Economic Assessment of Access Management Projects in the Houston, Texas, Region Academic Article uri icon


  • The goal of the access management study of the Houston–Galveston Area Council in Texas, was to examine the effects of recommended improvements before, during, and after project implementation in three areas: operations (traffic flow, intersection delay, and corridor delay), safety (crash frequency, crash rates, and comparisons with state averages), and economic (comparison of taxable sales receipts and control for other economic factors occurring during those times). This paper focuses on an economic assessment that was not addressed by previous studies and on local concerns about the economic impacts of access management. This economic evaluation methodology focused on collection and analysis of taxable sales data to examine possible changes in business activity before, during, and after any implemented access management improvements for various classes of businesses in the corridor study areas. Three corridors, consisting of principal arterials in a large urban area with retail and residential development, were studied. The trends from the three corridors studied suggested that business sales increased at a greater rate along these corridors than in the adjacent control zip code analysis zone. The data showed that overall economic activity in the three corridors was not negatively affected by the implementation of access management. Although confounding factors (Hurricanes Rita and Ike and the economic recession of 2007 to 2009) were in play in an examination of economic impacts during these types of projects, the results of this evaluation indicated that corridor economic activity typically remained steady, and in many cases, increased after access management projects were implemented.

published proceedings

  • Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board

author list (cited authors)

  • Benz, R. J., Norboge, N., Voigt, A., & Gage, S