Doing Business Access Permit
Procedures and Standards for Commercial, Industrial, and
Subdivision Access to State Highways
The objective of this manual is to provide information on SHA's access regulations. Our goal is to provide the maximum protection to the motoring public through the orderly control of traffic movement to and from the State Highway System.
With well defined and properly engineered points of access, the motorist has minimal difficulty in determining quickly where he should enter a residential subdivision or commercial or industrial establishment adjoining the highway. When properly located and designed, the entrance and exit allow and encourage the safe movement of vehicles in a pattern which will minimize interference with other traffic.
Controlling access to our highways is a vital means of maintaining the safety of the motoring public. As the number of entrances onto the State Highway and the intensity of roadside development increase, the accident rate increases. Research has consistently shown this relationship. Speed transition lanes (deceleration/acceleration lanes) help reduce accidents. As the length of these lanes increases, the accident rates are reduced even further.
It has been shown that the number of lanes at an intersection approach is directly related to safety. In general, as the number of lanes increase, accident rate decreases. Accident rate also decreases as lane width increases. As the number of median crossovers increase, U-turn and rear end type accidents also increase. Additional median crossovers can be shown to increase both the total accident rate and injury accident rate. Left turn lanes at median openings reduce the number of rear end type accidents.
The Annotated Code of Maryland requires owners, or their duly authorized representatives (i.e. developers, constructors, tenants, lessees, etc.), of land newly being developed commercially, industrially, or as a subdivision, and/or part of an existing subdivision desiring access to a State Highway, to apply for a State Highway Administration Entrance Permit.
All work done under this permit shall be performed to the satisfaction of the SHA. SHA is granted the authority to limit the width of entrances and exits and determine the locations of access point(s) that may be used by any property owner or user into any existing section of a State Highway.
The purpose of the law is not to discourage or suppress development in the State, but to assure that where access to a State Highway is granted, it is the safest point to enter or exit the highway. The various factors reviewed with each access application include: speed of the highway, sight distance, existing traffic on the highway, intersection spacing and the projected vehicular use of the site.
In reviewing a site for Access, SHA may require an applicant to prepare a traffic study for review and approval by SHA to determine the impact the development may have on the adjacent road system. The study should address the impact of the additional traffic generated by the development and propose appropriate improvements to mitigate that impact.
Also, SHA must review a site to determine the hydraulic impact to our roadway drainage system. The developer may be required to supply hydraulic computations for review and approval by SHA. Proper Storm Water Management plans must be reviewed and approved by the County, Soil Conservation Districts and/or Water Resources Administration and implemented by the Permittee.
The intent of this booklet is to provide information and guidelines to anyone desiring access to a State Highway or otherwise needing to perform work within the State Right-of-way. This manual does not address every situation. If more information on SHA Commercial, Industrial or Subdivision Street Entrance Permits is desired, please contact:
Maryland State Highway Administration
Engineering Access Permits Division
707 N. Calvert Street
P.O. Box 717
Baltimore, Maryland 21203
Phone : (410) 545-5600
(800) 876-4742 Toll free in MD only.