​Access Management

As roadways develop and traffic increases, congestion occurs, adding to delays and the probability of crashes. To alleviate these problems, the use of access management is practiced.

 

What is access management?  

Access management is a technique used to improve efficiency and safety on roadways. It aims at focusing on the location, spacing, design of entrances, street intersections, median openings, and traffic signals by minimizing conflict points.

 

What are conflict points?

Conflict points are areas where traffic flow is disrupted or points where motorists crossing, merging or diverging from a road or driveway may collide with another motorist. See diagram below.

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What are the benefits of access management?

  • Reduces congestion
  • Enhances safety by eliminiating conflict points
  • Spurs economic development by promoting efficient movement of goods and services

 

Frequently used access management treatments

  • Traffic signal spacing: Proper access management requires appropriate traffic signals and intersection spacing. Signals should be at a minimum of one-half mile apart. Intersection spacing along thoroughfares and streets should range from half a mile to two miles.

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  • Driveway consolidating: Maintaining adequate spacing between commercial driveways is a critical aspect of access management. Research shows that roadways with a large number of closely spaced driveways are more problematic than those where driveway access is more limited.

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  • Turning lanes: Exclusive turning lanes eliminate vehicles from obstructing free flowing traffic. This includes dedicated left- and right-turn lanes, as well as U-turns, and roundabouts.

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  • Median redesign: One of the most effective access management tools is to use median treatments like raised medians.

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  • Frontage roads: These are roadways that are constructed generally parallel to a freeway or other highway. They have the ability to serve local traffic and keep it from congesting the freeway mainlanes, in addition to moving traffic during crash situations on the mainlanes.

 frontage_road_5.jpg

Access management and businesses

Studies show that businesses for specific purposes such as doctor’s offices and specialty retail stores are unaffected by access management.

Although pass-by businesses such as restaurants and gas stations may be affected, studies have shown that as long as reasonable access is provided, there are no negative impacts to business. In fact, a road that flows better leads to more vehicles passing by and seeing your business.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, "access is not the primary reason that businesses survive or fail. In fact, access is one of the lesser factors that customers will consider when weighed against price, service, product, and store amenities."

 

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