Why Change a Roads Classification?

Northeast 102nd is a dead end road with a one lane 95 year old bridge that lies just east of I-35. The road has recently been re-classified as an EXISTING Major Collector allowing the City to apply for federal funding for any projects on the road.  Specifically the NE 18th Overpass project.

Here is the definition of a Major Collector Route-  Major Collectors connect the county seats and the larger population centers not served by the higher systems with such systems and/or directly with nearby larger population centers served by those higher systems. They link the more important local traffic generators with nearby population centers.

It defies logic that a dead end road with a one lane bridge could fulfill the definition of an existing major collector route since it has no traffic flow through it.  What major road or population center is this road connecting too? Since it is a dead end it is clearly impossible for the road to be collecting traffic from other roads and distributing traffic to higher population areas.  Besides making the road eligible for STP Funding, the classification change enables the road to score higher on the MPO's system, raising the projects ranking in comparison to other more legitimate projects eligible for Federal STP Funding (Surface Transportation Program). 

Note: There are only a few homes along this road and there has not been a single house built on this section of road in over 10 years.  Much of the road is not within the City limits of Ankeny. The road transitions into a rock road to the east and is a dead end at the west side. 

What is so amazing is that Frisk Drive is the road with by far the most traffic in this area and yet is not shown on the FFC Map.  If this section of NE 102nd Avenue is an existing major collector then a rabbit trail might as well be reclassified as a superhighway.  One thing is for sure the classification map is not based on existing traffic flow realities at least in regards to NE 102nd Avenue.

In order to understand a possible motivation behind all these strange road classification changes consider the fact that funding and planning are based on these classifications. Also note that the recently annexed Deer Creek Estates land development project lies directly in the path of this newly proposed Interstate 35 overpass. This is the same land development founded by former MPO chair and current policy board member Geri Huserís father/employer who will likely benefit from the construction of this overpass project. Click here for detailed information on this subject. The Deer Creek Estates land development project is the same land development where open burning violations occurred and the City of Ankeny responded by doing nothing, even though the law was repeatedly violated after they were notified.  Apparently the objectives and interests of the Deer Creek Estates land development are highly favored by City of Ankeny officials.  I suppose its always nice to have friends in high places.