Tamara Rollison 804-786-2715
Nov. 18, 2008
VDOT ENCOURAGES MOTORISTS TO LEAVE EARLY FOR THEIR THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY TRAVEL
Agency releases historical data to help motorists plan best holiday travel times
Using traffic data collected since 2003, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is providing motorists with a tool to plan holiday travel based on historic peak congestion.
VDOT has collected speed and traffic volume data for major interstates using pavement sensors at 24-hour count sites since April 2003.
Citizens can secure this information online to help plan their holiday travel schedule around expected peak congestion times by visiting http://www.virginiadot.org/news/thanksgiving_2008_travel_trends.asp.
T he congestion levels will vary by region of the state and travel direction.
Data gathered from the last few years shows the heaviest traffic volume on the interstate system will likely occur from noon and 8 p.m. on the day before Thanksgiving.
Congestion on the return trip is harder to predict as motorists tend to head home from Friday through Sunday.
However, the heaviest traffic volumes are anticipated for Sunday afternoon.
Congestion is measured using pavement sensors by analyzing the average speed and traffic volume for each hour over the course of the day.
A drop in speed and corresponding rise in volume indicates a period of congestion, which may be due to a traffic incident or heavy traffic volume.
Motorists can expect heavy congestion in the following locations:
- Interstate 95 between Richmond and Interstates 495/395 Springfield Interchange
Interstate 66 eastbound and westbound in Northern Virginia
Interstates 81/77 interchange near Wytheville
I-81 near Lexington to south of Roanoke
- Interstates 64/95 in the Richmond area
This information indicates trends for delays during previous holiday weekends. It is not a prediction of future congestion levels.
For real-time information about traffic incidents affecting the roadways, visit www.511virginia.org.
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.