Large cities like Austin have many opportunities as well as problems. Williamson County of Austin is facing the problem of growing traffic. On December 2016, a Growth Summit was organized at the Sheraton Georgetown Hotel in Austin. The speakers also discussed the Williamson County’s traffic issue. The transit experts suggested a long-term solution. The summit’s agenda included curbing the transportation issue in the world and Austin with the use of technology. The honorable speakers included personalities like Mike Heiligenstein who is the Executive Director of Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority. The other members of the panel were Joseph Kopser, Leandre Johns, and Jared Ficklin. According to Ficklin, a system known as Aerial Gondola is the most appropriate option for an area like Central Texas. He currently works as a transportation designer at ArgoDesign.
According to Mike Heiligestein, the entire infrastructure of transportation could change due to the introduction of ridesharing apps and driverless cars. Austin requires a lot of attention to managing it’s increasing transportation capacity and related issues. Smart roads are vital for this purpose. Heiligestein said that the population of Austin is continuously growing. Without smarter roads, it is not possible to meet the demands of this area. He further added that traffic in Williamson County is growing faster than all other suburbs. The population of the county is expected to grow further, and the measures taken by the authorities in the last two decades might not be enough. The infrastructure of the roads was constructed, and the capacity was also increased. The only option left is to use technological advancement to make it more efficient. Ficklin added that flexible land use and building codes must not change.
Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority was created in 2002 by the Texas Government. Initially, its charter was to focus on Central Texas and design a modern network for regional transportation. Since its creation, Mike Heiligenstein is serving as the Executive Direction of the Authority. He initiated and planned several projects for meeting the transportation needs of Central Texas. The very first project was 183A which was an electronic collection system of cashless toll. The second project was Manor Expressway which is open now. MoPac Express Lanes are the next project which will soon open for public use. The Association for International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike also has Mike Heiligenstein as its President. He also provides advice to A&M Transportation Institute in Texas.
Follow Mike on Twitter