Hampton Beach Master Plan: Transportation

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G. Transportation



The Transportation section of the Hampton Beach Master Plan project provides a solid understanding of the existing transportation infrastructure present on the corridor, including traffic volumes, truck percentages, and travel speeds. Parking, transit and pedestrian information was also collected and analyzed. Finally, travel safety issues were identified.


Study Area

Based on conversations with the Hampton Beach Master Plan Advisory Committee and analysis of the original study area, a more extensive study area was selected for this project. The study area extends from the Hampton/Seabrook town line near the Hampton River Bridge to the south up to and including the intersection of Route 1A and High Street to the north along Route 1A (see Figure 14). For a portion of the study area, Route 1A splits onto two roadways, forming a one-way couplet. Both Ocean Boulevard (northbound) and Ashworth Avenue (southbound) are included in the study area.

State Park Drive, Church Street, Route 101E (Winnacunnet Road), and Route 27 (High Street) intersect Route 1A (Ocean Boulevard), an urban arterial, to form the study area intersections.


Route 1A (Ocean Boulevard) and State Park Drive

The intersection of Ocean Boulevard and State Park Drive is a typical "T" type, unsignalized intersection located in the southern end of the study area. State Park Drive, the stop-controlled approach, intersects Ocean Boulevard from the East and has designated left and right turn lanes. At this point, Ocean Boulevard is used as one wide travel lane in each direction.


Route 1A (Ocean Boulevard), Duston Avenue, and Dover Avenue

The intersection of Route 1A, Duston Avenue, and Dover Avenue is a five-way, unsignalized intersection located 0.1 miles north of State Park Drive. Duston Avenue intersects Route 1A from the West and Dover Avenue intersects Route 1A from the East. Ashworth Avenue approaches the intersection from the north and Ocean Boulevard exits the intersection to the north. On the southern side of the intersection, Route 1A is a two-way roadway. There is a U-turn located in the center of the intersection where southbound traffic on Ashworth Avenue may reverse direction to head northbound onto Ocean Boulevard. Duston and Dover Avenues both consist of one travel lane in each direction.


Figure 14. Locations of Major Intersections Addressed in this Report

Locations of Major Intersections Addressed in this Report


Route 1A (Ocean Boulevard) and Church Street

The intersection of Ocean Boulevard and Church Street is an unsignalized, "T" type intersection located 0.75 miles north of State Park Drive. In this area, Route 1A is a divided roadway with parking provided in the center. Church Street intersects Ocean Boulevard from the west and leads one-way traffic away from the intersection. Ocean Boulevard is separated by a median containing parking areas. There is a U-turn located within the intersection where northbound traffic on Ocean Boulevard may reverse direction to head southbound. Traffic making the U-turn may queue in the median, which is an extension of Church Street.


Intersection at Ocean Boulevard
and Winnacunnet Road
Route 1A (Ocean Boulevard) and Route 101E (Winnacunnet Road)

Ocean Boulevard and Winnacunnet Road meet at an unsignalized, T-type intersection (see Figure 15 for intersection layout). Winnacunnet Road intersects Ocean Boulevard from the west approximately 1.5 miles north of State Park Drive, and is under stop control. Ocean Boulevard southbound consists of one travel lane where traffic is not permitted to turn onto Winnacunnet Road, as traffic bound for Winnacunnet Road is separated out of the traffic stream prior to reaching the intersection. Winnacunnet Road eastbound is divided by an island before it meets with Ocean Boulevard where northbound traffic will cross Ocean Boulevard southbound before proceeding northbound, and where southbound traffic which merges right will merge onto Ocean Boulevard southbound.

Ocean Boulevard northbound consists of a through lane and a left turn lane that leads to Winnacunnet Road westbound. Ocean Boulevard southbound consists of a through lane and a right turn lane that leads to Winnacunnet Road westbound. Throughout this intersection, directional traffic is separated by a median that also provides a place for left-turning traffic to queue.


