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Williamson County Offered Solutions to its Traffic Issues by Transit experts

A lot of transit discussions in Austin area mostly focus on the city but the Williamson County Growth Summit recently had an opportunity to look at the transportation challenges affecting the community. The panel involved in the discussion was made up of RideScout LLC founder, Joseph Kopser, Mike Heiligenstein (CTRMA executive director), Leandre Johns (Texas external affairs director) and Jared Ficklin (ArgoDesign). Jared, a product designer who is focused on transportation, proposed that Central Austin should have an aerial gondola system. In the event that took place at Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel & Conference Center, the discussion centered on the role technology is playing in changing transportation across the globe and particularly in the Austin region.



Heiligenstein’s Input



Heiligenstein noted that the new technologies like ridesharing apps and driverless vehicles would transform transportation in a radical way. However, he believes that the Austin area requires investing in growing the transportation capacity it has currently by developing additional and smarter roads. He concluded that this would be the best solution to meet the mobility demands of the population that is growing rapidly. Most of the growth is being experienced in suburbs like Williamson County.



Preparing for Future Transportation Needs



Ficklin on his part emphasized that land-use and building codes should be flexible as he responded to a question raised by the panel moderator, Alan McGraw (Round Rock Mayor). The panel moderator was seeking to find out what the policymakers thought would be required in preparation of future transport needs. Ficklin added that roads and parking garages would still be a necessity even when vehicles will be autonomous. He also predicted that future parking garages will be about five feet tall and have multiple levels.



About Mike Heiligenstein



Mike Heiligenstein is Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority’s executive director in Austin, Texas. This autonomous government agency was founded in 2002 to plan a contemporary regional transportation network in Central Texas. The current and future projects of the Mobility Authority form key elements of a well planned multi-modal system of transportation that is designed to meet the varied mobility needs of the region that is growing fast. Mike has been at the Mobility Authority from when it was incepted and oversaw the 183A project in Williamson County.



Mike is currently serving in various other positions like he is the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association’s president. He serves on the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s advisory board and other working groups and committees handling transportation issues. Before heading Mobility Authority, he had served Williamson County’s residents as a public official for 23 years.

Learn more:

Mike Heiligenstein of the CTRMA: The Central Texas Approach from Central Texas Mobility Authority

Williamson County Holds A Summit To Discuss About Traffic Solutions

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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