Access management has been widely defined as the planning, design, and implementation of landuse and transportation strategies that control the flow of traffic between roads and surrounding land. Management and control of vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle, air, and sea traffic occurs through various forms of access, including traffic signals, turning lanes and restrictions, driveway spacing management, intelligent transportation systems, gating and hubbing schemes, and port terminal management. The engineering of transportation systems thus involves access management as a critical negotiations tool. Previous studies on access management have focused mainly on the positive benefits of access management relating to reductions in accident counts and severities, and improvement in traffic flow. However, the evolution of transportation systems design is also influenced greatly by the perceptions of system users, and to date, research on perceptions of access has been limited. User perceptions of access affect business vitality as well as residential quality of life. This study addressed the perceived economic impacts that access management has specifically on businesses.
This study collected 280 surveys from businesses along six major commercial corridors in Western Washington, as well as business-related data from geographic information systems. The researchers then focused on statistical frameworks for analyzing perceived economic impacts. Perceived economic impact due to access management was first assumed and then later proven to correlate implicitly and explicitly to perception of accessibility for any given business. Model estimation was conducted by using joint density models to capture the perceptual inter-relationships between business accessibility and patronage. Factors found to be statistically significant included business type, business operational variables, corridor and street environment variables, and willingness-to-pay amounts. The identification of significant business factors offers insights into how businesses view access management. In the dialogue on design requirements between public development review units and private land developers, such information can provide a successful and efficient negotiations tool.