Virginia Beach Is One Of The Best Cities For Commuters In 2022

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We Americans like to complain about traffic. Our cities were developed around cars, thereby necessitating them for most no matter how large a town grew. Now, wherever you are, consensus is that traffic is particularly bad, and we here in Hampton Roads can talk at length about tribulations caused by rush hour 264, or by congestion at our many tunnels and bridges. But what about the financial impact traffic has?

The people at real estate website Clever wanted to know which US cities were best for commuters, so compared them using nine relevant metrics, with the heaviest-weighted being percentage of income spent on the commute, amount spent on fuel yearly, amount spent on vehicle maintenance, and potential income lost to time spent commuting.

According to Clever, Virginia Beach is the fourth best city in the nation for commuters, with an average time to work of 25 minutes, and only 9 hours lost to traffic annually. That’s less than a third of the national average of 32 hours. Beach residents spent 15% of their income on the commute, compared to the national average of 19%, and annual maintenance costs were $356 here, compared to $410 nationally.

Here it’s important to mention all the infrastructure improvement efforts by both city and state in the last decade or so. Of particular note is the 2016 Capital Improvement Program, an infrastructure plan that included $286 million spent on 50 road projects over six years.

The projects have seen the area’s traffic arteries modernized and their volume significantly increased. 126 lane miles have recently been added to Interstate 264, and on surface streets, multiple intersections have been improved and little annoyances like the Laskin feeder lanes are finally being removed. The Lesner Bridge replacement project was completed in 2018, going to six total lanes from the four lanes of the bridge it replaced. The lights are nice, too.

In one of the more surprising and welcomed projects, the state’s largest ever construction project is underway, adding more bridge lanes and two more tunnels to the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. As a result of all these changes, traffic is moving more freely here, and will continue to improve in coming years. People will always slow down entering the tunnels, though.

Buffalo, NY was the best US city for commuters, with a 22 minute commute, and only 6 hours lost to traffic annually. Maintenance cost was $304, and 15% of income was spent on commuting. Our neighbor Raleigh, NC was tenth best, and Virginia capitol Richmond was just outside the top ten at position eleven.

Best Cities For Commuters

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Glen Pearson

Glen Pearson

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