Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 24. Transportation And Motor Vehicles
Agency 30. Department of Transportation
Chapter 73. Access Management Regulations

24VAC30-73-10. Definitions.

"Access management" means the systematic control of the location, spacing, design, and operation of entrances, median openings/crossovers, traffic signals, and interchanges for the purpose of providing vehicular access to land development in a manner that preserves the safety and efficiency of the systems of state highways.

"Collectors" means the functional classification of highways that provide land access service and traffic circulation within residential, commercial, and industrial areas. The collector system distributes trips from principal and minor arterials through the area to the ultimate destination. Conversely, collectors also collect traffic and channel it into the arterial system.

"Commissioner" means the individual who serves as the chief executive officer of the Department of Transportation or his designee.

"Commonwealth" means the Commonwealth of Virginia.

"Crossover" means an opening in a nontraversable median (such as a concrete barrier or raised island) that provides for crossing movements and left turning movements.

"Design speed" means the selected speed used to determine the geometric design features of the highway.

"District" means each of the nine areas in which VDOT is divided to oversee the maintenance and construction on the state highways, bridges, and tunnels within the boundaries of the area.

"District administrator" means the VDOT employee assigned to supervise the district.

"District administrator's designee" means the VDOT employee or employees designated by the district administrator.

"Entrance" means any driveway, street, or other means of providing for movement of vehicles to or from the highway.

"Entrance, commercial" means any entrance serving land uses that generate more than 50 vehicular trips per day or the trip generation equivalent of more than five individual private residences or lots for individual private residences using the methodology in the Institute of Transportation Engineers Trip Generation, 8th Edition, 2008.

"Entrance, low volume commercial" means any entrance, other than a private entrance, serving five or fewer individual residences or lots for individual residences on a privately owned and maintained road or land uses that generate 50 or fewer vehicular trips per day using the methodology in the Institute of Transportation Engineers Trip Generation 8th Edition, 2008.

"Entrance, private" means an entrance that serves up to two private residences and is used for the exclusive benefit of the occupants or an entrance that allows agricultural operations to obtain access to fields or an entrance to civil and communication infrastructure facilities that generate 10 or fewer trips per day such as cell towers, pump stations, and stormwater management basins.

"Frontage road" means a road that generally runs parallel to a highway between the highway right-of-way and the front building setback line of the abutting properties and provides access to the abutting properties for the purposes of reducing the number of entrances to the highway and separating the abutting property traffic from through traffic on the highway.

"Functional area" means the area of the physical highway feature, such as an intersection, roundabout, railroad grade crossing, or interchange, plus that portion of the highway that comprises the decision and maneuver distance and required vehicle storage length to serve that highway feature.

"Functional area of an intersection" means the physical area of an at-grade intersection plus all required storage lengths for separate turn lanes and for through traffic, including any maneuvering distance for separate turn lanes.

"Functional classification" means the federal system of classifying groups of highways according to the character of service they are intended to provide and classifications made by the commissioner based on the operational characteristics of a highway. Each highway is assigned a functional classification based on the highway's intended purpose of providing priority to through traffic movement or adjoining property access. The functional classification system groups highways into three basic categories identified as (i) arterial, with the function to provide through movement of traffic; (ii) collector, with the function of supplying a combination of through movement and access to property; and (iii) local, with the function of providing access to property and to other streets.

"Highway," "street," or "road" means a public way for purposes of vehicular travel, including the entire area within the right-of-way, that is part of the systems of state highways.

"Intersection" means (i) a crossing of two or more highways at grade, (ii) a crossover, or (iii) any at-grade connection with a highway such as a commercial entrance.

"Intersection sight distance" means the sight distance required at an intersection to allow the driver of a stopped vehicle a sufficient view of the intersecting highway to decide when to enter, or cross, the intersecting highway.

"Legal speed limit" means the speed limit set forth on signs lawfully posted on a highway or, in the absence of such signs, the speed limit established by Article 8 (§ 46.2-870 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 46.2 of the Code of Virginia.

