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Congestion Levels and Travel Times Increase on Many Roadways

Congestion Levels and Travel Times Increase on Many Roadways

HRTPO recently released the Volumes, Speeds, and Congestion on Major Roadways in Hampton Roads draft report.  The report includes average weekday traffic volumes for major roadways in Hampton Roads for the years 2010-2015, average roadway travel speeds, and peak period roadway congestion level information.  

Existing Regional Congestion Levels

As part of this effort, HRTPO staff analyzed peak period congestion levels on a regional basis.  Looking at major roadways, 5% of the lane-miles[i] in Hampton Roads are severely congested during the morning peak travel period.  Another 14% of lane-miles are moderately congested, and 81% experience low to moderate congestion levels.  

Roadway congestion levels are much higher throughout Hampton Roads during the afternoon peak travel period.  One out of every six lane-miles (16%) are severely congested during the afternoon peak travel period, while 19% experience moderate congestion and 65% experience low to moderate congestion.  

Another way to analyze congestion levels is from the perspective of the driver, based on the amount of travel in the region in terms of vehicle-miles of travel (VMT)[i].  During the morning peak travel period, 10% of roadway travel occurs in severely congested conditions.  During the afternoon peak period, nearly a quarter (24%) of VMT occurs in severely congested conditions.

HRTPO staff also looked at how peak period travel times on a number of major corridors have changed over the last three years.  In many of the corridors, travel times increased.  As an example, peak period travel times increased at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT).  In the eastbound direction, travel times during the morning peak period increased from 15.3 minutes in 2013 to 19.5 minutes in 2015, and increased during the afternoon peak period from 15.7 minutes in 2013 to 20.1 minutes in 2015.  In the westbound direction, afternoon peak period travel times increased at the HRBT from 19.7 minutes in 2013 to 25.0 minutes in 2015, an increase of over 5 minutes.

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

EastboundWestbound

 

Volumes, Speeds, and Congestion on Major Roadways in Hampton Roads draft report, and a presentation that includes more information on travel time changes in various corridors throughout the region, are available by clicking the following links:

Draft Volumes, Speeds, and Congestion on Major Roadways in Hampton Roads Report

Volumes, Speeds, and Congestion on Major Roadways Pedestrian Presentation


[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.

[2] Vehicle-miles of travel (VMT) is the sum of the total amount of travel on a particular roadway or in a particular area.  Roadway VMT is calculated by multiplying the amount of daily traffic on a roadway segment by the total length of the roadway.

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