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Public Roads - Mar/Apr 2008

Mar/Apr 2008
Issue No:
Vol. 71 No. 5
Publication Number:
Table of Contents

Training Update

Understanding Access Management Solutions

by Stacy Stottmeister

The National Highway Institute (NHI)

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) defines access management as “the proactive management of vehicular access points to land parcels adjacent to all manner of roadways.” Well-executed access management practices and techniques promote safe and efficient use of the transportation network, improving traffic movement and minimizing vehicle conflicts and crashes. To bring transportation professionals up to speed on the latest practices, the National Highway Institute (NHI) recently updated its course Access Management, Location, and Design (FHWA-NHI-133078).

Roundabouts, such as the one shown here, represent an access management opportunity to reduce conflict points and maintain traffic flow.

The 3-day training covers the complex technical issues that underlie effective access management on streets and highways. For example, course participants learn the technical rationale for proper signal spacing, driveway spacing and design, and application and design of auxiliary lanes. Before-and-after case studies help illustrate the impacts of projects aimed at improving traffic safety and operations. In addition, the course covers developing and administering an effective access management program.

“The NHI instructors are experts in the field,” says Neil Spiller, access management program manager in FHWA’s Office of Operations. “They are excellent at delivering the course per the necessary and required outline but also are capable of adding timely, instructive, real-world experience.”

Course Updates

Recent updates to the course include supplemental resource materials. In particular, participants now will receive the Transportation Research Board’s 2003 Access Management Manual. Portions of the latest edition of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ document, A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets (also known as the “Green Book”), such as charts and tables, will be referenced in the course as well. Also, course instructors will incorporate research found in reports published by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program. These reference materials, which cover state-of-the-practice strategies and technologies, serve as takeaway resources for use on the job. In addition to these written materials, the course includes small-group exercises that summarize and demonstrate the key principles.

“NHI’s proven teaching rubric has periodic ‘what have we learned so far’ moments that help reinforce the messages,” Spiller says.

Building a Solid Foundation

The Access Management, Location, and Design course targets transportation and planning professionals involved in traffic operations, roadway designs, circulation systems, and land development.

Specifically, the course is valuable for individuals directly involved in implementing access management solutions in their jurisdictions, as it focuses heavily on resources and solutions.

Upon completing the course, participants will be able to do the following:

  • Discuss the impact of access management on highway safety and operations
  • Choose appropriate techniques to mitigate challenges
  • Identify practices needed for implementing access management programs

Recognizing the elements pertinent to planning, developing, implementing, and administering an effective access management program is vital to maintaining the Nation’s streets and highways. NHI’s course provides the latest reference documents and shares real-world applications of techniques and practices that will enable transportation engineering and planning personnel to implement successful strategies and programs. Most important, the educational foundation developed in the course paves the way for changes in driveway access that can help improve safety and maintain mobility.

“Historically, this course has always been one of the more popular NHI offerings,” Spiller says. “I would like  to think that the recent course overhaul will make an already strong product even better.” 

For a complete description of this and other NHI courses, please visit To schedule a session or for technical questions about enrolling, please contact the NHI Training Team at

Certificate of Accomplishment Available in Freight Management and Operations

The National Highway Institute (NHI) now offers a certificate of accomplishment in freight management and operations to recognize individuals who have completed and achieved passing grades in three or more of the freight-related courses listed below.

Integrating Freight in the Transportation Planning Process (FHWA-NHI-139001)

Note: This course is now offered only as a Web-based training (WBT). Successful completion of the course will apply toward the certificate of accomplishment.

NHI’s courses in freight management and
operations provide participants with the skills to help ensure the safe and efficient transport of goods through ports like this one. Photo: © 2007 Jupiterimages Corporation.

Uses of Multimodal Freight Forecasting in Transportation Planning (FHWA-NHI-139002)

This 3-day course provides participants with an overview of freight forecasting and describes different forecasting techniques for meeting facility-specific, metropolitan, and statewide needs. The course addresses questions transportation planners commonly ask regarding freight planning, demonstrates the use and value of various forecasting techniques, and reviews notable practices and techniques used by metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and State departments of transportation (DOTs). The course also provides a basic understanding of the key parameters that influence economic growth and distribution of freight traffic, and highlights currently available tools and data used to forecast traffic demand.

Advanced Freight Planning (FHWA-NHI-139003)

This 2-day course targets transportation professionals involved in multimodal planning and program management. The training presents techniques  and strategies designed for individuals directly involved in planning, programming, and allocating transportation resources. Instructors provide participants with the skills needed to identify, prioritize, develop, and implement freight-supportive projects and plans.

Freight Planning and Environmental Considerations (FHWA-NHI-139005)

This 2-day course helps transportation, environmental, and freight planners and engineers in both the public and private sectors better integrate freight and environmental considerations throughout the planning, programming, and project development processes. Through case studies and hands-on exercises, the course teaches participants how to incorporate freight and environmental considerations into their existing policies and activities. These tools also help to mainstream freight and environmental elements within State DOTs, MPOs, and other organizations.

Integrating Freight in the Transportation Planning Process Web-Based Training (FHWA-NHI-139001)

This course is the WBT version of NHI’s course Integrating Freight in the Transportation Planning Process (FHWA-NHI-139001). The WBT version is a self-paced online training, for which participants need a computer with an Internet connection, as well as speakers and Macromedia® Flash Player 6.0.79 or better from Adobe®. The course provides participants with a greater understanding of the various stakeholders, trends, and issues associated with freight transportation. The training also addresses a challenge many transportation planners in the public sector face: how to best incorporate varying perspectives on freight in a way that results in safe and efficient transportation systems for both people and goods. After completion, participants will be better prepared to incorporate freight considerations into their planning processes and programs.

NHI Certificates of Accomplishment

NHI began offering certificates of accomplishment in October 2006 to support transportation professionals as they learn, build, and refine their skills in  a variety of topic areas. The certificates of accomplishment represent suites of complementary NHI courses that enable participants to enhance their depth and breadth of knowledge and expertise in specific disciplines.

For more information, visit the NHI “Certificate of Accomplishment Program” Web site at To schedule a session or request a certificate of accomplishment, contact the NHI Training Coordinator at 703–235–0534 or

Stacy Stottmeister is a contractor for NHI.