Roadway Functional Classification

In 2014 and 2015, the Atlanta Regional Commission partnered with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to review the functional classification (FC) of the region’s roadway system. This review was prompted by the US Census Bureau’s designation of Urban Areas (UAs) and the subsequent ARC Board adoption of Atlanta’s new Urban Area Boundary (UAB) in 2013.

Functional classification is important because it establishes the functional role of a roadway in serving local trips versus longer distance travel, and the volume of traffic to be accommodated.  It can also influence roadway design characteristics as it relates to the degree of access to adjacent land and the development patterns/growth patterns along a corridor.  FC also defines federal funding eligibility.

Adopted Changes

Local jurisdictions, ARC, and GDOT worked together to develop a list of recommended functional class changes for the region. Action items for these changes were taken through the ARC TCC and TAQC committees and then adopted by the ARC Board.

On August 27th, 2014, the ARC Board adopted changes to the region’s principal arterial network. These changes were adopted by GDOT and FHWA later in 2014. On April 22, 2015, the ARC Board adopted changes to minor arterials, major collectors, minor collectors, and a small number of local roadways. These changes were adopted by GDOT and FHWA later in 2015. The signed resolutions, including a list of the adopted changes, are in the following files:


The functional class changes identified in the adopted resolutions are shown in the following maps:

GIS Shapefiles

GIS shapefiles of the resulting functional class network for the Metro Atlanta region can be found in the following zip file:

Metro Atlanta Functional Class Network, October 2015 

F_System is the functional class attribute in these shapefiles. This attribute consists of the following:

  1. Interstate Highway
  2. Other Freeways and Expressways
  3. Principal Arterials
  4. Minor Arterials
  5. Major Collectors
  6. Minor Collectors
  7. Local roads

Additional local roadway changes will be addressed by GDOT at a later date.