mr. Del Huntington of the Oregon Department of Transportation. His paper, entitled
Marketing of Access Management, identified innovative and traditional methods for marketing access
management. Mr. Huntington discussed the limitations of some traditional marketing practices and identified
non-traditional techniques that he felt could overcome many of these limitations.
The final speaker was Mr. David Parisi, PE with the consulting firm of CH2M HILL. He presented a paper
entitled A Process to Obtain Public Buy-In for a Retrofit Access Management Project. The presentation
focused on the development of public involvement process for retrofitting access management along a corridor
in Oregon. Mr. Parisi described how the process dealt with the various interest groups. He identified the tools
that proved most effective in gaining public consensus. In addition, he detailed the methodology used to develop
alternative designs and recounted some of the challenges that were encountered during the project.
Session 3 - Legal Issues
The third session dealt with the many legal facets such as property rights, police powers, and eminent domain
issues that get attached to access management. The speakers addressed the roles that constitutional and case law
have played in both the structuring of access control statutes and in the process of denying or modifying access.
The views of both public agencies and developers were represented.
The first speaker was Mr. Richard Forester from Dispute Resolution Services, Oregon. In his presentation,
entitled The Interface of Access and Land Use - Developments in the Law, Mr. Forrester discussed several legal
cases attributable to access management programs and how some of the potential conflicts can be resolved. He,
also, summarized the current thinking of the courts as to what extent access controls can legally impact land use.
The second speaker was Ms. Lorinda Lasus, Deputy Attorney General, New Jersey Department of Law and
Public Safety. Her presentation, entitled Access Changes within Highway Reconstruction Projects and Eminent
Domain gave the goals and some of the features of New Jerseys access management program. The different
types of impacts that result from highway improvement projects were discussed. Ms. Lasus demonstrated, using
selected examples, the importance of coordinating access regulation and property acquisition in the planning and
design of improvement projects.
The third speaker was Mr. Robert Duncan LLB, Colorado who presented a paper entitled Property Rights May
Not be Ignored. He stressed the importance of property rights for businesses, merchandisers and their clientele.
He discussed some of the basic conflicts that arise when access to private business is restricted or otherwise
controlled and how the promulgating agency(s) should approach such conflicts.
Following Session 3, conference participants were given an opportunity to query a group of experts on legal
issues related to access management. The highlights of this session are provided in this compendium.
Session 4A - The Management of Access Management
This session focused on current access management programs and practices and the requirements for developing
and administering them. Good examples of what works and what doesnt were provided by the speakers.
The first presenter was Mr. Del Huntington, Access Management Coordinator, Oregon Department of
Transportation. His presentation entitled Access Management Program Development in Oregon presented the
background (history) and steps taken in developing Oregons access management program. Mr. Huntington
presented his thoughts as to the successes and pitfalls that occurred along the way.
The next speaker was Mr. David Geiger with the Michigan Department of Transportation. His presentation,
entitled Access Management in Michigan: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, provided the results from a review
of Michigan DOTs driveway permit process. Mr. Geiger presented recommended actions for both improving
the process and providing better guidelines on the design and location of access.
The third presenter, Dr. Raymond Brindle, ARRB from the Transport Research LTD, Australia, presented a
paper entitled An Australian Review of Access Management and the Land Planning Connection. His
presentation focused on a review of current access management practice in Australia. Issues from the review were
examined and observations and conclusions were presented. Dr. Brindle observed two different policy directions
evolving in Australia: employing enhanced practices to separate arterial traffic from local activities and
integrating traffic into urban activities in response to new urban design and traffic calming trends.
The fourth speaker was Mr. Yvan Rompre with the Ministere des Transports, du Quebec (MTQ), Canada. His
paper, entitled Road Corridor Management and Access Control, provided an overview of MTQ and their
access management practices. Mr. Rompre described how MTQ, because the provincial government no longer
has regulatory power over accesses, has been working with the regional bodies in Quebec to implement access
management programs. He provided his thoughts on how well this process has worked to date and what needs
to be accomplished in the future.
Session 4T - Signal Spacing
This session focused on the role that the spacing and density of signalized intersections plays in managing access.