"Level of service" means a qualitative measure describing the operational conditions within a vehicular traffic stream, generally in terms of such service measures as speed, travel time, freedom to maneuver, traffic interruptions, and comfort and convenience. "Level-of-service" is defined and procedures are presented for determining the level of service in the Highway Capacity Manual, 2010 (Transportation Research Board).

"Limited access highway" means a highway especially designed for through traffic over which abutting properties have no easement or right of light, air, or access by reason of the fact that those properties abut upon the limited access highway.

"Local streets" means the functional classification for highways that comprise all facilities that are not collectors or arterials. Local streets serve primarily to provide direct access to abutting land and to other streets.

"Median" means the portion of a divided highway that separates opposing traffic flows.

"Median opening" means a crossover or a directional opening in a nontraversable median (such as a concrete barrier or raised island) that physically restricts movements to specific turns such as left turns and U-turns.

"Minor arterials" means the functional classification for highways that interconnect with and augment the principal arterial system. Minor arterials distribute traffic to smaller geographic areas providing service between and within communities.

"Operating speed" means the speed at which drivers are observed operating their vehicles during free-flow conditions with the 85th percentile of the distribution of observed speeds being the most frequently used measure of the operating speed of a particular location or geometric feature.

"Permit" or "entrance permit" means a document that sets the conditions under which VDOT allows a connection to a highway.

"Permit applicant" means the person or persons, firm, corporation, government, or other entity that has applied for a permit.

"Permittee" means the person or persons, firm, corporation, government, or other entity that has been issued a permit.

"Preliminary subdivision plat" means a plan of development as set forth in § 15.2-2260 of the Code of Virginia.

"Principal arterials" means the functional classification for major highways intended to serve through traffic where access is carefully controlled, generally highways of regional importance, with moderate to high volumes of traffic traveling relatively long distances and at higher speeds.

"Professional engineer" means a person who is qualified to practice engineering by reason of his special knowledge and use of mathematical, physical and engineering sciences and the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design acquired by engineering education and experience, and whose competence has been attested by the Virginia Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers and Landscape Architects through licensure as a professional engineer.

"Reverse frontage road" means a road that is located to the rear of the properties fronting a highway and provides access to the abutting properties for the purpose of reducing the number of entrances to the highway and removing the abutting property traffic from through traffic on the highway.

"Right-of-way" means that property within the systems of state highways that is open or may be opened for public travel or use or both in the Commonwealth. This definition includes those public rights-of-way in which the Commonwealth has a prescriptive easement for maintenance and public travel.

"Roundabout" means a circular intersection with yield control of all entering traffic to traffic within the circular intersection and channelized approaches and a central island that deflect entering traffic to the right.

"Shared entrance" means a single entrance serving two or more adjoining parcels.

"Sight distance" means the distance visible to the driver of a vehicle when the view is unobstructed by traffic.

"Site plan" and "subdivision plat" mean a plan of development approved in accordance with §§ 15.2-2286 and 15.2-2241 through 15.2-2245 of the Code of Virginia.

"Stopping sight distance" means the distance required by a driver of a vehicle, traveling at a given speed, to bring the vehicle to a stop after an object on the highway becomes visible, including the distance traveled during the driver's perception and reaction times and the vehicle's braking distance.

"Systems of state highways" means all highways, streets, and roads under the ownership, the control, or the jurisdiction of VDOT, including but not limited to, the primary, secondary, and interstate highways.

"Trip" means a single or one-directional vehicle movement either entering or exiting a property; a vehicle leaving the property is one trip and a vehicle returning to the property is one trip.

"Turn lane" means a separate lane for the purpose of enabling a vehicle that is entering or leaving a highway to increase or decrease its speed to a rate at which it can more safely merge or diverge with through traffic; an acceleration or deceleration lane.

"VDOT" means the Virginia Department of Transportation, its successor, the Commissioner of Highways, or his designees.

Statutory Authority

§ 33.2-245 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 26, Issue 1, eff. October 14, 2009; amended, Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 4, eff. November 23, 2011; Volume 28, Issue 8, eff. December 31, 2011; Volume 28, Issue 8, eff. January 18, 2012; Volume 30, Issue 4, eff. December 5, 2013.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

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