Best Practices for the Development of Small Sites Abutting Arterials
Scope: Service Stations, fast food restaurants, convenience stores, and other small business sites commonly develop in close proximity to intersections along major roadways and at crossroads in the vicinity of freeway interchanges. These businesses, given their higher traffic volumes, frequently create right-of-way, roadway design, traffic congestion and safety problems. These businesses are most commonly developed on relatively small parcels of land, making site circulation and access design to the roadway challenging.
Departments of Transportation (DOTs), municipalities, and land developers have struggled for years dealing with traffic impacts and roadway design issues created by the operation of these small commercial sites.
Almost every arterial roadway reconstruction project has one or two right of way acquisitions involving small yet high traffic generators. Roadway project managers spend countless hours working to find site designs that minimize roadway safety and operational impacts while still maintaining a functional business site in order to reduce right of way acquisition costs.
Annually, thousands of municipalities and developers struggle with developing site designs and obtaining land us and access permits that find the best balance between development costs and the mitigation of traffic impacts.
It is proposed that a synthesis be prepared that documents best practices of site access and circulation design of small commercial properties abutting major roadways and in the vicinity of intersections and interchanges. This would be a great benefit to DOTs and other permitting agencies that deal with such proposals, often on a daily basis.
The synthesis will produce a highly illustrated report containing the following:
1. Examples/case studies of small commercial sites exhibiting good site access and circulation design including site plans and/or aerial photos with narration as to the features of each site.
2. A summary of findings from a survey and interviews of developers, owners and their consultants who have been successful in developing sites with good site access and circulation.
3. A summary of the elements and features that contribute to good site access and circulation design of small tracts abutting major roadways.
Benefit: This synthesis will provide state DOTs and local governments, as well as developers of small sites and their consultants with examples of successful developments that exhibit best design practices and are economically feasible and the least impact to adjoining arterials. Public safety will benefit as these better design practices do decrease the potential for operational and safety problems.
For decades agency encroachment permitting staff has struggled with these types of access demands - most often near busy intersections that can least afford the impact. A synthesis of good examples would be helpful to all permit writers and their clients - throughout the nation, at both state and local agency levels.
The need for such a document is extensive. Customers include every private side professional doing site designs on arterials, every local agency managing development next to an arterial, every agency that deals with driveway and access permitting as well as economic development agencies promoting development of small parcels to stimulate growth and tax base.