Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Roadway Data

Information about Minnesota's roads from the Transportation Information System database

traffic on a highway


Construction Project Log - index of all construction projects (dating back to the 1920s) on trunk highways beginning with the first known work, organized by county and control section; available on the Data Products page.

Control Section - a segment of the state highway road system that is divided into shorter, more manageable parts for record keeping within MnDOT.

County Road (CR) - roads locally maintained by county highway departments in Minnesota; span a wide variety of road types, varying from A-minor arterials that carry large volumes of traffic to an improved road.

County State Aid Highway (CSAH) - specialized form of county road that is part of the state aid system.  County State Aid routes are eligible for funding from the County State Aid Highway Fund.

District – MnDOT has divided Minnesota into eight operating districts based on geographic location and resources. For more information visit http://www.dot.state.mn.us/information/districts.html.

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ – federal agency that administers federal funds and issues policy and procedure timetables for implementation of federal legislative directives; however, they do not have a direct role in the development of urban transportation plans or their development.  The FHWA use TSM’s continuous count data, annual AADT, and VMT estimates in federal-level travel analysis and determination of funds.

Functional Classification - the process by which all roads are grouped into classes or systems according to the character of service they are intended to provide.  Functional class defines the part that any particular road or street should play in serving the flow of trips through a highway network. For more information, visit http://www.dot.state.mn.us/roadway/data/html/functional_class.html.

Greater Minnesota – the area of Minnesota that lies outside the seven-county Metro Area.

Heavy Commercial Traffic – traffic from all trucks with at least 2 axles and 6 tires.

Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/hpms.cfm – national level highway information system that includes data on the extent, condition, performance, use and operating characteristics of the nation's highways.  The TSM office submits state-level traffic data to HPMS on a monthly and yearly basis.

Legislative Route - a highway number defined by the Minnesota State Legislature. Routes 1 to 70 are constitutional routes and route numbers greater than 70 may be added or deleted by the legislature.

Local system roads - any road not on the Interstate or Trunk Highway system; can be designated as a CSAH (County State Aid Highway), CR (County Road), MSAS (Municipal State Aid Street), township, or municipal road.

Metro Area – the seven-county Twin Cities Metropolitan Area comprised of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties.

Metro District – comprised of eight counties-- the seven-county Twin Cities Metropolitan Area plus Chisago County.

Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) - entities designated by law to coordinate the transportation planning process and lead the development of a metropolitan area's transportation plans. All urban areas over 50,000 in population are required to have an MPO if the agencies spend Federal funds on transportation improvements.

Municipal State Aid Street (MSAS) - similar to the County State Aid system, this is a system of designated municipal streets in cities above 5,000 in population that are not already on the state highway or CSAH systems.  Municipal streets on the MSAS system are eligible for funding from the Municipal State Aid Highway Fund.

National Highway System (NHS) - consists of roadways important to the nation's economy, defense, and mobility; developed by the Department of Transportation (DOT) in cooperation with the states, local officials, and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs).

Reference Post or Reference Point - the distance in miles from a set reference point to the beginning of the highway segment; can be a state or county line or the point where the particular route originates.

Regional Development Organization (RDO) - involved in soliciting and evaluating projects, and seek to integrate regional priorities in planning and project selection; coordinates transportation with MnDOT following a work program framework. There are twelve Regional Development Organizations in Minnesota. For more information, visit our Transportation Planning Partners page.

Traffic Volume – count of motorized vehicles that travel past a certain location over a specific period of time.

Transportation Information System (TIS) – integrated database system that stores roadway related traffic information such as AADT and HCAADT, and roadway physical characteristics such as number of lanes, presence of medians, etc. For more information, see TIS Users Manual.

True Mileage - number describing route reference post locations based on their accumulated (odometer) distance measured from the beginning of the route.

Trunk Highway (TH) - major roadways consisting of Interstates, US Highways, and State Highways.

Trunk Highway Log Point File - sequential listing of landmarks such as intersections, railroad crossings, city limit boundaries, bridges, etc. that vehicles cross when driving along a trunk highway in the increasing (reference post) direction; available on the Data Products page.

Urban/Rural Status - delineation of geographical areas by the Census Bureau. Urban areas represent densely developed territory and encompass residential, commercial, and other non-residential land uses; redefined after each decennial census by applying specified criteria. Rural areas encompass all population, housing, and territory not included within an urban area.

Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) - commonly used to measure the demand on our transportation network; computed by multiplying the AADT by the centerline road miles.