Primary road classification (2)

A previous post (link) introduced the idea of a primary classifier for roads, and suggested it should be speed (probably design speed). The post suggested 14 classes, from class 130 (design speed 130 km/hr) to class 0 (design speed 0 km/hr).

Poland has a document (ref. 375) which describes a road classification which involves seven technical classess, numbered from technical class I to technical class VII  (see ref. 375 – details below). The classes are:

  •   I – highways (A)
  • II – expressways (S)
  • III – speeded up roads (GP)
  • IV – main roads (G)
  • V – collector roads (Z)
  • VI – local roads (L)
  • VII – access roads (D)

The document identifies speed as one of the classification’s ‘key features’ (Podstawowe cechy) From (ref. 375) and my suggested primary classifier we can produce the following table:

Poland 01

Points worth noting:

  • This classification only uses 8 of my 14 suggested classes.
  • Technical classes I and II have the same speed groups – although there is a caveat about speed 80 in class I (and why not delete class II, since in the table it duplicates class I)
  • Technical class III covers the biggest speed range, of 40 km/hr (from 60 km/hr to 100 km/hr). This range covers both urban and inter-urban roads – the dividing line is arguably a speed of 70 km/hr. Class III could be modified to form a new class II (80, 70 km/hr). The lower speeds of class III are already covered by class IV.

Too simplistic perhaps, but the technical classes might be further modified as shown in the table below:

Classification 02

(assumes the speeds in the source material refer to design speed)


375 – Generalna Dyrekcja Dróg Publicznych, “Wytyczne projektowania dróg WPD-1” (Warszaw 1995)


About roadnotes

Robert Bartlett is an international consultant with over 30 years of professional experience as a highway and traffic engineer with leading companies and organisations in several countries, including Germany, China (Hong Kong), Qatar and the UK. Specialised in urban studies, transport and the use of GIS, research has included new ideas on subjects such as the study of social justice using GIS, the dimensions of vehicles, and comparative geometrics (highways and transport).
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