Use of Secondary Data Sources to Determine the Business Vitality Impacts of Access Management Projects in Iowa
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Use of Secondary Data Sources to Determine the Business Vitality Impacts of Access Management Projects in Iowa

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    Access management is the process of carefully managing the access by vehicles from major transportation routes to adjacent land development. Access management projects, such as those involving driveway consolidation and installation of raised medians, have proven highly effective in improving traffic safety and traffic operations. However, the impact of retrofit access management projects on the vitality of existing businesses along the improvement corridor is a continuing source of concern for business owners, city officials, changers of commerce, and transportation professionals. As part of a major research, education, and outreach project conducted for the Iowa Department of Transportation's (Iowa DOT) Access Management Task Force, a variety of secondary data sources and analytic methods were used to assess the impact of completed access management projects on local retail activity and business vitality. Methods developed and used included community-level business market share "pull factors" and business survival rates developed using original source data made available by the Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance (IDRF); detailed "before and after" business profiles along access management project corridors; and detailed retail sales trends for selected businesses along access management project corridors. The results of this research indicate that for the great majority of businesses, access management projects are not detrimental. In fact, access-managed corridors studied in Iowa generally outperformed their larger communities in terms of business losses and retail sales growth.
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