Route 1A (Ocean Boulevard) and Route 27 (High Street)

The intersection of Route 1A and High Street is a four-way signalized intersection. Route 1A northbound has a designated left turn lane in addition to a through lane. Route 1A southbound has a right turn lane to access High Street separated from through traffic by a raised island. High Street also has designated left turn lanes for both eastbound and westbound traffic. The eastern leg of the intersection, which consists of one lane in each direction, provides access to a parking area.

Summer afternoon traffic on Ocean Blvd.

Traffic Volumes

To determine the base traffic conditions, traffic volume data was collected on all major roadways and at study area intersections. Automatic traffic recorders and turning movement counts were used to collect this information.

Daily Volumes

Automatic traffic recorder (ATR) counts were conducted in two independent studies along Route 1A. The first of these two studies was conducted with HI-STAR unit number 8343 in seven locations. Information was gathered at six of these locations: 566 High Street, 580 Winnacunnet Road, Ocean Boulevard at Hampton River Bridge, Route 101 at Glade Path, Main Beach Area, and North Beach. This study was conducted over an 84-hour period in 15-minute intervals in August 2000 to obtain average Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday traffic volumes. The seventh location data were collected on Ashworth Avenue and Ocean Boulevard at the Casino area over a 59-hour period in 15-minute intervals in August 2000 to obtain representative Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday traffic volumes. The weather was clear and hot during all data collection.

The second ATR study was conducted at four locations: Ocean Boulevard between G & H Streets, Ocean Boulevard south of Route 101E, Ashworth Avenue between G and H Streets, and Ocean Boulevard north of Route 27. This study was conducted for 72-hour periods in August 2000 to obtain Saturday, Sunday, and weekday volumes for summer condition. The daily volumes for the locations associated with the two studies are displayed in Table 7, and are represented in Figure 16.


Figure 16. Average Daily Traffic Volumes at Major Intersections Along Ocean Boulevard

Average Daily Traffic Volumes at Major Intersections Along Ocean Boulevard

Table 8. ATR Counts


Days Counted

ADT (vpd)

566 High Street

Thursday 8/24/00 – Sunday 8/27/00


580 Winnacunnet Road

Thursday 8/24/00 – Sunday 8/27/00


Ocean Boulevard at Hampton River Bridge

Thursday 8/17/00 – Sunday 8/20/00


Route 101 at Glade Path

Thursday 8/17/00 – Sunday 8/20/00


Main Beach

Thursday 8/17/00 – Sunday 8/20/00


North Beach

Thursday 8/24/00 – Sunday 8/27/00


Ashworth Ave./Ocean Blvd. at Casino Area

Monday 8/21/00 – Wednesday 8/23/00


Ocean Boulevard between G and H Streets

Saturday 8/26/00 – Monday 8/28/00


Ocean Boulevard south of Route 101E

Saturday 8/26/00 – Monday 8/28/00


Ashworth Avenue between G and H Streets

Saturday 8/26/00 – Monday 8/28/00


Ocean Boulevard north of Route 27

Saturday 8/26/00 – Monday 8/28/00



Truck Volumes

The existing percentages of trucks (greater than three axles) included in the daily traffic volumes were determined. In general, the study area traffic consists of two-percent trucks. One location, Ocean Boulevard at High Street, consists of only 1 percent trucks. Two locations, Ocean Boulevard at Hampton River Bridge and Winnacunnet Road, consisted of less than 1 percent trucks. Truck percentages are displayed in Figure 17.


Peak Hour Volumes

On August 26, 2000, manual turning movement and vehicle classification counts were collected at the seven study area intersections. Because traffic in the area is higher on Saturday than during the week, data were collected during the Saturday peak periods, from 9:00 to 12:00 noon and from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. These counts show that weekday traffic in the study area peaks between 10:30 and 11:30 AM and between 3:45 and 4:45 PM. Existing peak hour traffic volumes are illustrated in Figure 17.


Figure 17. Existing AM and PM Peak Hour Traffic Volumes

Existing AM and PM Peak Hour Traffic Volumes

Travel Speeds

The vehicle speeds measured on major roadways in the study area are described below and are shown on Figure 18. The speed limits for each link are also illustrated on this figure and are described below.

