Most discussions about transport in Austin and its environs mostly dwell on the city. The recently concluded Williamson County Growth Summit gave stakeholders an opportunity to structure the region’s transportation challenges. The seminar’s panel comprised transport experts including Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority’s Executive Director Mike Heiligenstein, Uber Technologies Inc. Texas Affairs Director Leandre Johns, ArgoDesign’s Jared Ficklin, and Ride Scout LLC founder, Josephy Kopser.
The event was hosted at Sheraton Georgetown Hotel’s conference center. The discussion mainly focused on the role of technology in addressing transportation challenges in Austin and the world in general. While emphasizing that technologies such as ridesharing apps and driverless cars can radically transform transportation, Heiligenstein noted that the city of Austin should make more investments so that its transportation capacity can improve. This may include the construction of technologically-friendly roads. This is the only way that mobility challenges in the city can be countered.
Mr. Heiligenstein’s Contribution
Williamson County was praised for its efforts towards the enhancement of transport infrastructure. The experts similarly emphasized the flexibility of land-use and building codes. The commercialization of self-driven cars is likely to increase demand for smarter roads, something that needs to be considered by the relevant authorities. During the discussion, Heiligenstein expressed that he is yet to be receptive towards the adoption of self-driven cars.
According to Heiligenstein, the city needs to focus more on roads due to the population boom that it has been experiencing in recent years. He predicted that the city’s State Highway 290 and US Highway 183 will need at least 12 lanes in coming years so that massive traffic congestion can be avoided. Ridesharing will also ease transport challenges in the city. Uber perfectly suits into this arrangement.
About Mike Heiligenstein
Mike is the executive director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority. This is an autonomous agency that was established with the aim of improving transportation in the counties of Williamson and Travis. Its mission is to implement forward-looking transportation solutions, which help reduce traffic congestion. Mike is dedicated towards creating mobility choices that enhance economic vitality and quality of life.
Mr. Heiligenstein oversees the agency’s seven-member board of directors. Under his leadership, the authority has created partnerships with other agencies throughout the United States. These include private sector contractors who focus on supporting individual projects. Mike is also the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association’s president. He sits on the boards of notable organizations including the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.