Applied Research Consortium

August 21, 2023

Transportation and Mobility Needs Assessment for the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe

ARC Fellow: Solana Granados
Degree Program: Master of Urban Planning
Faculty Advisors: Dan Abramson (Urban Design and Planning)
Firm: 7 Directions
Firm Advisors: Bobbie Koch
Project dates: Autumn 2022 – Spring 2023

Read the Project Report
Click to View Presentation Slides
Click to Watch the Final Presentation

More about the project: 

The Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe is facing extremely rapid erosion, rising sea levels, and a plausible earthquake and tsunami inundation that together threaten their community and future. In response, the Tribe is now in the planning stage to develop housing and services at nearby higher elevations above inundation levels . The Tribe calls this initiative the ‘upland expansion’ instead of ‘relocation’. Upland expansion is as much an effort to meet current housing needs for members on and off reservation as it is a preparation for hazards-driven relocation in the future. Just as an earthquake or tsunami hazard may present the need for a safety tower and uphill assembly area, it also presents transportation and mobility challenges. Using community engagement, secondary data analysis, and a community survey, this study identifies the Tribe’s transportation needs and challenges; some of the immediate, short and long-term transportation- related opportunities that will contribute to Tribal goals and values, specifically as related to upland expansion; and how the Tribe may enhance mobility and transportation to support hazards resilience, self-reliance, regional accessibility, and economic development. The data, information and insights from these methods will inform a transportation and mobility needs assessment report for the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe. Based on the findings, the research intends to provide language, data, and tailored recommendations for the Tribe as it continues to seek consensus among members, technical assistance, and funding.