Speed limits with the study area are generally observed on Ashworth Avenue, High Street, Winnacunnet Road, and most parts of Ocean Boulevard. Vehicles traveling south on Ocean Boulevard have a tendency to exceed the limit south of Dover Avenue. This area may need additional enforcement to maintain safe conditions for other pedestrians and vehicles.

There are two posted speed limits for traffic on Ocean Boulevard. On the northern end of the study area the speed limit for Ocean Boulevard is 35 miles per hour (mph). The average speed for vehicles traveling in this area is 29 mph with 9 percent of the vehicles traveling over the speed limit.

In the vicinity of the main beach area, the southbound vehicles on Ashworth Avenue have an average speed of 24 mph, measured over a 24-hour period with 5 percent of the vehicles traveling faster than the speed limit of 35 mph. The northbound vehicles traveling on Ocean Boulevard have an average speed of 28 mph measured over a 24-hour period with 3 percent of the vehicles traveling faster than the speed limit.


Figure 18. Speed Statistics Along Ocean Boulevard in Hampton

Speed Statistics Along Ocean Boulevard in Hampton

South of Dover Avenue on Ocean Boulevard, the speed limit is posted as 30 mph. The vehicles traveling on Ocean Boulevard in the southbound direction have an average speed of 31 mph and 42 percent of the vehicles travel faster than the speed limit. In the northbound direction, the vehicles traveling have an average speed of 28 mph and 19 percent of the vehicles are traveling above the speed limit.

The vehicle speeds on High Street were also collected. The posted speed limit for High Street is 35 mph. The average speed for both the east and westbound vehicles is 32 mph. While the percentage of eastbound vehicles traveling faster than the speed limit is 14 percent, the westbound vehicles traveling above the speed limit is 16 percent.

Winnacunnet Road has a posted speed limit of 35 mph. The average speed that was observed for the eastbound vehicles is 25 mph, with 4 percent of the vehicles traveling faster than the speed limit. The westbound vehicles travel at an average speed of 24 mph and have 2 percent of the vehicles traveling above the speed limit.



There are several forms of available parking within the study area. The types of parking include metered parking, center lot parking, public and private parking lots, leased parking areas, and other miscellaneous parking.


Parking Supply

The public parking supply at Hampton Beach includes on-street metered parking and off-street lot parking. Each type of parking was inventoried and the results are described below.

Parking Lots

There are 10 parking lots along the Hampton Beach corridor (see Table 8). Each lot has been designated a number and their locations may be observed in Figure 19. A brief description of their size and location follows by lot number.

On Street Parking

There is a large supply of metered, on-street parking located along Route 1A. There are some in parking areas in the median of the road and others along the curb of the roadway. South of A Street are 505 parking spaces on Route 1A, 424 on-street spaces between A Street and Boar’s Head Terrace, and 630 on-street spaces north of Boar’s Head Terrace. Over 150 of these spaces are leased on a yearly basis, and 18 of them meet American Disability Act (ADA) requirements for parking. There are also six bus spaces. All the metered parking spaces are owned and operated by the State.

Table 8. Parking Lots in the Hampton Beach Project Area

Lot #


Location and Notes



West side of Ashworth Avenue between Hobson Street and Manchester Street, and is most southern lot on Hampton Beach corridor.



West side of Ashworth Avenue and north of Hobson Street, largest of the eight parking lots.



East side of Ashworth Avenue, between D Street and F Street second largest parking lot out of the eight



West Side of Ashworth Avenue, and between Brown Avenue and the Fire Department



East side of Ashworth Avenue, and between C Street and D Street



West side of Ashworth Avenue and south of Island path,



Surrounded by Ashworth Avenue, Ocean Boulevard, and A Street, smallest parking lot out of the eight lots



South of Church Street, north of Highland Avenue, and east of Brown Avenue



On Island Path between Jones Lane and Brown Avenue



East of Ashworth Avenue between B and C Streets (estimated # of spaces)



Total Spaces

Parking Occupancy

The occupancy survey of both on and off-street parking spaces was conducted during a field visit on Saturday, August 26, 2000 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 noon and 3:00 to 5:00 PM. A similar survey, conducted by Arthur D. Little, Inc., reviewed daily parking lot occupancies in the study area during 1983. That study indicated that parking occupancy differs greatly between weekdays and weekends.

