LIMITING ACCESS TO EXISTING HIGHWAYS

CONTROL AND REGULATION OF ACCESS TO EXISTING HIGHWAYS IS AN ESSENTIAL STEP IN THE MODERNIZATION OF MANY EXISTING HIGHWAY FACILITIES. THE LAW HAS BECOME FAIRLY WELL ESTABLISHED THAT WHERE A NEW CONTROLLED ACCESS HIGHWAY IS CONSTRUCTED WHERE NO HIGHWAY EXISTED BEFORE, THE ABUTTING OWNER IS NOT ENTITLED TO ANY COMPENSATION FOR THE STATE'S FAILURE TO ALLOW HIM ACCESS TO THE NEW HIGHWAY. SINCE CONTROL OF ACCESS BY PURCHASE OR CONDEMNATION IS EXPENSIVE, IT SEEMS THAT THE REGULATION OF ACCESS TO EXISTING HIGHWAYS UNDER THE POLICE POWER WITHOUT SPECIAL COMPENSATION TO ADJOINING LAND OWNERS IS A POSSIBLE SOLUTION. IT HAS BECOME WELL SETTLED IN OREGON LAW THAT THE USE OF PRIVATE PROPERTY MAY BE REGULATED AND CONTROLLED WITHOUT SPECIAL COMPENSATION TO THE OWNER UNDER THE STATE'S INHERENT POLICE POWER WHEN REASONABLY NECESSARY FOR THE PUBLIC SAFETY OR WELFARE. IT IS ESTABLISHED THAT THE STATE MAY REGULATE TRAFFIC UPON HIGHWAYS TO PROMOTE THE PUBLIC CONVENIENCE AND SAFETY UNDER ITS POLICE POWER WITHOUT COMPENSATING ABUTTING OWNERS ALTHOUGH THERE IS INCIDENTAL INTERFERENCE WITH THEIR ACCESS. CASES DEALING WITH THIS PRINCIPLE ARE DISCUSSED. THESE CASES DO NOT UNIFORMLY DENY THE ABUTTER COMPENSATION FOR DAMAGES BY REASON OF DIVERSION OF TRAFFIC RESULTING FROM HIGHWAY RELOCATION. ALTHOUGH CHANGES IN HIGHWAY GRADE MAY INTERFERE WITH OR DENY AN ABUTTER'S ACCESS TO THE HIGHWAY, THE HIGHWAY AUTHORITY MAY MAKE SUCH CHANGES WITHOUT COMPENSATION TO THE ABUTTER AS LONG AS THE CONSTRUCTION DOES NOT ACTUALLY ENCROACH UPON THE ABUTTING PROPERTY. ABUTTING OWNERS HAVE CONTESTED THE VALIDITY OF PARKING REGULATIONS ON THE THEORY THAT SUCH REGULATIONS DAMAGED AND INTERFERED WITH ACCESS RIGHTS. IN THE CASE OF THE TOWN OF LEESBURG V. TAVENNER, THE COURT HELD THAT THE DESIGNATION OF LOADING AND UNLOADING STOPS FOR PASSENGER CARRIERS AND OF PARKING AREAS FOR CLERKS DELIVERING AND RECEIVING MERCHANDISE WAS A PROPER EXERCISE OF THE POLICE POWER. CASES ARE CITED ILLUSTRATING THAT THE ACCESS TO EXISTING HIGHWAYS HAS LONG BEEN REGULATED UNDER THE POLICE POWER, ALTHOUGH NOT ASSOCIATED WITH THE MODERN CONCEPT OF A LIMITED ACCESS HIGHWAY. THE PRINCIPLE WHICH MAY BE DEDUCED FROM CASES DISCUSSED IS THAT THE RIGHT OF ACCESS MAY BE CONTROLLED BY THE STATE UNDER THE EXERCISE OF ITS SOVEREIGN POLICE POWER WITHOUT COMPENSATION TO ABUTTING OWNERS WHEN THE RESTRICTIONS ON ACCESS ARE INTENDED AND ARE REASONABLY APT TO PROMOTE THE PUBLIC SAFETY AND WELFARE.

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  • Accession Number: 00238644
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jul 7 1994 12:00AM