Identification and evaluation of flood-avoidance driving routes in Tucson, AZ

Authors: Ashley Coles*, Texas Christian University
Topics: Hazards and Vulnerability, Transportation Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: hazards, floods, transportation, behavior, GIS
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Campaigns such as “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” encourage motorists to avoid driving into flooded roadways, but vehicle-related flood deaths remain high. Motorists may not have a feasible alternate route, or they may not be aware of one. A survey of Tucson residents included a mapping activity to determine whether the routes they take on a regular basis intersect flood areas, and whether alternate routes exist that avoid flood areas without adding burdensome travel time. Of the 452 routes provided, 171 intersect with areas known to flood. Network analyst was used to generate alternate routes that avoid the flood areas and calculate how much additional time and mileage would be required. Only one route did not have a calculable alternative. Additionally, many of the alternate routes were shorter than the routes provided by participants, and 79 percent added less than one mile to the trip. Since most of the participants indicated they would be willing to travel at least one mile to avoid floods, they would likely take the safer alternate routes. These findings highlight the potential utility of a decision-support tool to help motorists choose safer flood-avoidance routes during storms.

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