Arterial County Highways:
A system proposed for Ohio by David "Smith"

Document Status

This document is a working draft.

Purpose and Need

Many older (and some newer) atlases show certain, important county roads on state-level maps. Their prescense on the map implies importance, and looking at the map can usually give a good indication of why the road is shown. Unfortunately, such roads cannot be sufficiently labeled on state-level maps due to space constraints and/or the tendency for these roads to have long names, such as "West Jefferson – Kiousville Rd". At best, a county road number might be printed on the map, but in most counties, a county highway's number is not conspicuously signed in the field. Clearly, mapmakers feel that these roads are of use to the non-local motorist. A system of concise designations for these roads would greatly simplify the task of navigating one without need for a county-level map.

Route Designations

Selecting Roads for the System

Initial selection of roads for the ACH system should be done by county highway agencies or regional planning commissions.  A committee within ODOT should reconcile any discontinuities between the selections coming from different agencies.  That committee should then identify the individual routes needed to cover the selected roads and assign route numbers to them.  Future changes to the ACH route designations, which may be suggested by county or regional planning agencies, should by carried out by ODOT in a way similar to that in which changes to state route designations occur. 

Mileage

In each county, the combined mileage of roadway that is on either the state or ACH highway system shall be at least the land area of the county times 0.4mi-1; that is, four miles for every ten square miles of land. Exceeding this minimum is encouraged.

In each county, the ACH mileage (not counting state highways) should not exceed the land area of the county times 0.8mi-1; that is, eight miles for every ten square miles of land.

Appropriate Roads

ACH designation should be considered for a road (or a coherent series of roads) if no state-highway alternative of better time or distance exists, and if any of the following conditions are met:

Certain historical routes shall be part of the ACH system: the Dixie Highway, the Lincoln Highway, the National Road, the Yellowstone Trail, and Zane's Trace. The oldest through route shall be used for this purpose.

Freeways which are not state highways should be part of the ACH system. Overlapping ACH designation with state (or U.S. or Interstate) designations on freeways should be avoided.

Dead Ends

For the purpose of this section, a dead end is a point where a motorist on the ACH system cannot stay on the ACH system without making a U-turn. Dead ends are permitted at the following locations:

The ACH system shall NOT have dead ends at county lines, corporation limits, or other political boundaries, except as permitted above.

Route Numbering

Number/Letter Format

Each route in the ACH system shall be designated with two letters, a letter and a numeral digit, or a numeral digit and a letter. The numeral zero shall not be used. The letter I shall not be used. The letter O shall not be used after a number, but may be used before a number or before or after another letter. The letter Q shall not be used after a number, but may be used before a number or before or after another letter. The combination XX shall not be used. This arrangement provides 1056 combinations. The term "route number" may apply to any such combination, including those that do not actually contain numerals.

"Home" County

Each route in the ACH system shall have a "home" county, assigned solely for purposes of selecting a route number. A route must pass through its home county. The mileage of a route through its home county must either be the highest mileage of any county along the route, or be at least the lesser of 15 miles or two-fifths the length of the entire ACH route. The specific historical routes listed previously are exempt from these mileage requirements, and must only pass through their home counties.

The route number assigned to an ACH route shall be one allocated to its home county. If possible, the route number should contain an initial or other prominent letter (or number) from the local name of the road. The 1056 route numbers shall be divided 12 to each of Ohio's 88 counties. Each county should have a common letter in all route numbers assigned to it. A possible allocation scheme follows:

AdamsQEQGQJQKQN QQQRQVQWQXQYQZ
AllenLELGLHLJLK LLLMLNLOLPLQLT
Ashland1A2A3A4A5A 6A7A8A9ADAEAFA
AshtabulaA1A2A3A4A5 A6A7A8A9AAABAC
AthensAGAHAJAKAL AMANAOAPAQARAS
Auglaize1U2U3U4U5U 6U7U8U9UAUBUCU
Belmont1B2B3B4B5B 6B7B8B9BDBEBFB
BrownOEOGOJOKON OOOQOTOWOXOYOZ
ButlerB1B2B3B4B5 B6B7B8B9BABBBC
CarrollEVFVGVHVLV OVPVTVVVWVXVYV
ChampaignUDUEUGUJUK UNUOUUUVUWUYUZ
Clark1C2C3C4C5C 6C7C8C9CDCECFC
ClermontCGCHCJCKCL CMCNCOCPCQCRCS
ClintonKEKFKGKJKK KNKRKTKVKXKYKZ
ColumbianaGCHCJCKCLC MCNCOCPCQCRCSC
CoshoctonBOEOJOKOMO QOROTOVOXOYOZO
Crawford1Y2Y3Y4Y5Y 6Y7Y8Y9YAYBYCY
CuyahogaC1C2C3C4C5 C6C7C8C9CACBCC
DarkeDJDKDLDMDN DODPDQDUDVDWDX
Defiance1D2D3D4D5D 6D7D8D9DADBDCD
DelawareD1D2D3D4D5 D6D7D8D9DDDEDF
ErieE1E2E3E4E5 E6E7E8E9EDEEEF
FairfieldFGFHFJFKFL FMFNFOFPFQFSFX
FayetteLFMFOFQFRF SFTFUFVFXFYFZF
FranklinF1F2F3F4F5 F6F7F8F9FDFEFF
Fulton1F2F3F4F5F 6F7F8F9FAFBFCF
Gallia1J2J3J4J5J 6J7J8J9JBJEJZJ
GeaugaGEGFGGGHGJ GKGLGMGNGOGPGQ
GreeneG1G2G3G4G5 G6G7G8G9GAGBGD
Guernsey1G2G3G4G5G 6G7G8G9GBGDGEG
HamiltonH1H2H3H4H5 H6H7H8H9HAHBHD
Hancock1H2H3H4H5H 6H7H8H9HBHDHEH
HardinN1N2N3N4N5 N6N7N8N9NANBND
HarrissonX1X2X3X4X5 X6X7X8X9XAXBXC
HenryDYEYFYGYHY LYMYNYPYSYWYXY
HighlandJHKHMHNHOH PHQHRHSHTHUHVH
HockingQ1Q2Q3Q4Q5 Q6Q7Q8Q9QAQBQD
Holmes1K2K3K4K5K 6K7K8K9KBKEKZK
HuronHEHFHGHHHJ HKHLHMHNHOHPHQ
JacksonJEJFJGJJJK JNJRJTJVJXJYJZ
JeffersonJ1J2J3J4J5 J6J7J8J9JAJBJD
KnoxK1K2K3K4K5 K6K7K8K9KAKBKD
Lake1L2L3L4L5L 6L7L8L9LBLELJL
LawrenceFRGRHRLRMR ORRRTRURVRXRYR
LickingKLNLOLPLQL RLSLTLULVLWLYL
LoganEUFUGUHUJU KULUMUOUPUQUWU
LoraineL1L2L3L4L5 L6L7L8L9LALBLD
LucasDTETFTGTHT QTRTUTVTWTXTYT
MadisonNENFNGNJNK NNNONQNRNTNUNV
MahoningMEMGMJMKML MMMNMPMQMSMTMV
Marion1R2R3R4R5R 6R7R8R9RBRDRER
Medina1M2M3M4M5M 6M7M8M9MBMEMMJ
MeigsZ1Z2Z2Z4Z5 Z6Z7Z8Z9ZAZBZC
MercerDZEZFZGZHZ LZMZNZPZSZWZXZ
MiamiKMNMOMPMQM RMSMTMUMWMYMZM
Monroe1X2X3X4X5X 6X7X8X9XAXBXCX
MontgomeryM1M2M3M4M5 M6M7M8M9MAMBMD
Morgan1Z2Z3Z4Z5Z 6Z7Z8Z9ZAZBZCZ
Morrow1V2V3V4V5V 6V7V8V9VAVBVCV
MuskingumZDZEZGZHZL ZRZSZTZUZVZYZZ
Noble1N2N3N4N5N 6N7N8N9NBNENZN
OttowaO1O2O3O4O5 O6O7O8O9OAOBOD
PauldingXDXEXGHXXJ XKXLXMXNXSXUXW
PerryEXGXHXLXMX NXSXUXVXWXYXZX
PickawayPEPFPGPJPK PNPOPPPRPSPTPX
PikeBQEQJQKQPQ SQTQUQVQXQYQZQ
PortageP1P2P3P4P5 P6P7P8P9PAPBPD
Preble1P2P3P4P5P 6P7P8P9PBPEPJP
PutnamKPNPOPQPRP SPTPUPWPXPYPZP
RichlandR1R2R3R4R5 R6R7R8R9RARBRD
RossRERGRJRKRN RQRURVRWRXRYRZ
SanduskyGSHSJSKSLS NSOSQSRSTSUSVS
Scioto1S2S3S4S5S 6S7S8S9SBSDSES
Seneca1T2T3T4T5T 6T7T8T9TATBTCT
Shelby1E2E3E4E5E 6E7E8E9EAEBECE
StarkSESGSJSKSN SOSRSSSTSUSVSW
SummittS1S2S3S4S5 S6S7S8S9SASBSD
TrumbullT1T2T3T4T5 T6T7T8T9TATBTC
TuscarawasTDTETGTJTK TNTTTUTWTXTYTZ
UnionU1U2U3U4U5 U6U7U8U9UAUBUC
Van WertV1V2V3V4V5 V6V7V8V9VAVBVC
VintonVDVEVGVJVK VMVNVPVUVWVYVZ
WarrenW1W2W3W4W5 W6W7W8W9WAWBWC
WashingtonEWFWGWHWJW KWLWMWNWPWWWZW
Wayne1W2W3W4W5W 6W7W8W9WAWBWCW
WilliamsYDYEYGYHYJ YKYNYSYUYWYYYZ
WoodWDWEWFWGWH WJWKWNWOWQWRWS
WyandotY1Y2Y3Y4Y5 Y6Y7Y8Y9YAYBYC
XX = route number reserved for historic route.

Route Continuity

If multiple roads appropriate for ACH designation form a single line with small or no gaps and no significant change in direction, a single ACH route should be designated over those roads. An ACH route should have no gaps.

Overlaps

An ACH route may overlap other ACH routes or state highways to connect otherwise-disconnected segments of the route. However, an ACH route should have independent mileage (not overlapped with any ACH or state route) at both termini.

Termini

An ACH route may terminate anywhere an ACH system dead end is allowed (but does not necessarily exist) as described previously. An ACH route may also terminate at another ACH route, but two ACH routes should not terminate at the same point unless a third ACH route also intersects that point.

Straightness

An ACH route should proceed in the same general direction along its entire length. A significant change in direction is acceptable, however, if necessary to navigate around one side of a natural obstacle, and if navigating around the other side is longer or unfeasible.

Administration

Ownership and maintenance responsibility of roads on the ACH system should be unchanged by their inclusion in the ACH system. 

Signage

Amount and type of signage to recommend has not yet been determined.

Funding

Funding for installation and maintenance of ACH signage should come from ODOT through normal procedures of the Transportation Review Advisory Council.  No other expenses related to the ACH system are envisioned at this time.