Emphasis was placed on how signal spacing can dramatically impact the capacity, speed, flow and safety on
The first speaker was Mr. Herb Levinson who presented a paper entitled Signal Density - A Key To Access
Management. Mr. Levinson explained how signal spacing impacts speeds. He demonstrated the importance
of uniform and widely spaced signalized intersections for good traffic flow. The presentation stressed the
importance of incorporating minimum spacing or bandwidth criteria into access management policies and
The next speaker was Mr. Freddie Vargas, Florida Department of Transportation. His presentation, entitled
Access Management Warrant In Traffic Signal Justification?, examined the merits of using access
management, specifically signal spacing, as a criterion for warranting the signalization of intersections. Mr.
Vargas argued that existing warrants allow a proliferation of signals that often make it impossible to achieve good
progression along a roadway. He suggested that, perhaps, directional median openings and other treatments can
be used to eliminate the need for signals at certain locations.
The third speaker was Dr. Lee Han, Professor, University of Tennessee. His presentation, entitled Spacing,
Timing and Operational Interference Between Signalized Intersections, reviewed the effects that spacing, timing
and other operational characteristics of signalized intersections can have on traffic operations.
Session 5A - Access Planning And Development
This session focused on what local governments can do to better manage access within their jurisdiction.
Examples of existing access management programs being practiced at the local level were presented.
The first speaker was Ms. Mary Jo Vobejda, P.E. of CH2M HILL, Colorado. Her presentation, entitled
Development and Administration of an Access Management Program for Local Government, addressed the
development and operation of the access management program in Parker, Colorado. Ms. Vobejda laid out and
discussed the guiding elements of the program and explained the administrative process used to operate the
The next speaker was Mr. Stephan R. Ferranti, P.E., of SRF & Associates, New York. In his presentation,
entitled The Challenges (and Early Successes) of a Town Initiated Access Management Retrofit Program on
Two State Highways, Mr. Ferranti described the development and implementation of a Land Use and Access
Management Plan (LUAMP) in Penfield, New York. The plan specified the retrofit of a number of access
management techniques and measures on the existing routes that fall within the scope of the plan. Mr. Ferranti
discussed the progress to date and presented some observations on the past, present, and future impacts of this
The last speaker was Mr. Freddie Vargas, P.E. from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). His
presentation, entitled Access Management by Consensus, A Success Story, covered the development of the
access management process in Florida and explained how consensus building at project level has improved the
process. Mr. Vargas discussed how the process has worked in FDOTs District 4 and detailed some of the
efficiencies that have resulted.
Session 5T - Access Spacing
This session, which was jointly sponsored with the TRB Committee on Operational Effects of Geometrics,
focused on the development of access spacing(s) guidelines on urban arterial roads, The effects of access densities
on operations of these facilities were addressed.
The first speaker was Mr. Timothy White with the Virginia Department of Transportation. His presentation,
entitled Guidelines for Commercial Driveway Spacing on Urban and Suburban Arterial Roads, discussed
research that was conducted to establish guidelines for driveway spacing. Data was collected from a number of
urban and suburban sites in Virginia. Models that correlate both level of service and accident rate with driveway
spacing were developed using the data. Mr. White presented the conclusions of the research and the resultant
recommendations for spacing guidelines.
Next was a joint presentation by Dr. Kent Lall, Professor, and Mr. Ali Edhtedari, both of the Portland State
University. The presentation was entitled Access Management and Traffic Safety. It was based on a study of
accidents over a 29 mile section of Oregon Coast Highway 9 that was part of a research project to assist the
Oregon Department of Transportation in developing and maintaining the states Access Management Program.
Data bases were developed and analyses showed the direct relationship between access density and both the
number of accidents and their severity. Results also showed the improvements in accident rates that are realized
when non-traversable medians are introduced. Overall conclusions and recommendations were discussed by the
The third speaker was Dr. James L. Gattis with the Mack-Blackwell Transportation Center at the University of
Arkansas, and his presentation was entitled Comparison of Delay and Accidents on Three Roadway Access
Designs. Three segments in a city with a population of 40,000 were compared. Quality of service measured by
travel time runs and accident frequency over a three year period were compared for the three sections. The impact
of signalization, terrain, development bordering the roadways and driveway access were analyzed in an attempt
to explain the operational and safety differences among the three sections.
Session 6A - More on the Management of Access Management
This session addressed some of the major issues relating to project level access. It focused on permitting
processes and how the interests of developers and businesses are taken into consideration within these processes.
The first speaker, Mr. Arthur Eisdorfer with the New Jersey DOT, presented a paper entitled Variances-An
Important Part of Access Management Decisions. Mr. Eisdorfer explained the importance of providing for
variances in the application of any law, set of rules or guidelines. He stressed that there must be uniformity and
consistency when variances are granted. He discussed the evolution of the variance processes that are contained
in New Jerseys access management rules. Mr. Eisdorfer suggested how a hierarchy for variances might be
established and outlined conditions under which the granting of variances would be valid.
The next presenter was Ms. Denise Kors, P.E., Ministry of Transportation and Highways of British Columbia.
Her presentation entitled, Preliminary Consultation Program for the Access Management Project - British
Columbia, discussed the process that was utilized to consult with and gather information from stakeholders.
The objectives were to ascertain the issues, concerns and expectations these groups had with respect to the
Ministrys authority, policies, procedures or standards for controlling access.
The third speaker was Mr. Herbert S. Levinson, Consultant, Connecticut. The paper entitled Access
Management Practices in Connecticut described and assessed the State of Connecticuts past and ongoing access
management actions within the broader context of the States history, geography, and political structure. Mr.
Levinson presented access management proposals for a specific route in Connecticut. He discussed emergent
access management implications for local governments, regional planning agencies and the State.
The last speaker was Mr. Gary Sokolow with the Florida DOT. The presentation entitled, Deviations from
Median Opening Spacing Standards, detailed a procedure for making decisions regarding median treatments .
The starting point for identifying median opening standards was given. Deviations and problems associated with
different types of median openings were covered. Mr. Sokolow also discussed the public involvement process
used in Florida to build consensus regarding median design.
Session 6T - Geometric Design, Roadway Operation and Access
This session, which was sponsored jointly with the TRB Committee on Operational Effects of Geometrics,
presented studies that investigated the impacts of geometric design(s) on the operations and safety of traffic at
driveway and intersection locations.
The first speaker was Professor Peter S. Parsonson of the Georgia Institute of Technology. His presentation,
entitled Prefabricated Medians to Reduce Crashes at Driveways Close to Intersections, dealt with alternative
countermeasures for medians. Treatments were reviewed and recommendations for a prefabricated raised median
Next was Mr. Christopher Poe with the Texas Transportation Institute. Mr. Poes presentation, entitled Influence
of Access and Land Use on Vehicle Operating Speeds Along Low-Speed Urban Streets, covered geometric
design impacts on vehicle operating speed and safety for low-speed urban streets. Results of the FHWA
sponsored study that investigated the relationships between geometric design elements and vehicle operating
speeds were discussed. Mr. Poe presented the speed estimation model, developed in the study, which provides
feedback on how access density influences operating speeds.
The third speaker was Mr. Russell Micsky , a civil engineer with Gannett Fleming in Pennsylvania. The
presentation, entitled Sight Distance for Vehicles Turning Left Off Major Roadways, provides the results of
field observations for vehicles turning left off major roadways. Mr. Micsky emphasized the importance of
achieving sufficient at-grade sight distance and stressed that access management policies should recognize the
needs in their established standards and guidelines.
The last speaker was Mr. Patrick Hawley of the firm Howard, Needles, Tammin & Burgendoff in Wisconsin.
Mr. Hawleys presentation, entitled Guidelines for Left Turn Bays at Unsignalized Access Locations,
demonstrated guidelines for left-turn lanes at unsignalized locations that were developed using simulation models.
