Access Management in Maryland

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Access management is the coordination of land use and access to a highway. The goal is to develop plans that will allow for economic growth and rational development while maintaining or improving safety and mobility along arterial roadways. In developed areas, access management can enhance safety and mobility by minimizing conflicts between arterial routes and local driveways and entrances. In rural areas access management can minimize development pressure along those roadways intended to serve long distance and regional trips and where development is not planned.

The program involves developing access management plans that are implemented through the county development process. The development of access management plans is a collaborative effort between the State Highway Administration and local jurisdictions, who in turn typically incorporate the plans into their local planning documents.


The Access Management Program is based on developing an Access Management Plan for a corridor. An access management plan identifies long-term access concepts, including access locations, locations of median breaks and/or local service road concepts. This plan can be used as a guide for State and local agencies to address the requests for access from development/redevelopment properties. There is no set time for implementing an Access Management Plan; usually the pace of development within the corridor will determine the schedule for implementation. Access management is implemented by evaluating proposed access for each new or redeveloping property independently to determine its relationship to corridor plans and policies. SHA, the local jurisdiction and the property owner will work together to manage access through such techniques as:

  • consolidating private entrances so that adjacent properties share common driveways
  • issuing temporary private access permits pending the location of future alternate access
  • determining the location and number of median openings along the highway
  • restricting the number of turning movements into and out of properties
  • eliminating certain access points when access to an alternate route is available

Local Participation

In addition to working with SHA on Access Management plans as described above, specific actions local jurisdictions can take to help integrate highways with development plans include:

  • Developing local service road concepts in coordination with SHA to enhance land access and local circulation in designated development areas
  • Developing master plans that include protecting corridors along designated Principal Arterial roadways and adopting adequate public facilities ordinances
  • Developing local zoning ordinances that require dedication/reservation of land for future transportation improvements when right-of-way needs are known
  • Requiring adequate setbacks through local building ordinances for future right-of-way needs.

Access Control Inventory

With the preservation of existing public works systems being a priority at all levels of government, access controls along the State Highway Administration's arterial highways is a viable method of improving capacity and safety. As a first step in making rational decisions regarding future improvements, this inventory of existing access controls has been developed.

Included in this inventory are maps and line item listings outlining each access controlled state highway. The Access Control Inventory (PDF, 5.77 MB) should be used by technicians and managers to make decisions concerning the State Highway System.

For Further Information

Contact the program manager at:
Eric Beckett, Division Chief

Maryland State Highway Administration
Regional and Intermodal Planning Division
707 N Calvert Street
MS C502
Baltimore, MD 21202
Telephone: 410-545-5666 or toll-free at