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HRTPO Releases Annual Roadway Performance Report – 2021 Edition

HRTPO Releases Annual Roadway Performance Report – 2021 Edition

HRTPO recently prepared the 2021 edition of the Annual Roadway Performance Report.  The report includes various information on the performance of the roadway system in Hampton Roads, including:

Regional Roadway Travel Levels - In Hampton Roads there are approximately 80 locations equipped with continuous count stations, where traffic volume data is collected continuously throughout the entire year.  Based on the data collected at these locations, regional traffic volumes decreased 13.8% from 2019 to 2020, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Traffic volumes in Hampton Roads were 2.3% lower in 2020 than they were in 2000.  However, prior to the pandemic in 2019, regional travel levels were 13.4% higher than in 2000.  After falling throughout the economic downturn and remaining largely flat throughout the early 2010s, regional traffic volumes increased by 7.3% from 2014 to 2019.

Peak Period Regional Congestion Levels - Among major roadways, 2% of the lane-miles[i] in Hampton Roads were severely congested during the morning peak travel period in 2020 and 5% of lane-miles were severely congested during the afternoon peak travel period.  By comparison, 6% of the lane-miles during the morning peak period and 14% of the lane-miles during the afternoon peak period were severely congested prior to the pandemic in 2019.

Another way to analyze congestion levels is from the perspective of the driver, based on the amount of travel in the region.  During the morning peak travel period, 3% of roadway travel occurred in severely congested conditions in 2020.  During the afternoon peak period, this percentage increases to 8% of roadway travel.

A lane-mile is defined as the length of a roadway times the number of lanes and is commonly used to describe the amount of roadway capacity.  A one-mile section of a roadway that is 6 lanes wide comprises 6 lane-miles.

Peak Period Travel Times on Major Corridors - HRTPO staff analyzed how peak period travel times have changed over the last few years on ten major corridors in Hampton Roads.  As an example, peak period travel times for the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) are shown below.

In the westbound direction, average travel times at the HRBT decreased during the pandemic from 14.1 minutes in the morning peak period in 2019 down to 11.0 minutes in 2020.  During the afternoon peak period, travel times decreased even further, from 27.2 minutes in 2019 down to 21.0 minutes in 2020, a decrease of over 6 minutes.
 

In the eastbound direction, morning peak period travel times decreased at the HRBT from 20.5 minutes in 2019 down to 10.0 minutes in 2020, a decrease of over 10 minutes.  Afternoon peak period travel times decreased from 25.8 minutes in 2019 down to 13.6 minutes in 2020.

Graphic with HRBT map background and two charts showing Average Weekday Travel Time at the HRBT

Average Peak Period Travel Times at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel by Year

Tables and Maps - The Annual Roadway Performance Report also includes tables and maps with average weekday traffic volumes, roadway travel speeds, and peak period congestion levels for each major roadway in Hampton Roads. 

The HRTPO Annual Roadway Performance Report is produced as part of the region’s Performance Management effort and the Congestion Management Process (CMP).  The Congestion Management Process is an on-going process that identifies, develops, evaluates, and implements transportation strategies to enhance mobility regionwide.  In addition, the data included in this document is used in various HRTPO planning efforts, including the project prioritization process used in both the Regional Long-Range Transportation Plan and the Transportation Improvement Program, recurring regional studies such as the Regional Freight Study and the Military Transportation Needs Study, and special studies conducted by the HRTPO.

The report is available at the following link:  HRTPO Annual Roadway Performance Report – 2021 Edition

 

[1] A lane-mile is defined as the length of a roadway times the number of lanes and is commonly used to describe the amount of roadway capacity.  A one-mile section of a roadway that is 6 lanes wide comprises 6 lane-miles.

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