New Roads Tool to Show Central Virginia Traffic Over Time

Edit (11/2017): VDOT has added this data into its open data portal, as such this tool will no longer be supported.  We’re thrilled to see VDOT move from its spreadsheet posting to open data.

Traffic routinely tops lists of primary concerns among Central Virginia residents.  It’s also a concern that came up repeatedly in our Neighborhood Leaders Survey.  But how many cars we talking about?  Has the traffic gotten worse over the past few years?  What roads are facing significant growth?  Curious how many people are driving down your street on an average weekday?  We’ve decided to make answering these questions easier with our Central Virginia Roads Database.  This new tool takes existing public data, aggregates it, and makes it easier to filter.

The Virginia Department of Transportation did much of the hard work.  It has a program to help collect these statistics on roads across the Commonwealth.  According to its website, “The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) conducts a program where traffic data are gathered from sensors in or along streets and highways and other sources. From these data, estimates of the average number of vehicles that traveled each segment of road and daily vehicle miles traveled for specific groups of facilities and vehicle types are calculated.”  This data is extremely helpful to a variety of constituencies: regional planners, local officials, developers, and entrepreneurs.  It also could provide value to others like prospective homebuyers, neighborhood association leaders, and multimodal transportation advocates.

While we appreciate the data that VDOT provides, like a lot of Commonwealth data the distribution of the information is less than ideal.  The reports are locked up in PDF and Excel formats that are neither aggregated nor searchable over time.  In an effort to aggregate local traffic data across jurisdictions over time, we’ve created a new tool, the Central Virginia Roads Database, to search, filter, and sort this data for the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County (2008-2015).

The Central Virginia Roads Database can be found at  There you’ll also find pages on how to use the site and dataset related information.

Sample table from the tool showing the roads with the most daily traffic

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