Massachusetts/Major roads/Main

From Wazeopedia

Important Note

Massachusetts Functional Classification settings are dictated by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), at the request of the local jurisdictions, and in coordination with neighboring states. If you do not agree with our FC levels, please petition MassDOT to change the rating they've assigned.

Do NOT make random changes on your own.

Locking Standard

In Massachusetts we have a set minimum standard for locking roads based on segment type. Any road of a certain segment type must be locked at least to the rank (level) in the chart below. Roads may be locked higher for protection and special situations (areas with construction, tricky design, frequent mistakes, imaging inaccuracies, and the like), but should not be locked lower.

A great time to implement these locks is while bringing the road types of an area into compliance with the current US road type standards (FC and highway systems). Lock the roads based on type after they've been set to current US road type standards.

Massachusetts Minimum Locking Rank Standard
Segment Type Statewide
 Freeway  5
 Ramp  Highest rank of connected segments
 Major Highway  4
 Minor Highway  3
 Primary Street  1 (Auto)
 Street  1 (Auto)
 Private Road  1 (Auto)
 • • • • Ferry • • • •   5
 |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Railroad |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|  2

Note: Do Not Mass Edit just to update locks to these standards, these can be adjusted as you find them while editing other aspects of the segments such as FC, speed limits, naming, etc.

Some segments still warrant higher locks and care should be taken when setting segment lock to these standards to look for and protect these special setups with higher locks. Some examples; segments which are part of BDP, U-turn prevention, or using micro-doglegs, or other complex intersection setups.

Roadway Naming

Massachusetts follows the US Road Naming conventions for Interstate, US and State routes, with the following considerations.

The naming format for Numbered State Highways in Massachusetts is "SR-###".

State alternate routes have signage of "###A". Do NOT use the style employed for US alternate routes "US-### ALT" when naming state alternate routes. Instead, use Waze names of the form SR-###A. Example: "SR-2A"

Cardinal Direction indicators will be used in accordance with National standards, except in the following situations:

  • Undivided US Highway/State Highway
  • US Highway with a primary name other than "US-##"
  • State Highway with a primary name other than "SR-##"

City Names on Freeway Segments

If a road segment is classified as a Freeway, there shall be No City Names listed, as well as no Alternate Names.

  • For the "Mass Turnpike," we add the name "Mass Pike" to the on-ramp name.

City Names on MH/mH Numbered Highways

With the exception of Freeway segments (as mentioned above) all road segments should have a Primary city name assigned to them.

Street Name as Primary Name

The Primary Street name shall be whatever name is in common usage in that area. (Check business addresses, GIS, etc). If the Primary Name is an actual Street Name (Main St, etc), please add the "SR-##" to the Alternate Name field, with no City name.

State Route as Primary Name

However, if the commonly used name is "SR-##" then enter the street name, along with city, in the Alt Name.

If a segment has more than one State/US route number, follow the Concurrent Road Naming guidelines from the Wiki. Just remember, please no city names in the Alt Name field for numbered routes. (see examples on the right)

If a Major/Minor classed segment is not a numbered highway, there should be no alternate names listed.

Clear as mud? Contact the State Manager if you need help figuring this out.

PS and Lower

List the Primary street name, and city. No Alternate names are to be listed.

Named Roadways

These are named highways in Massachusetts which also carry numbered designations. Some are simply names of streets which carry a numbered route(s). Roads named after people/organizations were generally done so ceremoniously, after the numeric designation(s) already existed. Others carry more general names, such as the Southeast Expressway and Central Artery in Boston (which both refer to the same continuous span of I-93).

Several named highways cover the entire length of a given route in Massachusetts; for example, all of Interstate 90 in Massachusetts is the Massachusetts Turnpike, and the entire length of Route 213 is the Loop Connector.(*) denotes that the named highway spans the entire length of the numbered route in the state.

Wikipedia table of Unnumbered, and Named State Routes

Functional Classification

Functional Classification updates in Massachusetts have been completed. This will ensure a consistent, and better navigational experience to Wazers around the state and country. The general guidelines for implementation are in the Road types page. Any local deviations, and special information for Massachusetts will be listed below.

PLEASE REFER TO THIS FORUM TOPIC ON THE MATTER - Road Types – comprehensive overhaul of drivable roads

MassDOT Functional Classification Standard

MassDOT currently maintains two completely separate Functional Classification systems. The state level system has been developed by the MassDOT Planning Division, and consists of 6 Road Types.

The Federal Functional Classification system is the Nationwide standard, and consists of 7 Road Types. The major difference between the two is that the Federal FC classifies limited access arterials (non-Interstates) separate from full-access arterials.

MA to Waze FC conversion

We are utilizing the Federal Functional Classification system, because it matches up with other states.

Resource Links
MassDOT GIS class and color description
GIS Legend

The Massachusetts Classification and Color scheme come from the official Massachusetts D.O.T (MassDOT) Federal Functional Classification (FC) map that is published by MassDOT. The legend shows what classifications MassDOT uses and what color is assigned to each class.

Please refer to the GIS FC map found here, on the massDOT FC Maps webpage.

