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- Joined Waze Sept. 17, 2013

- Area Manager for the area surrounding Ann Arbor, MI

- Over 100k edits

(DRAFT) National Functional Classification (NFC) Road Types

A state-wide effort to align road types to MDOT's National Functional Classification (NFC) maps began in late 2013. This parallels similar undertakings in other areas of the US.

Rather than relying upon the appearance of the road, NFC considers the overall function of the road as determined by MDOT. While attributes such as number of lanes, speed limits, and number of access points are important aspects of the appearance of a road; they may have less impact on classification than functional considerations such as annual average daily traffic (AADT). Oversimplified, the essential idea from a functional standpoint is that numerous local roads feed into a smaller number of collectors, which then feed into a smaller number of minor arterials, which help funnel the majority of traffic into principal arterials and freeways for longer distance routing.

While there are exceptions that are listed below, the following table provides the NFC classifications with their corresponding Waze road types as adopted in Michigan. Although urban and rural boundaries appear on the NFC maps, Michigan editors currently make no distinction between urban and rural areas when coordinating road types between the NFC and Waze.

NFC Type Waze Road Type Example or Comment
Interstate Freeway I-96 (Lansing)
Other Freeway Freeway US-131 (Grand Rapids)
Other Principal Arterial Major Highway US-24 / Telegraph Rd (Detroit)
Minor Arterial Minor Highway North Territorial Rd (Ann Arbor)
Major Collector Primary Street Mount Olivet Rd (Kalamazoo)
Minor Collector Primary Street Typically rural only, often unpaved
Local Street

Prior to reclassifying any road segment to its NFC type, the following levels of precedence should be observed:

  1. Private roads should be classified as "Private Road" (even if dirt or otherwise unpaved).
  2. Public dirt or unpaved roads should be classified as "Dirt road / 4X4 Trail".
  3. Any road classified higher than the current NFC type due to a separate state-wide standard or local editor judgment should remain as is. The rule as discussed in the Michigan forum is never to downgrade a road type, only upgrade to its NFC type. For example, a county highway with the Michigan A-F designation that may be a major collector in NFC would be classified as a "Minor Highway" due to other accepted guidelines.
  4. If all of the above conditions are met, the road segment can be edited to match the corresponding NFC type.