Parking Lots

The following figure and table displays parking lot locations and availability at Hampton Beach. Counts of available spaces were taken in each parking lot numbered 1 - 8 at various intervals throughout the day. The percentage of empty spaces in each lot have been calculated and given with their corresponding times of count.






Figure 19. Parking Lot Locations at the Main Hampton Beach Area

Parking Lot Locations at the Main Hampton Beach

Note: Parking lot 6 was increased from 200 to 300 parking spaces after the parking study was completed in August 2000.

Table 9. Parking Lot Availability

Time of Day


Total Spaces

9:00 – 11:00 AM

11:00AM - 12:00 PM

3:00 – 4:00 PM

4:00 - 5:00 PM


















































As shown above, various sections of the study area are available for parking at different times. These results are described in detail below.

  • 9:00-11:00 AM: Lots #1, 2, 3, and 8 were nearly empty with 75-90% of spaces available. Lot #6 had approximately 60% of its spaces available. While lots #5 and #7 were mostly full with 25-40% of their spaces available, Lot #4 was completely full.
  • 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: During this time, most of the parking lots began to fill up except for lots #1 and #8, which still had about 60% of their spaces available. Lots #2, 3, and 6 filled considerably in this time with only about 10-25% of their spaces available. Lot #7 had less than 10% of its remaining spaces available, while lot #4 remained completely full.
  • 3:00-4:00 PM: During this time, lots #1 and #8 filled considerably. These lots experienced a 40-50% increase in parking, leaving only 10-20% of remaining spaces available. Lots #3-6 remained mostly full with only 2-10% of their spaces still available. Cars began to disperse from lots #2 and #7, which had 20-30% availability at this time interval.
  • 4:00-5:00 PM: During this period, lot #8 which had experienced a dramatic decrease in parking availability in the previous time frame, cleared out considerably. The parking availability increased by nearly 70%, resulting in about 75% of the spaces available. Lots #1-7 did not experience any major fluctuation during this time. These lots had a parking availability between 5-35%.

Overall, Lots #1,2,3 and 6 follow a similar cycle throughout the day, as they all are 60-90% vacant in mid-morning and are frequently parked in throughout the remainder of the day. Lots #5 and #7 were 60-95% full throughout the entire day, while lot #4 was the most popular parking location and rarely had vacant spaces. Lot #8 was the least popular parking location and would remain mostly vacant throughout the day, except during the 3-4:00 PM interval where it would be nearly completely full and then empty out again in a short period of time.

According to the parking feasibility study completed by Arthur D. Little, Inc., Lot #2 was the most heavily utilized municipal lot within the study area in 1985. In addition, the Little study showed that Lots #5 and #8 were most utilized on the weekends. Our study also indicated that lots #2 and #5 were heavily utilized, while lot #8 was found to be mostly vacant throughout the day, except for a short period in the afternoon where it experienced nearly full utilization.

On Street Parking

The occupancy at the metered on-street parking was noted during the field surveys on August 26, 2000 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 noon and from 3:00 to 5:00 P.M. The area from State Park Drive-up to A Street began filling up at 9:00 AM and reached capacity shortly thereafter. During the morning period, the majority of on-street parking spaces between A Street and Highland Street on Ocean Boulevard were rarely utilized except between J and M Streets, which was 60 percent utilized between 9:00 AM and 12:00 noon. Other spaces in this vicinity were found to be far less utilized. Metered street parking spaces north of Highland Street were recorded at 75 percent occupancy during the morning survey.

During the afternoon survey, the occupancy of all on-street parking areas was significantly less than noted during the AM survey. Overall, parking was noted at 15 to 50 percent occupied during the 3:00 to 5:00 PM period. An interesting pattern was noted during this period in the northern portion of the study area; some areas that were approximately 15 percent occupied at 3:00 PM proceeded to fill up to almost 50 percent occupied by the end of the survey period, a reversal of the expected trend.


Operating Conditions

Existing peak hour traffic operations in the project study area were determined. Specifically, intersection operating levels of service were calculated as described in greater detail below.


