Access management has become as important subject as transportation professionals grapple with the issues of increasing congestion and deteriorating roadway operations. The goal of managing access is to achieve an optimal balance between what is needed for safe and efficient roadway operations versus the need to provide access to adjacent properties and businesses.
The term access management is applied to a number of measures that can be used to enhance a roadway’s safety and its ability to move vehicular traffic through management and control of access points to the roadway. These measures include:
- Limiting the number of driveway access points to decrease turning conflicts
- Location of entrance or access points further from adjacent intersections
- Providing sufficient spacing between intersecting streets
- Spacing traffic signals to optimize traffic flow
- Implementing sight distance guidelines to improve safety
- Use of channelization to preclude selected turning conflicts
The purpose of a county access management program is to:
- Enhance the county’s ability to provide a safe roadway system
- Assist in efficiently moving traffic
- Support orderly development patterns
- Provide reasonable access to adjacent properties
Through State Statute (160.18, Subd. 3), the State of Minnesota has granted regulatory authority to agencies that have roadway and highway responsibilities. These agencies include the Minnesota Department of Transportation, counties and cities. The regulatory authority includes the issuance of access permits for properties located immediately adjacent to the roadway.
Hennepin County exercises access management techniques on its roadway system through a variety of practices. The access permitting process and preliminary review of developments/plats have been significant tools for access management. In cases of commercial driveway inquiries or changes in land use, the inquiry must go through our preliminary plat and development review process.
Most driveways and street entrances constructed on the county system since the 1960’s required permits governing their location and configuration.
Obtaining access permits
The road authority onto whose roadway you wish to install an access must issue the access permit. Hennepin County is the road authority for county state-aid highways and county roads. For local roads, the road authority can be the city, township or municipality. Hennepin County does not issue permits for accesses on local roads.
Prior to applying for an entrance permit, plans may be submitted for review by contacting Mike Olmstead, Permits Office Supervisor at 612-596-0336 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Permits are applied for through the e-permitting system.
To order access permits online, you must first establish an account and submit evidence of insurance. After your account is established, you can apply online at any time.