Williamson County held its growth summit towards the end of 2016 at the Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel. The discussion at the event was about the transportation challenges that would face the suburban communities in the region. Heiligenstein pointed out that there was a need to build smarter roads despite the fact that new technologies would change the infrastructure of the area.
According to Crunchbase, the panel comprised of stakeholders such as Joseph Kopser who is the founder of RideScout, Mike Heiligenstein who is the executive director of Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, and Leandre Johns who is a director at Uber. Heiligenstein said that he was not optimistic about self-driving cars because of their adoption rate. He stated that they needed to focus on building more roads because of the speed of growth in Austin. Increasing the capacity for cars and buses would ensure that congestion would not be experienced in the future.
Mr. Johns from Uber said that ridesharing companies would help commuters in the area to use public transit. This is because there would be fewer cars on the road and less congestion if more people use public transportation.
Johns added that people would be able to decrease congestion if they realize how easy it is to get to and from the bus stop. Jared Ficklin is a product designer at ArgoDesign. He called for the revision of building and land codes. This is because the parking garages of the future would look very different. It would not fit into current building codes.
The Central Texas Mobility Authority was started in 2002 to improve the transportation infrastructure in Austin. The authority employs private contractors to help it construct the various projects that they undertake in the area. It is authorized by the government to collect taxes and user fees to raise funds to conduct its operations. CTRMA has worked hard to implement the ideas proposed in the Texas A&M Mobility Scorecard. They have set up pedestrian and cyclist paths along their projects to encourage more residents to use alternative means. Learn more about Mike Heiligenstein: https://about.me/heiligenstein
The authority identified minor breakdowns on the main roads as one of the biggest causes of congestion. This is why they started the highway emergency response operator to provide roadside assistance to motorists who experience these problems. Mike Heiligenstein worked as an official in Williamson County for two decades before joining CTRMA.
He has served as the founding director since it was started and has been hailed for his visionary leadership. Heiligenstein is the president of the International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association (IBTTA).