Level of Service Criteria

Level of service, a term used to describe the quality of the traffic flow on a roadway facility at a particular point in time, is an aggregate measure of travel delay, travel speed, congestion, driver discomfort, convenience, and safety based on a comparison of roadway system capacity to roadway system travel demand. Operating levels of service are reported on a scale of A to F, with A representing the best operating conditions and F representing the worst operating conditions. Depending upon the type of facility being analyzed, Level of Service A represents free-flow or uncongested conditions with little or no delay to motorists, while Level of Service F represents a forced-flow conditions with long delays and traffic demands exceeding roadway capacity.

Level of Service D is often cited as the design standard for suburban roadways. However, when trying to establish minimum "acceptable" level of service thresholds for existing roadways a number of factors must be considered. These include existing operating levels of service on other similar and nearby facilities; the duration of the peak traffic periods; the feasibility and cost of providing traffic mitigation; and state and local regulations.

Roadway operating levels of service are calculated following procedures defined in the 1997 Highway Capacity Manual, published by the Transportation Research Board. For signalized and unsignalized intersections, the operating level of service is based on travel delays. Delays can be measured in the field but generally are calculated as a function of traffic volume; peaking characteristic of traffic flow; percentage of heavy vehicles in the traffic stream; type of traffic control; number of travel lanes and lane use; intersection approach grades; pedestrian activity; and signal timing, phasing, and progression where applicable. The specific criteria applied are summarized in Table 10. The calculated average delay per vehicle for signalized intersections applies to all vehicles entering the intersection and under control of the traffic signal. For unsignalized intersections, it is assumed that through movements on the main street have the right of way and are not delayed by side street traffic. Consequently, the total delay values in Table 11 for unsignalized intersections apply only to the minor street intersection approaches or to left turns from the major street into the minor street that must yield to oncoming traffic.

Table 10. Intersection Level of Service Criteria

Average Delay per Vehicle (Seconds)

Level of Service

Signalized Intersections

Unsignalized Intersections


£ 5.0

£ 5.0


5.1 to 15.0

5.1 to 10.0


15.1 to 25.0

10.1 to 20.0


25.1 to 40.0

20.1 to 30.0


40.1 to 60.0

30.1 to 45.0




Source: Highway Capacity Manual, Special Report 209, Third Edition, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, DC, 1997.


Intersection Operating Conditions

The procedures described above were used to determine existing peak hour operating levels of service at the study area intersections (see Figure 14). Table 11 summarizes existing conditions levels of service (LOS) for the study area intersections. As can be seen in this table, two of the study area intersections (Route 1A (Ocean Blvd)/State Park Drive and Route 1A (Ocean Blvd)/Church St) fail during PM peak hours. The intersection of Route 1A (Ocean Blvd) and State Park Drive operate at LOS E during the AM peak hour. The remaining locations operate at level of service C or better during the two peak hours.

Table 11. Existing Conditions Intersection Analysis Results

AM Peak

PM Peak





Route 1A (Ocean Blvd)/State Park Drive





Route 1A (Ocean Blvd)/Duston Ave./Dover St.





Route 1A (Ocean Blvd)/Church St





Route 1A (Ocean Blvd) (SB)/





Route 101E (Winnacunnet Rd) (EB)

Route 1A (Ocean Blvd) (NB)/





Route 101E (Winnacunnet Rd) (EB)

Route 1A (Ocean Blvd)/





Route 101E (Winnacunnet Rd) (WB)

Route 1A (Ocean Blvd)/Route 27 (High St)3





1Delay in seconds per vehicle

2LOS = Level of Service

3Signalized Intersection

Version HSC-3

1. Delay in seconds per vehicle

2. LOS = Level of Service

3. Signalized intersection



The transit system in Hampton Beach is an entirely privately funded trolley system. Town officials and residents support increased transit service in the Town, however, there is no public funding currently available. Despite the lack of public funding, the trolley system works to serve a number of public groups including the recreation department’s after school programs.


