Whether dreaming of wide open spaces or listing a rural home for sale, there’s one topic that often gets overlooked: land accessibility. After all, land accessibility doesn’t get as much attention as it truly deserves! But the truth is, land access can play a significant role in a property’s market value, the homeowner’s quality of life, and the carbon footprint of an everyday commute.
The concept of land accessibility is a key component to urban planning and strategic development — both in big cities and across rural counties. Roads, bridges, and traffic control can actually have quite an influence over commercial transactions, transportation efforts, and access to everyday activities.
Take a look at how land access can have such a significant ripple effect throughout communities.
What Influences Land Access?
At first thought, many people are inclined to think that land access comes down to whether there’s a road to a property or not. However, there are many more factors to include when considering efficient land accessibility.
Bridges are built with certain weight load capacities, so rural routes with small or outdated bridges may force drivers with large loads to take longer detours. In addition, steep grades and slopes in elevated terrains may only support vehicles with a certain level of horsepower, cutting off land access for drivers with lower-powered engines. Furthermore, the type of roadway can influence land accessibility as well, since dirt or gravel roads may hinder access in a way that smooth, well-lit concrete roadways do not.
With all of these factors taken into consideration, a property’s land access is really determined by the commute time, the distance from commercial areas, the type of surface, and the ease with which it can be accessed by all vehicles.
Relevant in Urban and Rural Landscapes
City dwellers and country folk alike are impacted by the layout of roads, bridges, ferries, parking lots, and highways. For city dwellers, urban planning plays a major role in traffic control efforts, with public transportation systems strategically implemented to help commuters move about the city with relative ease. Likewise, highway and road systems manage vehicle transportation in order to avoid massive jams that stop traffic and interrupt the lives of commuters.
Land accessibility isn’t just relevant to the city. Individuals living in rural areas with limited land accessibility may experience restricted access and longer commutes to important goods and services, like grocery stores, hospitals, and airports.
Furthermore, those who run commercial farming enterprises or plan on building a remote residence may be limited in their transportation options without sufficient land accessibility. This can make delivering building materials and equipment an incredible challenge.
Land Accessibility and the Market
Properties without land accessibility often require more time and resources for residents to reach other locations. In fact, there’s often a correlation between jobs and land access — the more remote and difficult to reach a property is, the less robust the local job market.
The challenge posed by limited land access extends beyond jobs. Properties with a lower ranking of land accessibility often require a longer commute to other important locations, like schools, stores, and hospitals. This can make it more difficult for residents to access the goods and services they need, a component that can strongly play into property value.
Some may argue that they don’t mind the longer commute that results from limited land accessibility. The problem is that longer commutes impact more than the commuters. The environmental impact of a longer daily commute can add up over the years. Efficient roadways with more direct paths can improve land access and decrease the carbon footprint of drivers, leading to environmental benefits.
There are a lot of factors that influence land accessibility, and it’s important to consider exactly how sufficient land access can influence other aspects of community life.