Functional classification

Functional classification groups highways and streets according to the character of service they are intended to provide, ranging from a high degree of travel mobility to land access functions.

Available on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) FTP server are PDFs of approved functional classification maps for rural, urban, and urbanized areas, as well as other incorporated cities and villages meeting standards for small community criteria.

WisDOT uses functional classification:

  • For general transportation planning
  • When referencing highway and street construction standards
  • To determine eligibility for the rural or urban surface transportation program

Routes are classified using the Functional Classification Criteria (based on the former Wisconsin Administrative Code Trans 76), updated by WisDOT in 2013.

Functional classification must be updated every 10 years to coincide with the U.S. Census analysis of urban and urbanized areas but can be updated at any time. WisDOT works in cooperation with appropriate local or MPO officials in development of a functional classification system. After WisDOT and local officials agree, FHWA approves the functional classification system.

Requests to amend the functional classification of highways and streets often occur when new routes are planned or when existing routes indicate changes in travel patterns.