What is an Access?
An access, as related to roadways, is a location where vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians may enter and/or exit a roadway. Access may be public, such as a County Road, or private, such as a driveway to a business or residence. Every property owner has the right of reasonable access to the general street system.
Why is access management beneficial?
Access management benefits communities by preserving and improving traffic operations along the State’s most critical highways. Efficiently managing existing roadways so that they are operating to their fullest capacity costs less than investing in new roadways. Applying access management techniques can increase highway capacity by 20% to 40%.
Access management also has tremendous safety benefits. Studies have shown a 30% to 60% reduction in crashes on roadways where access management techniques are implemented.
The reduction in vehicle conflicts has the added benefit of improving traffic flow, reducing travel times, increasing fuel efficiency and contributing less to air pollution. Access management is also good for business, providing safe access to customers and retaining more of a community’s original market area.
How is Access to the State Highway system controlled today?
By law, CDOT currently manages access to the State Highway system in accordance with the State Highway Access Code (SHAC). The State Transportation Commission assigns each segment of highway an access category based on the general function of the segment. The SHAC then defines specific criteria for access location, level of access, and required infrastructure improvements by category. Implementation of access using the SHAC is on a first-come, first-serve basis and CDOT only has the authority to consider transportation elements on an individual basis as properties develop and redevelop. If a development or redevelopment increases traffic by 20% or more, a property owner is required to apply for a State Highway Access Permit. CDOT may only permit access improvements that are in compliance with the SHAC.
What is an Access Plan?
An access plan provides a unified vision of the future access needs for a particular roadway corridor. Generally, access plans seek a balance between state and local transportation objectives. The goal is to define safe and effective access to support the economic viability of the corridor, while preserving the functionality of the highway as a through roadway.
An access plan defines existing and future access locations and configurations, with consideration for spacing, traffic movements, circulation, and alternative access opportunities. It is a long-range planning document that identifies access conditions that will be implemented as highway and land-use characteristics change.
Once an Access Control Plan is adopted, all action taken in regard to access must be in conformance with the Plan and State Highway Access Code design standards. Modifications to the plan must be approved by the local governing agency (Delta County) and the CDOT.
Why is adopting an Access Control Plan beneficial?
Adopting an Access Control Plan (ACP) is the one method defined by the State Highway Access Code for local government and CDOT to cooperatively plan for future access to the State Highway system. An Access Control Plan allows the County to participate in making decisions about access that are more consistent with the local vision, existing and future land use, and the local transportation system rather than having access defined solely by the criteria from the SHAC.
In addition, the ACP addresses access on a corridor-wide basis rather than an individual, first-come, first-serve basis. An ACP considers how adjacent access points impact each other and provides property owners with security in the planned access for their property. Recommendations of the ACP consider adjacent land use, corridor specific
conditions and local plans for future improvements and may allow for closer access spacing and increased level of access than the criteria of the State Highway Access Code, where technical analyses can demonstrate adequate safety and operations.
How is the Access Plan implemented?
The access plan will be implemented in phases as changes and growth occur around Summit County, Breckenridge, and Blue River. Portions of the plan will be implemented based on the following triggers:
- Redevelopment that increases traffic at the site by more than 20%
- Publicly funded project by the CDOT or a local entity – see next question
- Safety or operational issue
Implementation would be triggered by land use changes or development/redevelopment. If nothing changes, nothing changes.
Who is sponsoring the CO 9 South Summit Access Plan?
The Town of Blue River, the Town of Breckenridge, Summit County, and CDOT are jointly sponsoring the CO 9 South Summit Access Plan. Stolfus &, Associates, Inc. is leading the development of the Plan.
What area does the project include?
The Access Plan study area covers approximately 8.75 miles of CO 9 from Carroll Lane to Broken Lance Drive/Boreas Pass Road.
How long will it take to complete the Access Plan?
The CO 9 South Summit Access Plan project began in October, 2018. Development of the Access Plan recommendations will take approximately one year. Once the Plan has been completed, The Town of Blue River, the Town of Breckenridge, Summit County, and CDOT will formally adopt the plan through an Intergovernmental Agreement. Adoption is expected in November, 2019.
How can I get more information about the project?
Visit the County’s website atwww.co.summit.co.us/hwy9south or contact one of the project team representatives:
CDOT wants to hear from you! Nobody knows Colorado’s traffic and transportation problems better than the people who are in it every day. Visit YourTransportationPlan.MetroQuest.com to tell us where problems exist and what CDOT’s priorities should be!