Transit experts have come together to discuss and provide solutions to the traffic menace in Austin. The experts, who were guests at the Williamson County Growth Summit, analyzed the various ways that the city could solve its traffic problem. They sought to reduce the amount of time that the residents were wasting on the road each day. The discussions focused on the city’s suburban communities.
The summit had a panel of highly experienced individuals in the transport sector. Some of the committee’s members were Mike Heiligenstein from Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, Leander John of Texas External Affairs, Joseph Kasper from RideScout LLC, and Uber Technologies Inc. In addition, the deliberations looked at ways through which technology could be used to solve the various challenges that the transport industry is facing both in Austin and around the world.
Heiligenstein, the executive director of Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, noted that technology could play a critical role in reducing traffic. He pointed at how driverless vehicles and ride-sharing applications could drastically reduce congestion in the roads, thus easing traffic. He also noted that in Austin, the transportation capacity was inadequate and efforts should be directed towards building smarter roads. Heiligenstein believes that combining the two approaches is the best way that suburbs such as Williamson County could reduce its traffic congestion despite their rapidly growing population.
The executive director praised the investments made by county in its infrastructure over the last 15 years. With the rising population of the county, more investments should be made to ensure that the capacity of different roads is enhanced. He also recommended that the existing roads be upgraded to make them technologically advanced.
Speaking during the forum, Jared Fricklin suggested that land-use codes must remain flexible to cater for the possible change of land uses in future. This is critical for the expansion of roads or building other transport infrastructure. He also pointed out the need to create future garages. Such garages should be fitted with charging and service stations. However, such designs are not allowed by current building codes, thus the need to have flexible systems.
About Mike Heiligenstein
Mike Heiligenstein is a transport expert based in Austin, Texas. He is charged with overseeing the development of a modern transport network in the region. The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority was founded in 2002. The independent agency was formed to enhance Williamson and Travis County’s transportation system. Mike is also the president of the International Bridge, Tunnell, and Turnpike Association.
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