Project Summary

Title: Use of Rural Transportation Infrastructure in Evacuation Operation for the North Gulf Coastal MSURegion

Partner: Montana State University, Western Transportation Institute

Duration of Project: June 2009- May 2010

Project Description: The rural transportation network is a major component of a larger, multimodal system that is critical for mobility of people, goods and services. When hurricane evacuations occur, the recommended safe distance is 150 miles from the immediate coastline. Evacuees are expected to drive 150 miles or more, and they may use primarily rural roads. Thus, rural roads have a larger role in evacuation than is currently recognized. Further, rural roads may substitute for interstates and other major highways in the event they become functionally impaired (e.g., congested or damaged). With an increased focus nationally on safe evacuation and dealing with natural disasters, the rural transportation network across and throughout every region of the country must be effective and efficient during emergencies. Therefore, national evacuation policy must address evacuation and transportation as a whole - not just isolated urban hotspots where the evacuation process is highly visible - but also focus on the large rural areas that hold the county together. It is critical to begin identifying and addressing the gaps in evacuation planning and operations relative to critical rural transportation issues.

Objectives: The objective of this project is to assess the role and capabilities of the rural transportation infrastructure in coastal communities in the Northern Gulf Coastal Region with respect to evacuation and emergency events’ planning, traffic, safety, control, and management.

Reports and Publications:
2. Rural Transportation Infrastructure Project Flyer
3. Complete project Information, including final report
4. Mobility and Public Transportation