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A New Functional Classification for Improved Multimodal Designs

EasyChair Preprint no. 25

8 pagesDate: March 30, 2018


The Functional Classification System (FCS) that is in use in the USA and throughout the world was developed in the 1970s as a basis for communication between designers and planners. It sought to establish a common framework for classifying roadways based on mobility and access. Since its inception, the application of the FCS has expanded, and is now used throughout the entire project development process and influences all transportation project development phases, from programming and planning through design and into maintenance and operation decisions. However, the focus of the FCS is narrow; it balances only mobility and access. The limited contextual definitions (urban and rural), do not provide the dynamic range of design elements and guidance needed to balance other competing project needs. A flexible framework that replaces the FCS and facilitates optimal geometric design solutions that take into account context, functions, and user needs has been developed. The proposed FCS expanded context in order to recognize the lack of suburban and rural community (Main Street) contexts and addressed the lack of balancing modal needs through consideration of driver, bicyclist and pedestrian needs. The new classification system communicates improved information to the designer so that balanced designs can be achieved through documented prioritization of roadway users. The proposed classification identifies user groups, which include drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Fundamental design elements for each mode are also identified, and design ranges for each are provided based on the overall roadway network type. The correlation results of context, roadway types, and users is displayed in the Expanded FCS matrix. This allows for the development of a multimodal, context-based design with some degree of flexibility. Each matrix cell defines the various users (drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians) and identifies those characteristics to be balanced.

Keyphrases: Bicyclists, functional classification, Multimodal design, Pedestrians

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Nikiforos Stamatiadis and Adam Kirk},
  title = {A New Functional Classification for Improved Multimodal Designs},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 25},
  doi = {10.29007/99wj},
  year = {EasyChair, 2018}}
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