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The Future of Transportation in Hampton Roads

The Future of Transportation in Hampton Roads

Approximately 77% of the 2040 LRTP Visioning Survey Questionnaire respondents stated that their primary mode of transportation in Hampton Roads is “Drive Alone”. What does this say about transportation in this region? It says that there is a large preference in traveling alone and that people heavily rely on their personal vehicles. What if that could change to a point where driving alone would be a second or third choice in getting around Hampton Roads?

On June 19, 2014, HRTPO Board Members endorsed the 2040 LRTP Draft Candidate Projects at the HRTPO Board Meeting in the Regional Boardroom. This list of over 200 candidate projects is made up of Hampton Roads Transportation Fund (HRTF) projects, 2034 LRTP projects, locality submittals, and public input via the 2040 LRTP Visioning Survey Questionnaire. A common consensus from the survey was that people want options when it comes to transportation. They want a multimodal transportation system that improves mobility, provides better connectivity, and enhances the quality of life. The list of candidate projects represents that demand for multimodalism. Currently, the project categories include highway (roadway, interchange, and intersection), transit (light rail and ferry), rail (passenger rail, high speed rail, and commuter rail), and active transportation (bicycle and pedestrian).

HRTPO staff has begun evaluating the candidate projects using the Project Prioritization Tool. This tool prioritizes candidate projects based on their technical merits and regional benefits. For the purpose of prioritization, projects are placed into separate evaluation categories to enable decision-makers to more efficiently compare projects. Data input needs vary by category. For example, system connectivity is evaluated differently for bicycle facilities than for highways. Ultimately, this tool will further enable the production of a long-range transportation plan that supports multimodalism.

It is exciting to think what transportation will be like for Hampton Roads in 2040. Just think: there could be another bridge-tunnel connecting the Peninsula to Southside. There could be an expanded light rail system connecting the Hampton Roads cities to each other. There could be additional bicycle and pedestrian facilities that may be used not only for recreational purposes but for commuting purposes as well. All of these possibilities lead to a seamless multimodal transportation system that improves mobility and connectivity, enhances quality of life, and ultimately brings the region together as one.

For a complete list of the 2040 LRTP Draft Candidate Projects, please click here.