The subject guidelines show that a left-turn lane should be warranted at lower directional volumes than are
Session 7A - Corridor Case Studies
This session covered several corridor access management plans and case studies from Montana, Delaware,
Colorado and Kansas. The emphasis was on project scoping, the planning and design processes, and
The first speaker was Mr. Joseph Hart, P.E., Carter & Burgess Inc., Denver, Colorado. His presentation, entitled
US 93, Somers to Whitefish, Montana Access Management Issues, analyzed the issues encountered in the
planning and design of divided four- lane versus five- lane alternatives on US 93. The configurations were
analyzed in relation to the number of access points they would generate as well as to the anticipated benefits and
impacts. Possible treatments for induced U-turns were also discussed.
The next speaker was Mr. Robert Kleinburd, who is with FHWA in Delaware. His paper, entitled Corridor
Preservation in Delaware, analyzed the corridor preservation project along State Route (SR) 1 from Dover to
the Beaches. The Delaware DOT and FHWA, in cooperation with 2 counties, developed the goals and objectives
and project strategies. A major initiative was taken to control existing and planned access by controlling growth
and diverting access to the side roads Mr. Kleinburd presented the findings from the first 5 years of the project.
The final speaker was Mr. Mark Stuecheli, City of Overland Park, Kansas. The presentation was entitled Trials
and Tribulations of Enforcing a Locally Established, Corridor-wide, Restrictive Access Plan - Implementation
of the K- 150 Study. Mr. Stuecheli outlined the experience that the city of Overland Park has had in enforcing
an access management plan approved in 1986 for the K-150 corridor.
Session 7T - Models and Modeling for Access
This session focused on the use of models to simulate traffic and predict the impacts of various access
The first speaker was Mr. Freddie Vargas with the Florida Department of Transportation. He presented a paper
entitled Does Access Management Improve Traffic Flow? Can Netsim Be Used to Prove It?. Access
techniques were evaluated using TRAF-NETSIM to determine how they modify capacity and improve operational
conditions on roadways. The TRAF-NETSIM model was run for a variety of scenarios and the results were
evaluated. Mr. Vargas expressed a favorable experience with TRAF-NETSIM although he was surprised by the
insensitivities that TRAF-NETSIM displayed in regard to a number of varied access management strategies.
The second speaker was Mr. John Taber, Taber Engineering, Utah. His presentation, entitled Evaluating
Driveway Access and Intersection Design with Multiple Measures of Effectiveness, explained the model he is
developing. The model is intended to analyze access design alternatives for a multiplicity of MOEs. Mr. Taber
demonstrated how the effectiveness of controlling access(es) onto the roadway or modifying the design of the
intersection could be evaluated.
The next speaker was Dr. Alan Kaub with the Virginia Department of Transportation. Professor Kaubs
presentation was entitled Interactive Intersection Safety Design and the Access Management Accident (AMA)
Model. Dr. Kaub described how the model was developed and discussed some of the assumptions that were
employed. He presented some of the results that the model has provided to date.
The last speaker was Mr. Gary Sokolow with the Florida Department of Transportation. His presentation, entitled
Insights Into Access Management Details Using TRAF-NETSIM, addressed the usage of TRAF-NETSIM and
the difficulties that can occur in determining the relative effects of driveway designs, arterial volumes, presence
(or not) of driveway deceleration lanes and other factors. Mr. Sokolow warned that simulation results cannot be
used without caution and care although he agreed that using TRAF-NETSIM could provide some useful insights.
He displayed some results from simulation runs performed on several roadways and for a variety of alternative
Workshop and Seminar
One workshop and one seminar were conducted on the Sunday before the formal sessions began. The workshop
was on Highway Capacity for Non-Signalized Intersections and was conducted by Mr. Dane Ismart of FHWA.
The seminar provided an introduction to access management issues for people that are new to the field.
Demosthenes, Eisdorfer and Sokolow led this session. The highlights of the seminar are provided in this
The third speaker was Mr. Greg Walker of In Motion Inc., Denver, Colorado. He presented a paper entitled A
Case Study of Access Control - The History and Findings of Sheridan Boulevard Access Planning. The setting
of Sheridan Boulevard when access planning began and the planning objectives were discussed. Mr. Walker
explained that the plan addressed the amount and location of access, turn restrictions and potential future
signalization. The implementation process for the plan and lessons learned were delineated by the speaker.