VDOT’s 2011 SSAR Regulations: A Summary of Changes, Part 2

Jennifer Devaughn By: Jennifer Devaughn

This is the second of three posts detailing the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) recent changes to the Secondary Street Acceptance Requirements (SSAR) regulations.  The primary purpose of the SSAR is to ensure that secondary streets accepted into Virginia’s secondary system of highways provide adequate public benefit to justify their perpetual maintenance by VDOT.  There have been two editions of the SSAR to date; discussed below are the changes made to the first edition of regulations, originally adopted on March 9th, 2009.  The second edition of SSAR went into effect on December 31, 2011.

This post details key changes to the pedestrian accommodation and connectivity requirements of the SSAR regulations.  A traffic volume threshold has been added to the pedestrian accommodations requirement and the median lot size has been reduced.  The connectivity requirements have been revised to include three new standards.

With the reduction in median lot sizes and the addition of a traffic volume threshold, the pedestrian accommodation requirements have been revised as follows:

  1. For streets with an ADT over 400 vehicles per day (VPD) that are located in a development with a median lot size of one-quarter acre or smaller or when the ADT for the street is over 8,000 VPD, pedestrian accommodations shall be provided along both sides of the street or provisions made that provide equivalent pedestrian mobility.
  2. For streets with an ADT over 400 VPD that are located in a development with a median lot size between one-quarter acre and one-half acre or when the ADT for the street is between 2,000 and 8,000 VPD, pedestrian accommodations shall be provided along at least one side of the street or provisions made that provide equivalent pedestrian mobility.

The second edition of SSAR also eliminated the provision for pedestrian accommodations along streets functionally classified as collectors or arterials with two travel lanes; however, the requirements remain in effect along streets functionally classified as collectors or arterials with three or more travel lanes

The former Compact, Suburban, and Rural standards of the connectivity requirements have eliminated and replaced with three new standards:

  1. Stub Out Connection Standard.  If a stub out maintained by VDOT adjoins a development with a network addition or individual street proposed for acceptance into the secondary system of state highways, such network addition or individual street must connect to the VDOT maintained stub out to be eligible for acceptance into the secondary system of state highways.
  2. Multiple Connections in Multiple Directions Standard.  The streets within a network addition may be accepted into the secondary system of state highways if the network addition provides at least two external connections, one of which must be to a publicly maintained highway and the other providing a connection to a different highway or a stub out to an adjoining property.
  3. Additional Connections Standard.  Network additions providing direct access to (i) more than 200 dwelling units or (ii) lots whose trip generation is expected to be over 2,000 VPD may be accepted into the secondary system of state highways if the network addition provides an additional external connection (beyond that required under the Multiple Connections in Multiple Directions Standard) for each additional 200 dwelling units or 2,000 VPD or portion thereof over the initial 200 dwelling units or 2,000 VPD.

Stay tuned for the final post in this series which will detail the administrative changes to the SSAR regulations!

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