About the research
According to Iowa crash records, almost 10% of all crashes in Iowa occur at commercial driveways. Most of these crashes occur on arterials within municipalities. In recent years, nearly a quarter of these crashes have occurred in the Des Moines metropolitan area. This makes the Des Moines metropolitan area a prime candidate for improved access management. Case study research in Iowa has shown that access management is an extremely effective highway safety tool: well-managed routes are, on average, 40% safer than poorly managed routes. The Des Moines metropolitan area has many miles of four-lane, undivided arterials constructed when less was known about the importance of managing access to adjacent land development. This project involved a cooperative effort of the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (Des Moines Area MPO) and the Center for Transportation Research and Education (CTRE) at Iowa State University to develop a comprehensive access management study and program for the Des Moines metropolitan area. The goal of the study is to use the knowledge developed to make improvements that will reduce access-related crashes. It is also anticipated that this project will help local officials make better decisions about access management so that future safety and operational problems can be avoided.