The Williamson County Growth Summit was held four months ago at the Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel. This meeting was focused on the mobility challenges that face the suburban communities.
Some of the people on the panel were Joseph Kopser who is the founder of RideScout, ArgoDesign’s Jared Ficklin, and Mike Heiligenstein who is the executive director of Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority.
One of the main topics of discussion was the impact that technology would have on the transportation sector of Austin. Heiligenstein noted that carpooling apps and autonomous cars would be the future of transportation all over the world. Heiligenstein went on to point out that there was a need to develop more roads in the Austin area to increase the transport capacity because of the growing population in the suburbs of Austin.
He also called for the integration of technology into roads so that they could become smarter. Heiligenstein said that the adoption of these new technologies was slow. They needed to set up infrastructure that facilitated mass transit. Learn more about Mike Heiligenstein: https://ibtta.eventsential.org/Speakers/Details/22280
Jared Ficklin stated that land and building codes needed to remain flexible because the parking lots of the future would look very different with the introduction of driverless cars. Leandre Johns is a representative from Uber.
He said that cars could be used to provide transportation to and from public transit stops. He added that this would increase the number of people who use public transportation by making it easier for people to access it. The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority was started in 2002 to develop a modern transportation network in Williamson and Travis counties.
CTRMA developed the 183A road which was one of the first projects to incorporate a cashless toll collection system. The authority started the Highway Emergency Response Operator program in conjunction with the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. The program offers free roadside assistance to motorists with minor problems.
This is because minor breakdowns were identified as one of the biggest causes of traffic congestion on the roads. The authority has also tried to setup paths for cyclists and pedestrians along all the projects that they have setup.
Heiligenstein has worked as the executive director of the body since it was started in 2002. According to Biz Journals, Mike Heiligenstein was a public official in Williamson County for two decades before he joined CTRMA. He is involved with several boards and committees that deal with transportation issues including the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. Heiligenstein is the president of the International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association (IBTTA).