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Access Management & Corridor Planning

The 119th Maine Legislature approved LD 2550, An Act to Ensure Cost Effective and Safe Highways in Maine. The purpose of the act is to assure the safety of the traveling public and protect highways against negative impacts of unmanaged drainage. The law is intended to ensure safety, manage highway capacity, conserve state highway investment, enhance economic productivity related to transportation; and conserve air, water, and land resources. The Access Management Program for Maine includes Access Management Rules and Corridor Planning and Preservation Initiatives.

The Rules

The Act specifically directs the MDOT and authorized municipalities to promulgate rules to assure safety and proper drainage on all state and state aid highways with a focus on maintaining posted speeds on arterial highways outside urban compact areas. The law also requires that the rules include standards for avoidance, minimization, and mitigation of safety hazards along the portions of rural arterials where the 1999 statewide average for driveway related crash rates is exceeded. Those rural arterials are referred to in the rules as "Retrograde Arterials".

The full set of rules became effective on May 25, 2002.

Corridor Planning and Preservation Initiatives

Access management rules are viewed as only one part of the statewide access management program. The program envisions prioritized planning and preservation of Mobility Arterial corridors most at risk of losing capacity, safety, and of decreasing posted speeds, due to increasing development and commuter and visitor pressures. Mobility arterial corridors most at risk are those designated as NHS highways and highways where:

  • Congestion is already being experienced,

  • Driveway related crash rates exceed the 1999 statewide average,

  • Municipalities have designated growth areas,

  • Water and sewer infrastructure exists,

  • Natural resources are threatened (e.g. water supply or salmon watersheds),

  • MDOT highway reconstruction projects are planned, or

  • Areas experiencing rapid uncontrolled growth.

The identification of these "most-at-risk" Mobility Arterial corridors is currently under way.

The Corridor Planning and Preservation Program includes corridors where MDOT, in partnership with adjoining municipalities, property owners, corridor committees, Scenic Byway corridor committees, and other stakeholders along a mobility arterial join forces to develop strategies that assures the stated purposes of the Access Management Law are met and maintained. Corridor Planning and Preservation Program partnerships would outline appropriate locations for access management techniques such as:

  • Access rights acquisition,

  • Development of frontage roads and shared driveways,

  • Intersection improvements,

  • Development of turn lanes,

  • Installation of signals, and

  • Development of appropriate local land use regulations that meet the intent of the law.

Plans will be required to outline corridor protection measures that assure maintenance of safety and speed, and management of drainage, as well as the development, protection, or enhancement of important natural and/or man-made environmental features along the highway corridor.

 

 

This page last updated on 6/23/14