Access management addresses a broad array of quality of life issues fundamental to promoting livable, prospering communities. Land division and access controls:
• foster effective network planning and well-designed circulation systems that improve the safety, operation and character of transportation corridors;
• discourage subdivision practices that destroy the rural character of the landscape or essential natural resources;
• advance economic development goals by promoting more efficient use of land and transportation systems; and
• help control public service costs and the substantial public investment in infrastructure and services.
Effective local access management requires planning as well as regulatory solutions. Local governments should establish a policy framework that supports access management in their local comprehensive plan, adopt access management plans for high priority routes or specific problem areas such as interchanges, and encourage good site planning techniques. Local governments are also strongly encouraged to prepare thoroughfare plans to guide development of the overall transportation network. Land development and subdivision regulations should be amended accordingly and local governments may consider a separate access management ordinance. Local access management programs should address commercial development along thoroughfares, as well as flag lots, residential strips, and other issues related to the division and subdivision of land. Comprehensive and subarea plans provide the rationale for access management programs and can serve as the legal basis for public policy decisions. Part 1 on this report discusses the various access management strategies suggested for local government application. Part 2 of the report provides model ordinance language for adoption into the local land development code. Local governments should obtain professional planning and legal assistance when adapting this model language to fit local needs. Because access management can be controversial, planning officials are also advised to develop strategies for addressing potential concerns before advancing recommendations. Be aware of the practical concerns of those most affected by proposed amendments and craft effective variance procedures and other strategies to provide flexibility where appropriate and ameliorate hardship. Public meetings, advisory committees, opinion surveys, and other techniques can be used to inform stakeholders and generate support.