Development of a context sensitive multimodal functional classification system

N. Stamatiadis, A. Kirk, M. King, R. Chellman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The modern Functional Classification System (FCS) 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. This research aimed to develop a flexible framework that replaces the FCS and facilitates optimal geometric design solutions that take into account context, functions, and user needs. 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 correlation of context, roadway types, and users results in the Expanded FCS matrix. This allows for the development of a multimodal, context-based design with some degree of flexibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-20
Number of pages16
JournalAdvances in Transportation Studies
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Gioacchino Onorati Editore. All rights reserved.


  • Contextual design
  • Functional classification
  • Highway design
  • Multimodal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Transportation


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