Best planning and implementation toolbox


Purpose of Tool:

Texas Transportation Institute, Texas Case Studies in Access Management, presented in the 8th National Conference on Access Management, 2006. For a PDF of the presentation click here or online:
Inter-parcel access programs are a tool that may be implemented to ease roadway congestion or improve safety in places where multiple curb cuts create inefficient or unsafe vehicle turns. Inter-parcel access allows drivers access across more than one parcel of land or development through an interconnected access aisle between properties. The public benefit is the arrangement reduces the number of driveways along a street frontage, which promotes roadway safety. Often encouraged by local communities, inter-parcel access is typically facilitated by agreements between property owners. By eliminating the need for every parcel to have its own access point, unnecessary turning movements are reduced and businesses can pursue shared parking strategies and maintenance with greater ease.

Benefits of Using Tool:
By utilizing an inter-parcel access management approach in lieu of individual curb cuts, the following benefits for a community or region at large can be observed:
  • Helps to implement a “park once, walk everywhere” strategy for short trips and errands in congested areas,
  • Improves pedestrian safety through a reduction in the number of vehicular access points, which reduces the number of pedestrian/car interactions,
  • Presents a flexible and cost-effective circulation approach, particularly in areas that are not well-served by public transit, and seeks to maintain a high level of service on major thoroughfares, and

    Texas Transportation Institute, Texas Case Studies in Access Management, presented in the 8th National Conference on Access Management, 2006. For a PDF of the presentation click here or online:
  • Allows for more efficient utilization of parking spaces, reducing overall parking demand.

    Steps Involved to Use Tool:
    Typically, inter-parcel access implementation is dependent on the context in which it is established, relying heavily on private legal agreements between property owners. Inter-parcel access can also be required or encouraged through the municipal site development plan review process. Steps for use may include the following:
  • In the case of voluntary participation in an inter-parcel access program, determine which adjacent parcels can reasonably share an access point, and then set up a collaborative management structure for the resulting shared curb cuts and parking. Such a management structure might include formal maintenance agreements to address issues such as plowing during inclement weather.
  • Locations for access points should be aligned with access points across the roadway wherever feasible. This will ensure an improved traffic flow, and improve pedestrian crossing safety, since vehicular movements will be more predictable.

    Special Requirements to Use Tool:

    Shared entryways into parking lots allow business owners to pursue shared parking and maintenance strategies off of Route 151 in Fauquier County, VA.
    A variety of conditions can increase the use and effectiveness of inter-parcel access. Specifically, when a number of adjacent business establishments are accessed directly off of a heavily traveled roadway, inter-parcel access between properties can reduce congestion and conflicts with traffic. It should be noted that inter-parcel access and circulation adjustments should be designed to accommodate, and even enhance if possible, emergency vehicle access.

    Specials Resources Needed to Use Tool:
    Typically, employing inter-parcel access as a parking management strategy is established by private entities, such as retailers and property owners, but can help achieve many of the goals of related or partner organizations, such as transit agencies, and municipal interests such as street, traffic, and parking departments. Greater collaboration between these entities through the adoption of supportive policies and regulations, such as zoning incentives and inclusion of inter-parcel access provisions in transportation plans and development regulations, will, in turn, legitimize inter-parcel access as a viable and feasible parking management strategy.

    Communities / Agencies that Have Used Tool:
    The Catlett, Calverton and Midland Village Service District in Fauquier County, Virginia has worked at great length to incorporate inter-parcel access into the transportation element of their Service District Plan. The plan calls for inter-parcel access to be provided to improve traffic efficiency and safety on the Route 28 corridor that links the three villages in the service district. Since the plan has been adopted, the inter-parcel access provided along Route 28 has allowed the district to install planted medians which have decreased the number of “impulsive” left turns and improved pedestrian safety.1

    Fauquier County Department of Community Development
    29 Ashby Street, Suite 310
    Warrenton, Virginia 20186
    Phone: (540) 347-8660 

    Metrics to Use to Monitor Tool Effectiveness:
    Inter-parcel parking management programs have an array of benefits ranging from environmental (reducing vehicle cold starts) to social (improving pedestrian safety). Research suggests that inter-parcel access improves the availability of parking, reduces overall congestion, improves pedestrian and driver safety, and minimizes the demand for local trips that utilize the main road.2 In some locations where inter-parcel access measures were implemented along with roadway improvements, the total rate of vehicle crashes and accidents observed decreased from 3.2 percent to 2.53 percent.3

    List of Resources to Obtain Additional Info:
    See the following sources for more information:
  • Catlett, Calverton and Midland Service District Plan, Transportation Element, Planning Process, 2004. Online:
  • Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, Rural Transportation Technical Committee, Nellysford Safety, Mobility, and Access Management Study, Nelson County Virginia, 2002. 


    1 Catlett, Calverton and Midland Service District Plan, Transportation Element, Planning Process, 2004, page 1.

    2 Based on a review of national best practices for access management, it is recommended that a maximum of one driveway be allowed in the first 325 feet of frontage. Driveways should be spaced no closer than 200 feet apart, and should not be allowed within the influence area of an intersection. Public streets should be spaced no closer than 250 feet for right-in, right-out approaches and 325 feet for full movement public street approaches. (See U.S. 1 Corridor Improvement Study, Access Management Analysis, February 2008. Online: )

    3 TRB 8th National Conference on Access Management, Impacts of Access Management Case Study: Dave Ward Drive (Hwy 60) Conway, AR, 2008, slide 22. Online: