What type of congestion irritates you the most?

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What type of congestion irritates you the most?

This is the third and final blog in our series of blog posts concerning regional traffic congestion spots.

The first two can be found here and here.  This post asks you to tell us what type of congestion (rush hour, construction or other) irritates you the most and what you would do about it.

Regional planners are working on the region’s first ever Congestion Management Process (CMP) Plan; the Plan is a new Federal requirement because Roanoke’s urbanized area went over 200,000 in population.   This new requirement is an opportunity to try to get a handle on congestion before it gets really irritating.  If the region is successful, 20 years from now residents will still feel that congestion isn’t that bad in Roanoke.  

Staff has been taking “congestion snapshots” using Google Traffic in the morning, lunch, early afternoon (first shift) and afternoon (rush hour) for several months.  The four images presented here are congestion spots that recur on multiple occasions: 1) Grandin and Brandon near Patrick Henry HS, 2) Exit 150, Route 11 and Alternate 220 3) Orange Avenue, and 4) Route 220 around Hunting Hills toward Clearbrook towards Franklin County.

So, which type of congestion is the most irritating? Is it the school and urban neighborhood related congestion of Grandin/Brandon? Is it the interstate related congestion of Exit 150?  Is it the urban thoroughfare and traffic lights related congestion of Orange Avenue? Or, is it the Big Box Shopping related congestion of Tanglewood, Hunting Hills and Clearbrook?  Please use the comment box below to tell us which type of congestion is most irritating and why?

Blog #10 - Image 3 - Orange Avenue

Click to enlarge.

Blog #10 - Image 1 - Grandin and Brandon

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Blog #10 - Image 4 - Hunting Hills toward Clearbrook

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Blog #10 - Image 2 - Exit 150

Click to enlarge.

6 thoughts on “What type of congestion irritates you the most?

  1. When I read this my immediate thought is 460 merging 581S. This area is quite congested and seems to have a consistent theme with motorist having apparent confusion related to right of way. Many times cars have passed to the right as others are yielding to highway traffic. The onramp is short and when there is morning civic center events, one can count on an exciting entry onto 581. My second thought is the traffic on Franklin Road (at TW Mall). There are more times to count than not where motorists cut from left to right to merge onto 581 North and South. This is one area to be on guard considering the multiple over 55 communities in the area. The mix of over cautious drivers with more agressive drivers is not well suited in a naturally congested area. Luckily, Franklin is not on my daily route! Exit 150, however, is part of my weekly route and learning work arounds to avoid the heavy consistent flow of truckers and travelers is an option until this area sees more modifications.

  2. Gidget, Thank you for your feedback. Out of the areas you mentioned, Exit 150

    (see: http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/salem/i-81_exit_150_access_management.asp )

    has been redesigned and will be modified. Funding traditional construction solutions for the others will probably take longer. Do you have ideas for lower cost approaches that may help? What do you think of more park and ride lots, or of technology (ramp metering signals on interchanges etc.) for these areas? Any ideas we may not have considered?

  3. My biggest traffic pet peeve is when there’s a small area of construction but the road is closed for miles before that area.

    If I had to choose one of yours it would be Orange Avenue, even though I don’t travel it often. I have a hard time understanding how it can back up for a mile or more on 581 so often.

  4. Thanks Cathy. I have seen some spoof construction ahead signs on the internet that are Photoshopped to say “Lane might be closed within 2 miles or not!” In reality, I suspect that the construction crews are hamstrung by the safety rules. Do you think more variable message signs would help? Then the signs could be updated to include a distance, i.e. “Lane closed 1 mile ahead.”

  5. I have learned to not let the congestion bother me any more. I know that all the problem areas mentioned are due to an aging road system plus a increase in traffic volume. Several ramp designs are out of date such as the one around I-581/460 and better IT (intelligent transportation) solutions will be needed in the future to manage the traffic issues.

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