Functional Classification

In order to be eligible for federal funding, federal regulations require a roadway to be functionally classified. Functional classification is the process by which streets and highways are grouped into classes according to the character of service they are intended to provide. Roads with higher classifications serve the mobility needs of a greater number of people, and typically carry more traffic. Roads with lower classifications tend to provide access more to individual properties than serve the mobility needs of a greater number of people.

In the Jackson Urbanized Area (JUA) five classifications are used to categorize roadways based on their identified purpose and function for meeting the demands of motorists on the overall roadway network. They include interstates, principal arterials, minor arterials, collectors and local streets. Below is a listing of each classification with a brief description explaining the function each classification serves.

A pdf copy of the Jackson Urbanized Area’s functional classification map is available at the bottom of this page. In addition, the MPO’s interactive viewer can be accessed to view the functional classification of all roadways in the JUA by clicking here.

Interstates

Interstates are the highest classification of Arterials and are designed and constructed with mobility and long-distance travel in mind. These facilities are divided highways with full access control and grade separations at all intersections. The controlled access character of interstates results in high-lane capacities, which are three times greater than the individual lane capacities of urban arterial streets.

Examples:

Interstates 20, 55 and 220.

Principal Arterials

These roadways serve major activity centers, are the highest traffic volume corridors (with the exception of Interstates), have the longest trip demands, carry a high proportion of total urban travel on a minimum amount of mileage and interconnect and provide continuity for major rural corridors to accommodate trips entering and leaving urban areas and movements through urban areas.

Examples:

County Line Road, Ridgewood Road, Main Street (Madison) Hwy. 51, Old Fannin Road and Hwy. 25.

Minor Arterials

Minor Arterials provide service for trips of moderate length at a somewhat lower level of travel mobility, distribute traffic to smaller geographic areas, provide more land access than Principal Arterials without penetrating identifiable neighborhoods and offer connectivity to the higher Arterial system.

Examples:

Gallatin Street, Old Vicksburg Road, Nissan Parkway, Lake Harbour Drive, Old Hwy. 49 and Old Brandon Road.

Collector Streets

These facilities provide both land service and traffic movement functions. Collectors serve as intermediate feeders between arterials and local streets and primarily accommodate short distance trips. Since collector streets are not intended to accommodate long through trips, they are generally not continuous for any great length.

Examples:

Gary Road, Eastover Drive, St. Augustine Drive, King Ranch Road, Star Road and Burnham Road.

Local Streets

Consists of all roads not defined as arterials or collectors. Local streets typically support direct access to homes and are generally designed for slow speeds.

Functional Classification Viewer

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