Regular Trolleys

During the summer, two trolleys operate along the corridor between the Hampton River Bridge and the North Beach turn-around from 12:00 noon until 10:00 PM. These trolleys, which stop at the municipal lots and trolley sponsors, such as hotels, along the route, are unable to run on a schedule due to the heavy congestion along the beach. In the morning, trolleys also run from the hotels on Route 1 to the beach, and return at 4:00 and 8:00 PM.

In addition to these routes, the trolley company provides four trolleys north and south between Hampton Beach and Kittery via High Street and Route 1. These trolleys stop at the outlets, Portsmouth, and at a number of sponsors along the route, and offer connections to the Portsmouth Trolleys, University of New Hampshire, and Kittery shuttles to the beach. The trolley company serving Hampton Beach also serves the Kittery market, but those trolleys are publicly subsidized. Fares are $2.00 per ride, excluding sponsors, who ride free.


Special Programs and Events

There is trolley service for special programs and events. For example, trolley service is provided to the recreation department to transport children to programs on Fridays.

For special events at the beach, such as the Seafood Festival and the Fourth of July, the trolley service runs constantly. Although the bus companies have a designated traffic lane at the beach, the trolley company does not receive any special treatment and must travel in the congestion that typically occurs during these events.


Scenic Byways

There are two state-designated scenic byways in the Hampton Beach area. A portion of the Independence Byway runs, in part, along Winnacunnet Road, and ends in the southern portion of North Beach. Part of the 18.5 mile Coastal Byway is along Route 1A in Hampton. It runs from Portsmouth to Seabrook, and offers excellent views of the Atlantic Ocean as well as many sandy beaches and historic properties. The byway is popular with motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

Designation of roads as byways to the statewide network makes them eligible for federal transportation TE-21 funds. Funds allow upgrading of pedestrian facilities, protection of byway resources, and promotional material. NH DRED has a Memorandum of Agreement with the NH OSP to develop multi-modal visitor facilities along the Coastal Byway to enhance non-motorized use of the Byway. These facilities include bicycle racks, trolley stop facilities, and interpretive material. The trolley facilities include benches, shelters, pavement markers, and signage. Two trolley stops are planned for the Hampton Beach Seashell and Hampton Beach North.


Pedestrian Accommodations

Pedestrians are an important component of the Hampton Beach transportation network. This is illustrated in the large number of crosswalks extending from the beach to the commercial areas on the west side of Ocean Boulevard. These pedestrian crossings contribute significantly to the slow traffic conditions experienced by motorists along Ocean Boulevard. Although there are a number of pedestrian crossings located along the corridor, sidewalks are not provided at all points along the Beach. Nor are there any pedestrian crossing signals along the entire Ocean Boulevard corridor.

The best pedestrian accommodations can be found along Ocean Boulevard north of the intersection of Ashworth Avenue and Ocean Boulevard and south of 6th Street. A sidewalk is provided along the commercial and residential properties on the west side of the road in addition to some areas of wide sidewalks along the sea wall on the east side of the road. This stretch of road also has frequent sidewalks.

The area south of this intersection is lined with parking either in the center or on the east side of the roadway, and some areas lack pedestrian accommodations on the west side of the roadway. Despite the lack of amenities, the pedestrian volumes along this portion of the beach are very heavy, and as mentioned above, the pedestrians do seem to have the right of way in the roadway.

Ashworth Avenue lacks pedestrian accommodation as well. There is a narrow sidewalk provided on the north side of Church Street and a sidewalk on the south side of Winnacunnet Road. There are no pedestrian crossing signals on the entire Hampton Beach corridor, which is not typical for an area that has large volumes of pedestrians, walking along and across a main road on a daily basis.


Safety Issues

Throughout the majority of the transportation-related interviews, safety concerns were not mentioned. Therefore, the Hampton Police Department was contacted regarding safety concerns along the Hampton Beach corridor and observations were made regarding existing safety conditions.



As indicated above, the traffic along the Beach is traveling at low rates of speed due to the large volumes of pedestrian crossings in addition to vehicles parking and exiting. These low speeds create a safer condition for pedestrians and vehicles alike. The accidents that occur during the day tend to be rear-end accidents and typically not serious. Accidents that are more serious occur at night when traffic speeds are high. According to the Hampton Police Department, during the day the congested condition contributes to some road rage.


