A SUMMARY AND REAPPRAISAL OF ACCESS CONTROL

IN THE LAST 20 YEARS, EVOLUTION OF LAWS AND DOCTRINE RELATING TO CONTROL OF HIGHWAY ACCESS HAS PROGRESSED FROM THE STAGE WHERE PRIMARY CONCERN WAS TO ESTABLISH A SOUND LEGAL BASIS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF EXPRESS-TYPE HIGHWAYS TO A STAGE WHERE CURRENTLY THE MAIN INTEREST IS IN PROBLEMS OF THE INTERPRETATION AND ADMINISTRATION OF ACCESS CONTROL LAWS. SUCCESS IN APPLYING EXISTING ACCESS CONTROL LAW TO THE PROBLEMS NOW ARISING IN THE CONSTRUCTION, MODIFICATIONS, AND OPERATION OF CONTROLLED-ACCESS HIGHWAYS DEPENDS ON SECURING RENEWED RECOGNITION OF CERTAIN BASIC CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BALANCE OF PUBLIC POWERS AND PRIVATE RIGHTS INVOLVED IN THE ACCESS CONTROL PROBLEM. THE OPTIMUM BALANCE AMONG COMPETING DEMANDS MADE ON THE LAW IS JEOPARDIZED BY RECENT COURT DECISIONS WHICH FAIL TO PRESERVE THE FLEXIBILITY OF ADMINISTRATIVE CHOICE AS TO WHEN POLICE POWER OR EMINENT DOMAIN MAY BE USED TO CONTROL ACCESS. RESTRICTIVE INTERPRETATIONS OF ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY TO CONTROL ACCESS MAY BE FOUND IN JUDICIAL DEFINITIONS OF ABUTTERS' RIGHTS WHICH HAVE SUBTLY EXPANDED THE CONCEPT OF ACCESS TO INCLUDE INTERESTS IN THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC AND VISIBILITY OF THE ROADSIDE FROM THE HIGHWAY, IN JUDICIAL RELUCTANCE TO ACCORD ENGINEERING JUDGMENTS REGARDING MODERN HIGHWAY DESIGN AND USE A STATUS IN LAW COMMENSURATE WITH THEIR IMPORTANT IN FACT, AND IN A GENERAL FAILURE OF THE VALUATION PROCESS TO PROVIDE WORKABLE DISTINCTIONS IN THE DETERMINATION OF COMPENSATION FOR ACCESS DAMAGES. TO SOME EXTENT THE IMPROVEMENT OF THOSE ASPECTS OF ACCESS CONTROL WHICH ARE STILL CONTROVERSIAL MAY BE EXPECTED TO COME NATURALLY AS LAWYERS AND COURTS BECOME MORE FAMILIAR WITH THE ECONOMIC AND ENGINEERING NECESSITY FOR THE MAJOR ELEMENTS OF ACCESS CONTROL, AND ACQUIRE PROFESSIONAL SKILL IN THE USE OF THESE NEW SOURCES OF EVIDENCE. IN SOME INSTANCES, HOWEVER, SHORTCOMINGS IN THE STATUTORY STRUCTURE OF ACCESS CONTROL LAWS AND THE CONCEPTUAL BASIS OF LEGAL DOCTRINE RELATING TO HIGHWAYS MAY BE CORRECTIBLE ONLY THROUGH MORE FAR-REACHING REVISION OF THE LAW. /AUTHOR/

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  • Authors:
    • Netherton, Ross D
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1962

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Pagination: pp 1-14
  • Monograph Title: Limited access controls and their administration
  • Serial:

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00238459
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jul 15 1994 12:00AM