Functional Roadway Classifications FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Functional Roadway Classifications

How is the Regional Functional Classification different from that in my comprehensive plan?
The functional classification of roads should be identical in both the local comprehensive plans and the regional functional class maps.  There are three instances where there may be inconsistencies.  

  1. First, local municipalities sometimes will use functional classifications which offer further granularity than the regional classification regime. In this case, the local definitions should be assigned to one of the regional classifications.  
  2. Historically, the collector system has not been reviewed in the comp plan process. Differences in the collector system can be corrected at a local community’s discretion. 
  3. There may be a lag between a local jurisdictional change and the resulting change to the regional classification map.  Please note that changes to the functional roadway classification in a community's comprehensive plan do NOT automatically get changed in the regional functional classification data layer.  

Communities need to complete the functional classification change process if they want the designations in their comprehensive plan to be recognized by the MPO, MnDOT, and FHWA.

Why are the regional functional classifications important? 

The regional functional classification indicates how a road is used and should be managed regarding speeds, access limitations, and road geometry considerations.  The regional functional classification is also used to group applications in the competition for federal funds distributed in the regional solicitation process.

How are changes made to the regional functional classification system?   

Regional functional classification changes must be requested by the community or organization with jurisdiction for the roadway.  Requested changes must adhere to the criteria outlined in Appendix D of the Transportation Policy Plan.  In addition, changes which impact other jurisdictions must be coordinated with them to assure system continuity. 

Making A Functional Classification Change

For details about functional classification change process, see: