Model Access Management Regulation
Cape Cod Commission Model Bylaws and Regulations
Roads are classified by the Metropolitan Planning Organization (a regional committee defined in Section 02.4, below) in coordination with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Federal Highway Commission according to their role in the regional roadway system. The higher the classification of the road, the more the road is intended for through travel instead of access. At the highest level are limited access highways. At the lowest level, are roads considered as "local," providing access to limited commercial and residential districts. In order to allow the roadway system to function as intended, driveways and new access points should be minimized on higher class roads. If these access points are deemed necessary, they must nevertheless be spaced sufficiently apart.
This regulation is intended to strengthen Cape town's general bylaws and subdivision rules and regulations with respect to access from new land divisions onto public, and in some cases, private ways. As a general bylaw or ordinance, this model must be adopted by Town Meeting or Town Council in accordance with G.L. c. 43B §13. As a subdivision regulation, this model must be adopted by a planning board in accordance with G.L. c. 41 §81-Q.
01.0 Purpose: The purpose of this access management regulation is to provide reasonable access to development which is consistent with the intended function of the adjacent roadway system. This reasonable access is achieved through location and spacing criteria for driveways and subdivision road access points along town roadways, minimizing the number of driveways, consolidating existing driveways, encouraging driveways on collectors versus arterials for corner lots, encouraging shared driveways, controlling the geometric design of driveways, and locating driveways as far away from roadway intersections as possible.
02.0 Definitions: As used in this bylaw, the following words and terms shall have the meanings specified herein:
02.1 Driveway/Curb Cut: Any access point onto a roadway. This may include, but is not limited to, an entrance to a parcel, or an intersection with another roadway.
02.2 Driveway Interconnection: A private driveway connection between two lots that does not require traveling on the roadway system.
02.3 Functional Classification: The category of a road according to its intended purpose. At the highest end are roads designed to provide mobility, and at the lowest end are roads designed to provide access to land development. The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) classifies roads as one of nine different classifications or as "unaccepted." For the purposes of this bylaw, these classifications have been consolidated into four types:
02.3.1 Arterial: Provides the greatest mobility at the greatest vehicle speed for the longest uninterrupted distance. Includes functional road classifications of "rural principal arterial," "urban extension of rural principal arterial," "rural minor arterial," "urban extension of rural minor arterial," and "urban minor arterial," with the exception of limited access roads.
02.3.2 Collector: Provides balance of mobility and land access, collects and distributes traffic between local and arterial roadways. Includes functional road classifications of "rural major collector," "urban collector" and "rural minor collector."
02.3.3 Local: Provides greatest land access and little or no through movement. Includes functional road classification of "local."
02.3.4 Unclassified: Private or unmaintained public roads that function like local roads. Includes functional road classifications of "unaccepted" and "unclassified."
When references are made in this bylaw to "higher" or "lower" functional class, the ranking of these classifications from high to low is arterial, highest, followed by collector and then local, lowest.
Commentary: The MPO/state method of classifying roads is useful for some purposes but too detailed for the needs of this bylaw. That is why they are grouped into three basic types (which are the types commonly used by transportation engineers). Limited access roads such as Route 6 before the Orleans/Eastham Rotary and Route 28 south of the Otis Rotary cannot have additional driveways or access points without extensive state review and approval and are thus not considered under this bylaw.
02.4 Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO): A regional planning committee that consists of representatives of the Massachusetts Highway Department (MHD), Executive Office of Transportation and Construction (EOTC), the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (CCRTA) and the Cape Cod Commission (CCC). In consultation with its advisory group, the Cape Cod Joint Transportation Committee, the MPO is responsible for making decisions regarding transportation planning and development in Barnstable County, including classifying roads by their functional types.
02.5 Regional Roadways in Regional Policy Plan: All roads on Cape Cod that are not classified "local" or "unclassified."
03.0 Authorization: Pursuant to G.L. c. 43B §13 and G.L. c. 41 §81-Q, the Town of adopts a roadway classification program to protect the public health, safety and welfare. The roadway classification system is based on the roadway classification system adopted by the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). The functional classification of town roads is shown in Figure 1.
