Access Management Code

“Access management” takes a comprehensive view of property access relative to the function of the streets from which it is provided. The objective of access management is to optimize, or find that right balance, between property access and traffic safety and efficiency, particularly along arterial streets. In other words, access is viewed in the context of the street system instead of just the individual property. Even further, access should be viewed in the context of the ultimate traffic volumes. What might appear acceptable one day may well be perceived differently in a long-term perspective.

Access management is the careful planning and design of driveways, median openings, interchanges, and street connections to a roadway. It also involves the application of median treatments and turning lanes, and the appropriate separation of traffic signals. This is done to maintain the viability of major roadways to safely and efficiently accommodate traffic volumes commensurate with their function. It is the arterial street network that is key to the success of transportation within a community and it represents perhaps the greatest financial infrastructure investment.

Access management requires that all properties have reasonable access to the public roadway system. Existing access may be improved as to comply with best practices in access management as redevelopment, surrounding development or capital projects occur, but due to existing constraints, some access may never be fully improved. The objective of this Access Management Code is to avoid further degradation caused by access in already developed areas and to prevent the creation of problems in the future. The net effect of access management along arterial streets is that the supporting networks of collector and local streets, and even inter-parcel connectivity, become more critical to effective circulation and property access.

The ultimate configuration of a street and its function are typically the result of land use planning, transportation planning, and traffic engineering. The concept of access management integrates these activities in order to optimize the safety and performance of the public street network, a significant infrastructure investment vital to the public health, safety and well-being of the community.