Austin area is experiencing a rapid population growth, especially in the suburbs like Williamson County. This surge in populace is posing transportation challenges in the region. The transportation infrastructure seems not to cope with the increasing population.
Transit experts met during the 19th Annual Williamson County Growth Summit to find solutions to these concerns. Round Rock Mayor Alan McGraw moderated the discussion. The panel featured Mike Heiligenstein of Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, Joseph Kopser of RideScout, Uber’s Leandre Johns and Jared Ficklin of ArgoDesign who is also the brain behind the construction of an aerial gondola system for Central Austin.
The talk centered on the effects of technology on the transport sector where experts explored the possibility of using automated cars and ride sharing apps. According to Crunchbase, Mike Heiligenstein was vocal on the issue of self-driven cars, arguing that people would be slow to adapt the innovative solution.
He reiterated the need for Williamson County to develop smarter roads and acquire additional modern buses to handle the overwhelming mobility demands. He pointed out that, for a decade, the region had made huge investments in the transport sector.
However, these developments are nullified by the influx of people to the region. In addition, Mike predicted an inevitable need for 12 lanes of traffic on the State Highway 290 in Austin and the U.S. Highway 183.
Jared Ficklin said that, in the future, policymakers should focus on enhancing flexibility in building codes and land use. He said that future-parking garages should have multiple levels, including a service and charging stations.
Johns Leandre suggested that people should use ride sharing companies like Uber to facilitate their movements. This information was originally mentioned on Biz Journals as outlined in this link http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2016/12/15/transit-experts-offer-solutions-for-williamson.html
About Mike Heiligenstein
Over the years, Mike Heiligenstein has served as the executive director of the renowned Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA), an independent government agency. This corporation focuses on providing multi-modal solutions to different transportation issues in Travis and Williamson counties.
The agency was established in 2002. However, it started operations in 2003 when Mike was appointed the leader. Mike’s transformational leadership has resulted in the development of innovative transport infrastructure in the region. He has a sound educational background.
Heiligenstein is an alumnus of the University of Texas where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree. In addition, the executive holds two master’s degree from his Alma Mater. For 23 years, Mike served as a public officer in Williamson County. Notably, CTRMA can issue revenue bonds to finance different projects. The authority can also use user taxes and fees to fund its operations and meet its bonds obligations.