Research | 2013

Access Management Performance Measures for Virginia: A Practical Approach for Public Accountability

Connelly, J. P., L. A. Hoel, L. A. Lacy, and J. S. Miller. Access Management Performance Measures for Virginia: A Practical Approach for Public Accountability. Virginia Transportation Research Council, Virginia Department of Transportation, Charlottesville, Virginia (2010) [Connelly, J., L. Hoel and J. Miller, “Selection of Performance Measures for a State Access Management Program,” Transportation Research Board 89th Annual Meeting (2010)]

This study developed performance measurements for access management techniques for use by the Virginia DOT.  VDOT’s main concern was that the state’s access management program be clearly understood and communicated.  The research team defined three objectives for which access management performance can be measured: outcome (e.g. crash rates, delay), design (e.g. spacing and geometry of access points), and administrative procedures (e.g. communications among the state, local governments, and developers).  Measures were selected based on the following criteria – those that could be controlled by VDOT, could likely be improved, were actual outcomes (not outputs or inputs), would use attainable data, and were supported by results of a stakeholder survey conducted of localities, metropolitan planning organizations, planning district commissions, consulting firms, and VDOT. 

Measures for the Outcome objective were based upon the goals of access management as outlined in The Code of Virginia § 33.1-198.1.  After gauging data availability and usefulness, only one of five measures was selected for the Outcome category: crashes per million vehicle miles traveled.  Measures for the Objective category were based upon key access design principles in the TRB Access Management Manual.  Two measures were defined for this category: percentage of median openings with left turn lanes and percentage of signals with spacing at or above standard distance.  These measures were chosen because they are within the control of VDOT, are likely to improve, and can be calculated/obtained.  VDOT recognized that transportation and land use decisions lack coordination.  Under the administrative objective, the study recommended measuring percentage of localities with a corridor access management plan and the number of commercial entrance permits issued that meet access management standards.