Commentary: Each town should include in its bylaw a Figure listing the functional classification of town roads. The Cape Cod Commission can provide this information.
04.0 Classification of Future Roads: It shall be the responsibility of the planning board, at the time of the subdivision of land, to issue a determination as to the recommended classification of all roads to be created by said subdivision. Failure to designate a road classification shall mean that the roads are to be designated as local roads. These decisions will be passed on by the Town Planner to the MPO for approval in their functional classification.
05.0 Changes to Roadway Classification: The planning board, with the approval of the Town governing body, may recommend changes to town road classifications with the intent to enhance the protection of the general health, safety and welfare. These decisions will be passed on by the Town Planner to the MPO for approval in their functional classification.
Commentary: The above section is designed to provide the town with a method for choosing the functional classification they want for any new roads, or to decide to change them for existing roads. These changes are subject to MPO approval before becoming part of the state's functional classification but may be used by the town regardless. Towns may wish to include a provision for a public hearing as part of this process.
06.0 Curb Cuts: All driveways and changes to driveways shall:
06.1 be approved by the Town Department of Public Works and be issued an Access Permit by the Superintendent/Director of Public Works.
06.2 be located according to Figures 2a-2f. These distances are measured from the nearest side of the driveway to the nearest side of any other driveways. In cases where a specific distance cannot be determined from these Figures, the Superintendent/Director of Public Works shall make a determination as to the applicable distance based on extrapolation from the values in these Figures.
Commentary: While Figures 2a-2f are likely to apply all Cape towns, each municipality should review the guidelines established by these Figures to ensure reflection of local ingress/egress and road spacing criteria.
06.3 be consolidated into a single driveway where possible. All development and redevelopment shall provide the minimum number of driveways for the size and type of land use proposed and provide a maximum of one driveway for up to 50 feet of frontage, two driveways for 51 to 150 feet of frontage and three driveways for 151 to 500 feet of frontage.
06.4 be located and designed to provide safe sight distances at the driveway in accordance with American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) guidelines for stopping sight distances under wet pavement conditions.
06.5 be in compliance with standard Massachusetts Highway Department design criteria.
06.6 operate at Level of Service C or better (Level of Service D or better in certified growth/activity centers) during the PM peak hour for a minimum of five years into the future from issuance of an Access Permit, as assessed by the project applicant and reviewed and approved by the town DPW Superintendent/Director.
06.7 provide appropriate traffic control devices in accordance with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Where traffic signals are proposed and warranted, traffic signals must be placed at uniform intervals as allowed by the road system, and must not be located less than 1/4 mile (1,320 feet) away from an existing or planned traffic signal. Proposed signals must also be consistent with all other town policies and regulations governing traffic signals.
06.8 prohibit turn movements that cause safety concerns through driveway geometry and signage, or for consistency with future roadway plans described in the Local Comprehensive Plan.
06.9 not intersect the storage, deceleration and transition taper areas of a proposed right-turn lane. Existing driveways shall be relocated outside this area consistent with the appropriate spacing requirements above as approved by the Superintendent/Director of Public Works. The relocation of existing driveways needing to be moved shall be provided by the proponent of the turning lane.
06.10 not intersect the storage, deceleration, and transition taper areas of a proposed left-turn lane. Existing driveways on either side of the road shall prohibit left-turn movements through geometric changes in the driveway design or be relocated outside this area consistent with the appropriate space requirements above as approved by the Superintendent/Director of Public Works. The relocation of existing driveways needing to be moved shall be provided by the proponent of the turning lane.
06.11 for corner lots where collector and arterial roads meet, be located on the collector road if possible.