MassDOT to Waze conversion table

The numbers correspond to the Federal FC type indicated. (e.g. Federal Class 4 road is a Minor Arterial)

Highway Systems
Interstate US Hwy (incl. some special routes) US Hwy BUS, SPUR, LOOP State Hwy (incl. some special routes) State Hwy BUS, SPUR[a], LOOP Locally-maintained
example>>>>> I-95 N US-2 US-460 Business SR-27 (SR-27A) SR-400 Loop Robertson St

  Interstate (1)    Fw  n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
  Principal Arterial OFE (2)  n/a  Fw   Fw   Fw   Fw   Fw 
  Principal Arterial - Other (3)  n/a  Major   Major   Major   Major   Major 
  Minor Arterial (4)  n/a  Major   Major   Minor   Minor   Minor 
  Major Collector (5)  n/a  Major   Major   Minor   PS   PS 
  Minor Collector (6)  n/a  Major   Major   Minor   PS   PS 
 Local/Not Mapped (7)  n/a  Major   Major   Minor   PS   Street 
Deviation From Functional Classification

Occasionally it makes sense to deviate from what FC should be.

Here are the segments that are approved to be different than what they should be.

Please contact State Management if you have questions.

Speed Limits

Speed Limit Sign
Speed limit data added to segments in the WME is used in the Waze app to display an app user's speed relative to the speed limit. In addition, the app notifies users if they exceed a speed limit designated on the Waze map.

The ONLY speed limits added to the map must match federal, state, and municipal laws or regulations that designate maximum speeds for passenger vehicles.

Any highway ramp with speed limits posted on the regulatory black and white signs should be added to the road segments in the WME. Ramps with advisory speed signs, as shown below, should have no speed limit in the WME.

Freeway segments that contain toll booths will not have speed limits designated as there may be different limits in individual lanes. Waze does not currently support the identification of transponder lanes and the like. Also, the affected segments may be short in length so that the app might not be able to signal a drop in speed limit before users are at the toll booth.

Speed limits that are designated on private property may be added to road segments on the Waze map at the discretion of the regional coordinator or state manager(s).

Speed Limits are added to parking lot and private road types by changing type to street, adding limits, then reverting to the original road type.

State Specific Laws

Massachusetts has specific laws pertaining to speed limits for areas that are not posted. Please refer to the following table below for guidance for speed limits on road segments with no signage. As of February 2016, there are currently no roads in Massachusetts that have a speed limit greater than 65 mph. If you have a question regarding the speed limit of an area please consult with your State Manager.

Speed Limit - MGL c.90, § 17
20 MPH School Zones - Please review area for posted school zone, only if the zone is posted 24 hours a day should this be listed
30 MPH Thickly Settled or Business District - Massachusetts General Law defines thickly settled as “an area where buildings are fewer than 200 feet apart for a distance of 1/8 mile or more.”
40 MPH Outside of a thickly settled or business district for a distance greater than ¼ mile
50 MPH On a divided highway outside a thickly settled or business district for a distance greater than ¼ mile

NOTE: As of August 9, 2016, a bill was signed into law allowing individual municipalities to lower the minimum speed limits in thickly settled or business districts to 25 MPH. A listing of municipalities which have adopted these reduced statutory speed limits is maintained by the MassDOT.

MGL c.90, § 17c
(a) Notwithstanding section 17 or any other general or special law to the contrary, the city council, the transportation commissioner of the city of Boston, the board of selectmen, park commissioners, a traffic commission or traffic director of a city or town that accepts this section in the manner provided in section 4 of chapter 4 may, in the interests of public safety and without further authority, establish a speed limit of 25 miles per hour on any roadway inside a thickly settled or business district in the city or town on any way that is not a state highway.

This bill also allowed "Safety zones" to be designated by municipalities at 20 MPH.

MGL c.90, § 18b
(a) Notwithstanding section 18 or any other general or special law to the contrary, the city council, the transportation commissioner of the city of Boston, the board of selectmen, park commissioners, a traffic commission or traffic director of a city or town that accepts this section in the manner provided in section 4 of chapter 4 may, in the interests of public safety and without further authority, establish designated safety zones on, at or near any way in the city or town which is not a state highway, and with the approval of the department if the same is a state highway. Such safety zones shall be posted as having a speed limit of 20 miles per hour.

Additional special regulations have been set by MassDOT in the following manner:

MassDOT Rules on Speed Limits unless otherwise posted - 700 CMR 7.08(6): Table 10
65 MPH I-90 W – Exit 15 to NY Border
I-90 E – NY Border to Exit 14
55 MPH All other areas of the Massachusetts Turnpike
45 MPH Prudential Tunnel
Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Tunnel
40 MPH Ted Williams Tunnel
35 MPH Callahan Tunnel
Sumner Tunnel

Variable Speed Limits

The WME and Waze app do not support Variable Speed Limits (VSLs) that are changed based on traffic and road conditions. These VSLs can be changed at any time by government officials. If there is a 'standard' speed limit at which the signs on a stretch of road are usually set, this 'standard' speed COULD BE added to the associated road segments in the WME. However, the setting of any speed limit on a road with VSLs must be done in consultation with the appropriate State Manager.

Variable Speed Limits

Unsupported Speed Limits

The following speed limits are unsupported by the WME and the Waze app, and MUST NOT be added to road segments in the WME. Road segments with posted 'advisory' speeds or special speed limits should continue the Speed Limit for passenger vehicles as posted on the black and white signs pictured above.

Advisory Speed Limits

In addition, yellow 'advisory' speed signs (as shown below) are usually not enforceable; therefore, 'advisory' speeds, like the ones shown below, should NOT be added to the waze map.

Special Speed Limits

As of February 2016, the WME and Waze App only support maximum speed limits for passenger vehicles, without variation for time of day, or day of the week. Specialty, also known as 'bannered', speed limits, like the ones shown below, should NOT be added to the Waze map.

School zone speed limits that are in effect 24 hrs per day, and 365 days a year, should be added to the map.