The Hampton Roads Congestion Management Process (CMP) is an on-going systematic process for managing congestion that provides information and analysis on multimodal transportation system performance and on strategies to alleviate congestion and enhance the mobility of persons and goods regionwide. During this process, HRTPO staff works with state and local agencies to develop these strategies and mobility options. All urbanized areas with a population of over 200,000 people are required by Federal regulations to prepare a CMP. HRTPO prepared the first Congestion Management Process in 1995, and updates were released in 1997, 2001, 2005, 2010, and 2014.
HRTPO staff will be updating the CMP report throughout 2020. Similar to the 2014 report, the 2020 CMP report will include a thorough assessment of the roadway system in Hampton Roads, a regional roadway network congestion analysis, a ranking of the most congested corridors, and a list of congestion mitigation strategies and recommended improvements for the congested corridors. The 2020 CMP will also provide data and a list of candidate projects for consideration in the 2045 LRTP Project Prioritization Process.
The 2020 Hampton Roads CMP Report will be released in three parts:
• Part I – Introduction and System Monitoring
• Part II – System Performance
• Part III – Congestion Mitigation
HRTPO has recently released Part I of the CMP Report, which includes the Introduction and information related to System Monitoring. The Introduction section of the CMP report includes information on Performance Management and Performance-Based Planning and Programming, the elements of a CMP, CMP goals and objectives, and how the CMP in incorporated into the regional transportation planning process. The System Monitoring section details HRTPO planning efforts including the State of Transportation report, Annual Roadway Performance report, and regional performance measures and target setting.
The System Monitoring section also includes information on regional roadway travel and trends. One method of measuring the change in roadway travel is by using count stations that continuously collect traffic volume data throughout the entire year. In Hampton Roads there are approximately 80 locations equipped with continuous count stations, primarily on major roadways. Based on the data collected at these locations, regional traffic volumes grew 11.4% between 2000 and 2018. However, after falling throughout the economic downturn and remaining largely flat early in the 2010s, regional traffic volumes increased 5.3% from 2014 to 2018.
Change in Regional Roadway Travel Based on Continuous Count Stations, 2000-2018
The amount of roadway travel per capita is lower in Hampton Roads than it is in similar metropolitan areas throughout the country. At 23.6 miles per person per day, Hampton Roads ranked 30th highest in vehicular travel per capita among the 39 large metropolitan areas in the United States with populations between one and four million people in 2017. Nashville experienced roadway travel levels that were more than twice the levels seen in Hampton Roads, and areas such as Birmingham and Charlotte had at least 15 more miles of travel daily per capita than Hampton Roads.
The change in volumes at the Hampton Roads Harbor crossings has largely been similar to the regional trend. Over 180,000 vehicles crossed the Hampton Roads Harbor each day in 2018 at one of the three crossings – the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel, and James River Bridge. The number of vehicles crossing the Hampton Roads Harbor has increased 82% since 1990, when 100,000 vehicles crossed the harbor each day. However, most of this growth occurred in the 1990s and early 2000s. Volumes crossing the Hampton Roads Harbor only increased 6% in the 2010s, with nearly all of the growth occurring between 2015 and 2018.
Nearly 260,000 vehicles crossed the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River each day in 2018 at one of the six river crossings between the Midtown Tunnel and the Veterans Bridge. The number of vehicles crossing the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River increased 33% from 1990 to 2018. However, volumes crossing the Elizabeth River peaked in 2006 before falling significantly throughout the economic downturn. Volumes continued to decrease as tolls were implemented at the Midtown and Downtown Tunnels on February 1, 2014. However, volumes began increasing soon after, and volumes increased 6% between 2014 and 2018.
Average Daily Traffic Volumes Crossing the Hampton Roads Harbor and Elizabeth River Southern Branch, 1990 - 2018
Finally, the System Monitoring section includes information on recently completed roadway projects and the benefits of selected projects. HRTPO staff analyzed the benefits of nine recently completed projects by comparing travel times for the corridor and parallel facilities (where applicable), generally for both the year prior to the start of construction and the year 2018 using INRIX travel time and speed data. These projects include roadway widening projects, a new roadway project, intersection improvements, a rail-grade separation project, and signal timing improvements.
Pre- and Post-Widening Travel Times (in minutes) – I-64 Peninsula Segment 1 Widening
The Hampton Roads Congestion Management Process 2020 Update: Part I – Introduction and System Monitoring Report can be accessed by clicking on the following link: