Montana Department of Transportation

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Hamilton Access Control Project

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Access Management Plan?

Access management is the careful planning of the location, design and operations of driveways, median openings, traffic signals and street connections. The purpose of access management is to provide access to properties in a manner that preserves the safety and efficiency of the transportation system.

Access management ordinances help alleviate the conditions caused by unregulated curb cuts and commercial development along major corridors by providing guidelines for traffic signal spacing, location of driveways, median openings, and multimodal options. In the absence of access management, growing corridors can deteriorate functionally and aesthetically, with rising levels of intersection congestion and turning-movement crashes affecting social, economic, physical and environmental quality.

When does the construction start?

No construction will occur with the Access Management project - the goal of the project is to enhance the traffic safety and mobility of US Highway 93 by managing and spacing approaches along the route. When finalized, the plans will help guide the approval of future requests for access along the highway and help landowners, developers, and local governments better understand how access management will affect the development of properties adjoining the road. Implementation will occur over time based on traffic and safety needs, available funding and development/redevelopment.

What are the benefits of access management?

User Benefits of Access Management
User Benefit
Motorists Fewer delays and reduced travel times
Safer traveling conditions, reduced crashes
Bicyclists Safer traveling conditions
Fewer potential conflict points with vehicles
More predictable motorist movements
More options in a connected street network
Pedestrians Fewer potential conflict points with vehicles
More median refuges
More pleaseant walking environment
Transit Users Fewer delays and reduced travel times
Safer, more convenient trips to and from transit stops in a connected network
Freight Fewer delays and reduced travel times
Business Owners More efficient roadway system serving customers
More pleasant roadway corridor to attract customers
Shared accesses potentially allow more site area for parking, landscaping
Internal connections between businesses allow customers to circulate easily
Fewer conflict points entering and leaving business
Stable property values
Government Agencies Lower costs to achieve transportation goals and objectives
Protection of long-term investment in transportation infrastructure
Communities Reduced vehicular emissions
More attractive, efficient roadways without the need for constand road widening

Why are you reviewing or changing my access?

High numbers of approaches, limited sight distance, and major roadway junctions at unsignalized intersections are all factors that contribute to congestion and accident potential within the corridor. Implementing access management policies was recommended as a way to enhance the function of the existing road and promote safety. In order to complete our plan, we need to know the location, and size of every approach on the project to make sure it meets the needs of landowners and complies with the access management guidelines.

How is access management going to affect my business?

Managing access on a roadway improves traffic flow and reduces accidents, which provides a better overall experience for your clientele. Access management also reduces traffic congestion. As congestion increases, it takes more time for motorists to reach their destination, frustrating your potential customers. Imagine a driveway from a busy, congested highway – if a customer feels unsafe or uncomfortable accessing a business it may discourage them from making the trip. Please refer to the Safe Access is Good for Business report from the Federal Highway Administration for more information and studies that have been performed to determine business impacts from access management.