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FHWA Scan Tour 2006
In the fall of 2006, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) conducted a domestic access management scan tour. This document provides the results from the tour. FHWA funded the tour to focus attention on access management successes involving local jurisdictions. The scan tour provides good examples that demonstrate the role that local jurisdictions can play in coordinating their transportation planning, development review and permitting process, and comprehensive planning to achieve good access management outcomes. The scan tour found that a major key to success with access management is a multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional approach that brings engineering, transportation planning, and land use decision-making together.
Access management has been recognized as a way to improve the safety and performance of our roadways for decades with the first statewide programs being implemented in the 1970s and 1980s. However, the benefits of access management can be undervalued and ignored as an engineering and safety element in roadway design and decision making. This is often because the authority for the decisions that affect access management are fragmented across engineering; development review and permitting; land use planning functions in local jurisdictions and between different levels of government. Despite a large body of research demonstrating the benefits, as a nation, we still struggle to implement access management principles even though they are recognized as a cost effective means to improving the safety, mobility, and productivity of our highways.
Scan Tour Goals
One of the main goals of the access management scan tour was to increase awareness of access management success stories involving local jurisdictions and provide opportunities for information exchange among local units of government.
The scan tour involved the on site review and discussion of lessons learned in three site locations:
Dakota County, Minnesota.
Gateway 1 Corridor, Maine.
The scan tour participants concluded that:
Dakota County, Minnesota, demonstrates very successful efforts in planning and implementing various access management practices and strategies. Their success is due to directly addressing access management in transportation plans and in development review and approval. The local jurisdiction has worked across functions with private property owners and other units of government to consistently implement a clearly defined plan for access.
The Gateway 1 Corridor, Maine, is an area that shows success in gaining support and cooperation from all 21 existing towns along the corridor. The key to success is the prioritized planning and preservation of mobility arterial corridors. As part of implementing access management practices and strategies among the 21 towns, the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) has worked to preserve the historical and cultural legacy of each town.
Brewer, Maine, demonstrates the successful implementation of access management practices in a previously developed area. Their success comes from promoting traffic flow along their main corridor by using alternative accesses for local business, providing shared accesses between businesses, and taking other actions to reduce back ups on the local roads.