Road Hierarchical Classification versus Roadway Access Management

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Road Hierarchical Classification versus Roadway Access Management - Robby Robertson, Independent Consultant      
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Road access management has been a much debated topic for a number of years, with much of this centred on ‘roadway’ access for vehicular traffic. It is suggested that insufficient attention is given to the increasingly important role that road based public transport, pedestrians, cyclists and even heavy goods vehicle must play in future. This in the context of a better understanding of movement systems, the notions of ‘context sensitive’ or ‘complete street’ design, and ‘liveable’ & ‘sustainable’ neighbourhoods, towns and cities, all resulting in the development of more sustainable integrated urban and rural development environments.

The paper briefly sets out the author’s interpretation of current ‘road access management’ guidelines as recognised in the Republic of South Africa, and how these came about. It focuses on the principles that led to the development of a provincial guideline which preceded these national guidelines, and follows this with a discussion on how the authors believe the issue of road access management should be considered in future. In essence it is suggested that a clearer distinction needs to be made between the management of ‘roadway’ access for vehicular traffic on the one hand, and the hierarchical classification of roads as in the pursuance of holistic integrated planning, on the other. In support of the views expressed, the authors draw from work done in South Africa, international literature, and their collective experience in the fields of transportation planning and traffic engineering. 

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