This series has detailed how the roadway congestion we experience in our region is largely driven by our commuting decisions. Previous articles detailed how we commute, when we commute, and where we commute, and how these factors impact congestion in our region, which is some of the worst in the country according to Inrix. According to the Census Bureau, over 82% of all commuters in Hampton Roads drove alone to work in 2009, which is a higher rate than in most other metropolitan areas. Three out of every four Hampton Roads workers commutes to work during the morning peak travel period. And nearly half of Hampton Roads workers work in a jurisdiction that is different than the one they reside in.
With funding for major roadway improvements more difficult to come by, and improvements such as widening bridges and tunnels costing billions of dollars, other congestion mitigation options need to be examined such as changing the way we commute. Possibilities include additional use of carpooling and using public transportation, shorter commutes, or stretching commute times throughout the day. As an example, if the number of solo commuters in Hampton Roads decreased to the national large metropolitan area average and these commuters used public transportation instead, there would be 25,000 fewer drivers on the road commuting to work each day.
As part of HRTPO's transportation planning efforts, HRTPO staff continuously collects and analyzes regional transportation statistics. Many of these statistics are included in the State of Transportation in Hampton Roads report, which is released biennially by HRTPO. The State of Transportation report details the current status of all facets of the transportation system in Hampton Roads, including air, rail, water and highways. Many aspects of the highway system are highlighted, including roadway usage, pavement condition, bridge conditions, costs of congestion, commuting characteristics, roadway safety, truck data, transit usage, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, highway funding and operations.