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Congestion Management

Roadway congestion is a primary concern facing the users of the Hampton Roads transportation system as it adversely impacts quality of life and economic competitiveness. In order to evaluate current roadway conditions, assess regional transportation needs, and outline strategies to manage current and future roadway congestion, the HRTPO staff maintains a Congestion Management Process (CMP).  The Hampton Roads Congestion Management Process: 2010 Update report includes an analysis of the 2009 and 2030 transportation network in Hampton Roads.

The CMP is an ongoing program in which congestion in the multi-modal, regional transportation system is evaluated and for which improvements are recommended. The main goals of the CMP are to reduce congestion/travel time delays, encourage the use of alternative modes of transportation, and improve air quality through the promotion and coordination of congestion mitigation strategies. The CMP is a vital element of the HRTPO planning process and is used as a guide to develop project recommendations for the Transportation Improvement Program and the Long-Range Transportation Plan. The CMP is a federal requirement for urbanized areas over 200,000 in population and included in the HRTPO Unified Planning Work Program.

The CMP assists in performing the following tasks for the regional transportation system:

  • Measure multi-modal transportation system performance

  • Identify congested locations

  • Determine the causes of congestion

  • Develop alternative strategies to mitigate congestion

  • Evaluate the potential of different strategies

  • Propose alternative strategies that best address the causes and impacts of congestion

  • Track and evaluate the impact of previously implemented congestion management strategies

The first Congestion Management System for Hampton Roads was released in 1995, and was updated in 1997, 2001, and 2005.  This 2010 update is the first to be categorized as a “Process” instead of a “System” to reflect that congestion management is an integral part of the metropolitan planning process, not a stand-alone program.  The Hampton Roads CMP takes a “region-wide” approach to identify and address congestion concerns. The CMP also develops a “toolbox” of strategies to address the most congested locations.  Since we cannot simply build our way out of congestion, all strategies must be considered, with adding roadway capacity as a last resort.  In addition, this report ranks corridors based on congestion and a variety of other criterion, including freight, safety, travel speed, and military significance.  Finally, congestion mitigation strategies are identified and recommended for these locations.

HRTPO staff regularly produces regional studies to assist with the Congestion Management Process.  These studies include:

  • Hampton Roads Regional Travel Time/Speed Study - In recent years, new technologies have been created that collect travel time and speed data on a continuous basis.  One source of such data, provided by INRIX, includes real-time and historical travel time and speed data on an extensive statewide roadway network.  HRTPO staff used this archived data to determine roadway congestion levels and durations in Hampton Roads.
  • Hampton Roads Regional Travel Time Reliability Study, - For many users of the regional roadway network, the level of consistency and dependability in travel times is just as important as the average level of congestion.  This report uses the INRIX travel time and speed data to examine the travel time reliability – defined as how much travel times vary over the course of time – of the regional roadway network.
  • Volumes, Speeds, and Congestion on Major Roadways in Hampton Roads – HRTPO has released the Average Weekday Traffic Volumes for Major Roadways in Hampton Roads report on an annual basis since 2006.  This document continues that effort by detailing regional traffic volumes for the years 2007-2012.  In addition, this report now includes for the first time speed data collected by INRIX.  It also includes congestion levels based on the above volumes and speeds. 

HRTPO staff collects transportation data from various sources and incorporates this information into the CMP Database.  The CMP Database includes the following information for roadways throughout Hampton Roads:

If you would like receive information from the CMP Database, please contact Kathlene Grauberger at (757) 420-8300, or


See also: State of Transportation in Hampton Roads.