Commentary: This requirement is designed to keep driveways off arterial roads if possible. Additional driveways on local roads within residential neighborhoods are not always encouraged, so this requirement only gives preference to collector over arterial roads. Note also that this portion of the bylaw grants review authority over new curb cuts to the Director of Public Works or his/her designee. Towns may wish to have another town agency responsible for issuing these permits such as the Planning Board.
07.0 Additional Requirements: All applicants for the division of land subject to the Subdivision Control Law and/or the Town of ____'s subdivision rules and regulations shall:
07.1 be responsible for the cost to provide access. Project applicant(s) may be required by the Town to install and pay for standard traffic control devices, pavement markings, channelization, or other access related improvements to facilitate safe and efficient traffic flow, or such improvements may be installed by the Town and up to one hundred per cent of the cost of such improvements may be assessed upon the applicant.
07.2 not consolidate traffic from existing development to justify signalizing a driveway, unless the location is at least 1/4 mile (1,320 feet) from any other existing or planned traffic signal.
Commentary: Although combining driveways is often to be encouraged, if such combination requires that a traffic signal be installed at the resulting access point, that signal can cause more problems than the original driveway arrangement unless sufficient space is provided between signals.
07.3 consult the town Director/Superintendent of Public Works regarding access on State Highway roadways prior to seeking a curb-cut permit from the Massachusetts Highway Department, and work with the Town and other authorizing agencies such as the MHD to agree on an overall access plan for the site prior to site approval.
07.4 provide shared access with adjacent development where feasible. Providing shared access can be used to satisfy a portion of trip reduction requirements in cases where a project is a Development of Regional Impact or requires trip reduction under the Local Comprehensive Plan.
07.5 provide a driveway interconnection between adjacent parcels to avoid short trips and conflicts on the main road. Providing a driveway interconnection can be used to satisfy a portion of trip reduction requirements in the case where a project is a Development of Regional Impact or requires trip reduction under the Local Comprehensive Plan.
07.6 consolidate existing driveways located adjacent to the desired driveway location where driveways cannot meet the spacing and location criteria.
07.7 be in conformance with the driveway spacing and location criteria as soon as practicable after a road is reclassified to a higher functional classification.
In any case where the requirements of this section cannot all be met due to space limitations, the Superintendent/Director of Public Works shall consult with the Planning Board and determine the most appropriate location(s) and number of driveways permitted for the site.
08.0 Subdivision Street Continuity
08.1 Proposed roads shall be in accordance with existing and proposed arterial, collector and local roads, based on the town's functional class map shown in Figure 1 and shall be designed to afford safe access to abutting lots.
08.2 Road alignment shall give due consideration to land contours and natural features.
08.3 Where required by the Planning Board provision shall be made for the extension of the road to abutting property. The plan of any proposed subdivision shall show all work required to connect and complete the improvements between the proposed road pattern and any connecting road in an existing subdivision.
08.4 Location of any proposed subdivision road shall require an Access Permit as required in the town bylaws; and shall conform to all other town bylaws regarding access management.
08.5 In order to provide safe access and egress for all subdivisions, no temporary or permanent gate, fence or other obstruction may be erected on any portion of the traveling surface of the road unless permitted by the Director/Superintendent of Public Works in consultation with the Planning Board.
Commentary: The above-noted provisions should help strengthen the town's subdivision regulations with respect to road layouts and new road access. Towns should note that some of these provisions may be included within existing subdivision rules and regulations. In addition, note that if the text of this model regulation is adopted as a general town bylaw, the provisions of Section 08.0 above may nevertheless need to be adopted by the Planning Board as revisions to the Town subdivision rules and regulations.
09.1 If any provision of this bylaw/regulation is held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of the bylaw shall not be affected thereby. The invalidity of any section or sections or parts of any section or sections of this bylaw/regulation shall not affect the validity of the remainder of the [town]'s general bylaws/regulations.
Commentary: This Section is a generic severability clause. Severability clauses are intended to allow a court to strike or delete portions of a regulation that it determines to violate state or federal law. In addition, the severability clause provides limited insurance that a court will not strike down the entire bylaw should it find one or two offending sections.