New road classification / 3 – two-dimensional classification

The many terms used for road types and classes can give rise to minsunderstandings. This can be due to the use of different language, or inconsistent terms within one language. It could well be a good idea if road engineers could decide what the details are which they are trying to summarise, and then use simple codes for each detail The codes would be at least independent of any language.

In fact, codes are already to be found in several different road design manuals….

Examples of 1-dimensional codes:

The following figure is part of table 3 from the 2012 Russian road design standards (ref. 1823)

new class 21

And from the Polish standard (ref. 376)

new class 22

And from a Saudi Arabian document on roads (ref. 967) comes this excerpt of a table:

new class 23

An example of 2-dimensional codes

However maybe a 1-dimensional code system is not enough. After all, in geometric design terms we could argue that roads are two-dimensional objects – they exist only in length and width. (A road would be a 3-dimensional object if we included a feature for depth, such as “location of utilities”).

We can find an example of a 2-dimensional code for roads in a recent German document on road planning and design (ref. 1615). This table combines a code for the importance of a connecting link (Y axis), and a code for the category group of the link (X axis).

new class 24

What would be the features suitable for use in a 2-dimensional code for the geometry of roads?


376 – Poland , excerpt from a document on road design from a regulation of the Ministry of transport and maritime affairs, March 1999

967 – Saudi Arabia , دليل التصميم الهندسي للطرق (engineering design manual for roads), MOMRA downloaded 2015

1615 – Germany, RAA Richtlinien für die Anlage von Autobahnen; FGSV 2008

1823 – Russia, АВТОМОБИЛЬНЫЕ ДОРОГИ (Autromobile roads), СНиП 2.05.02-85; 2012


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).
This entry was posted in comparative geometrics, highway design standards, roads and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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