As anyone who commutes in and out of Norfolk knows, traffic is often bumper to tail on the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT), around the Downtown and Midtown Tunnels and on I-64 and I-264.
The Virginia Peninsula also experiences considerable gridlock, making your chances of getting to your destination on time something of a lottery.
It was, therefore, no surprise for me to read a recent analysis released by TomTom — a tech company that produces traffic information apps and devices, that ranked Hampton Roads as one of the 40 worst areas in the country for traffic congestion.
Hampton Roads has the nation’s 31st worst traffic congestion and the congestion in the seven cities is so bad it ranks as 132nd worst of 174 major international metros.
Hampton Roads has the second worst congestion problem in Virginia. Unsurprisingly, Northern Virginia/Washington D.C, (the 8th worst in the nation), was ahead of Hampton Roads. But the traffic is worse here than in metro Richmond, which ranks 66th worst in the nation.
The Daily Press reported that TomTom officials ranked each metro area on the average time it takes to move around versus to how long it would take to travel to a destination when no other drivers are on the road — known as free-flow conditions.
The report said Hampton Roads was ranked as the 31st most congested city nationally because it takes 18 percent higher on average to get to a destination in congested conditions than in free-flow conditions. The evening rush hour is worse than the morning. It takes 22 percent more time to get around in the morning and 40 percent longer after work.
This study makes for alarming reading. Drivers become more frustrated in congested conditions and there is more scope for accidents occurring. Even so, our cities are not nearly as bad as in 30 other major metros with more than 800,000 residents.
If you are stuck on traffic on I-264, it can feel bad. However, Hampton Roads is not nearly as bad as Los Angeles in California, which was ranked by TomTom as having the worst congestion in the USA and the 10th worst in the world.
Other cities that have worse congestion problems than Hampton Roads are Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Boston, Baltimore, Houston and Miami.
We frequently read about serious accidents on the highways of Hampton Roads during the morning and evening commutes. We help people who are injured due to the fault of an impatient or a reckless or a distracted driver. In 2014, an estimated 2.3 million people were hurt in motor vehicle accidents according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If you have sustained injuries due to the fault of another driver, call us at (757) 333-3333.