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Access Management Fact Sheet


  • In May 2000, the 119th Maine Legislature enacted P.L. 1999, ch. 676, An Act to Ensure Cost Effective and Safe Highways in the State, copy on back of this page.

  • This legislation directed MaineDOT to draft rules and regulations for the design of driveways and entrances on state and state aid highways.

  • This legislation required that the Legislature review and approve the portions of these rules applicable to arterial highways. These portions, known as major substantive rules, are shown in bold type in the draft rules.

What is access management?

  • Access Management is the planned location and design of driveways and entrances to public roads.

  • What are the goals of access management?

  • Increase Safety. Highway crashes related to cars entering and leaving the public way resulted in an estimated economic impact to the State of Maine of $1.2 billion over the past 10 years and of approximately $106 million in 1999 alone. In 1996, 1 in 6 crashes occurred at driveways or entrances; 1 in 5 people involved in crashes were involved in driveway or entrance related crashes. Access management will increase safety of highway and driveway users.

  • Enhance Productivity. Arterial highways represent only 12% of the state-maintained highway system, but carry 62% of the state-wide traffic volume. Maintaining posted speeds on this system means Maine’s people and its products move faster, thus enhancing productivity, reducing congestion-related delays and environmental degradation.

  • Avoid Future Construction Costs. By preserving the capacity of the system we have now, we reduce the need to build costly new highway capacity such as new travel lanes and bypasses.

How do the proposed rules achieve these goals?

  • The rules are organized in two parts: one set (green) applies to driveways (primarily residential) and the other set (blue) applies to entrances (primarily commercial).

  • Rules are tailored to match the function of the road - less restrictive on minor collectors and more stringent on arterials.

  • Rules provide permit-by-rule flexibility for farm and forest related uses.

What questions can I expect from my constituents?

  • Will these rules require me to give up my driveway(s)? No. All existing driveways are grandfathered until there is a change in the use, location or grade.

  • Can I put my new driveway any place I want? Not always. In cases where the sight distances are too short or its location otherwise creates a safety hazard, the location or design of the new access may have to be changed. On arterial highways, certain driveway spacing standards are necessary to preserve posted speed and safety.

  • Can commercial developments or public facilities be located anywhere? No. In the past, unplanned siting of commercial and public facilities on arterial highways has seriously impaired the free flow of traffic in numerous locations, requiring taxpayers to fund expensive remedies. These rules promote location and access through existing access points, or in carefully planned locations to preserve the safety and posted speed of arterials and thus enhance productivity.

  • Do these rules stop growth and development? Not at all! These rules encourage development where it is safest, and where it does not impede free-flowing traffic on major roadways.


This page last updated on 6/23/14