Emergency Vehicle Access

One significant safety concern in the Hampton Beach area is emergency vehicle access. During congested periods, emergency vehicles, including vehicles from the police and fire station on Brown Avenue, have trouble accessing properties along the beach. Since the beach traffic also exists on Ashworth Avenue, it can impact the response time of emergency vehicles to non-beach areas as well. Currently, a traffic light exists on Ashworth Avenue to stop the traffic and allow fire response vehicles to exit the station and travel the wrong way on Ashworth Avenue to access D Street and reach points north. The police response vehicles access the north via G Street, but will travel the wrong way on Ashworth from F Street in order to return to the station. These patterns have developed to minimize the congestion that the emergency response vehicles encounter.


Past Problems

In the past, some safety concerns were observed and solutions were developed to deal with these problems. At one time, vehicles were using A Street to reverse direction to head south on Ashworth Avenue. Because the sight lines were very good at this point, vehicles were not coming to a full stop, and sometimes not even slowing before turning onto Ashworth Avenue during the evening hours when traffic is light. To eliminate this problem, the entrance to A Street was blocked at Ocean Boulevard.


Special Events

Traffic circulation is changed for some special events. Sometimes, portions of Ocean Boulevard are closed, and the police department works to reroute traffic. This road closure is met with mixed results. The traffic backs up significantly in each direction, but the large volume of pedestrian traffic is able to move about freely.


Seafood Festival

Seafood Festival, 2000
View of the Seafood Festival, 2000, looking north
on the closed portion of Ocean Boulevard

During the Seafood Festival, Ocean Boulevard is closed from H Street up to the u-turn to Ashworth Avenue. A high usage of off-site parking lots minimizes the traffic congestion to some extent. In addition, a number of mitigative actions are taken to move traffic along.

Traffic officers and volunteers control the traffic along Ocean Boulevard. The traffic on Ocean Boulevard is reduced to one lane in the vicinity of I and J Streets to accommodate the Ocean Boulevard traffic on H Street and Ashworth Avenue. The Ocean Boulevard traffic is then directed down H Street and accommodated in the northbound direction on Ashworth Avenue. The Hampton Police Department has verified that during this traffic modification, there are a number of congested areas.


Fourth of July

During the Fourth of July celebration, an additional area of congestion is created by the opening and closing of the Hampton River Bridge. The Police Department has attempted to mitigate this problem by using lighted signs to direct motorists to use Route 101 to access Route 95 instead of the bridge. However, the access to Route 101 via the beach is Church Street, a narrow one-lane roadway, severely limiting the capacity of this route. To increase the volume that can exit via Route 101, the Police Department has created temporary lane markings, signage and police control, as described below.

At the ending of the fireworks display on July 4, 1999, the Hampton Police Department set up traffic diversions to ease the congestion of traffic in the westbound direction of Route 101. There was a police officer directing traffic on Route 101 at the intersection of the Town parking lot. Traffic was directed 12 feet to the right by the officer and by traffic cones placed on the road, creating a left turn entrance lane for Brown Avenue, where there is another police officer directing traffic. Traffic continued down Route 101 in two lanes. There were signs along the side of the road directing motorists to stay in two lanes. To add additional space needed for two lanes of travel in the westbound direction, cones were placed three feet south of the centerline, limiting the width of the eastbound travel lane. The two travel lanes and the cones continue to the intersection of Landing Road where there were two officers directing traffic. At the intersection of Landing Road, the existing three lanes of traffic in the westbound direction were reallocated to allow through movements from the right turn only lane. 900 feet beyond the intersection of Landing Road, to the west, the travel lanes merged to one in the westbound direction.

Along Route 101, there were temporary signs to assist with the directing of traffic. The first were placed after the intersection with Brown Avenue, directing motorists to "Form Two Lanes." As the westbound traffic reached the east and westbound split of Route 101, there were signs on either side of the road stating, "Stay In Two Lanes." Covers were also placed over permanent signs stating that, "Travel On Shoulders Prohibited, Emergency Stopping Only."



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