Near-Term Action - Intraregional Tribal Transportation Strategy

Over the past ten years SANDAG and the Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association (SCTCA) have developed a government-to-government framework to engage in planning dialogue and action at the regional level. The success of this model has demonstrated that, when working collaboratively, public agencies and tribal governments can create a mechanism for timely, meaningful, and effective involvement of tribal governments in the regional and transportation planning process.

San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan focuses transportation investments in the most urbanized areas, where there is existing and planned transportation infrastructure. At the same time, the transportation system must also support the needs of federally recognized tribal nations whose reservations are located in the sparsely populated eastern rural areas of the region. To most effectively identify and serve the transportation needs of the tribal communities, the 18 tribal nations in the region have sought an opportunity to evaluate their mobility issues collectively in a regional context and determine collective priorities for further analysis. Using the SANDAG Borders framework, the objective of this project is to develop an Intraregional Tribal Transportation Strategy with the tribal nations and other agencies that influence tribal transportation in the region.

SANDAG, in partnership with the SCTCA, successfully competed for a Caltrans Strategic Partnership Planning grant to support this effort. The funding will allow SANDAG and the SCTCA to work together to develop a strategy that identifies key multimodal projects that will improve tribal mobility while meeting regional, state, and federal goals. The strategy will include: project priorities, cost estimates, identifying responsible parties, and developing a funding approach.

The project was initiated in January 2016. The Interagency Technical Working Group on Tribal Transportation Issues serves as the Project Advisory Group. To date, the Advisory Group completed an in- depth tribal transportation needs survey through one-on-one interviews. Using the information gathered from the survey, along with additional input from the Advisory Group, the consultant team developed an interactive tool to facilitate the clustering of projects with regional partners and funding opportunities. The strategy is expected to be completed in 2018 and will inform the development of the next Regional Plan.