NCHRP Report 548: A Guidebook for Including Access Management in Transportation Planning

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Abstract:

Rose, D., J. Gluck, K. Williams and J. Kramer, NCHRP Report 548: A Guidebook for Including Access Management in Transportation Planning, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C. (2005)

      The purpose of this guidebook is to provide guidance on integrating access management principles into various levels of transportation planning. The focus is on establishing a planning and policy foundation for the later implementation of access management, so access decisions are not simply made on a project or permit basis. As noted in the guide: “Access management is most effective when it is implemented at the system level and applied consistently by the different functional organizations within a transportation agency that are responsible for planning, designing, and operating the highway system. This requires a policy mandate through statute; administrative code; local ordinances; or agency policies, procedures, and design standards.” 

      NCHRP Report 548 advises that an effective access management program would include the following elements:

  • Develop and implement an access classification system to apply access standards based on the roadway’s functional class;
  • Employ the access classification system to plan, design, and maintain the roadway system;
  • Define the level of access permitted for each category of the classification;
  • Establish spacing criteria for signalized and unsignalized accesses;
  • Apply engineering standards of geometric design and traffic engineering to access points or strategies;
  • Establish policies, regulations, guidelines, and permitting procedures to implement the access management program; and
  • Ensure coordination and support among all agencies that can impact the access and operations of facilities.

      Guidance is provided at the policy, system, and corridor planning levels, along with guidance on integration with land use planning and development review processes. Figure x illustrates the various layers of transportation planning activities, which benefit from attention to access management principles, policies and practices. 

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