Recently, Williamson County Growth Summit held a meeting to discuss and come up with innovative solutions to the county’s traffic problem. In the past, such meetings have been organized by the City of Austin. However, this new shift hopes to solve the problem within the city by first addressing the transport challenges experienced in the suburban communities such as in Williamson County.
The summit invited transit experts from county and outside the same. Some of the key participants were Jared Ficklin of ArgoDesign, Leandre Johns of Texas External Affairs, Joseph Kosper of Uber Technologies Inc., and Mike Heiligenstein, the executive director of Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA). The summit was held at the Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel & Conference Center. It focused on how technology can be used in response to the changing face of transportation both in Austin and across the globe.
The experts proposed many solutions for the county such as aerial gondola systems. This system will be used to improve mobility in Central Austin. The experts also encouraged the region to adopt new technologies such as ridesharing apps and driverless vehicles. These innovations have the potential to revolutionize the transit sector. This information was originally published on bizjournal.com as explicated in this link http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2016/12/15/transit-experts-offer-solutions-for-williamson.html
There is need for Austin to invest in its transportation sector and expand its capacity to match the demands of its growing population. These investments should mainly focus on building smarter roads.
Heiligenstein praised Williamson County for its effort in structuring its infrastructure. However, he noted that the work done in the last 15 years was not adequate. Mike believes that new roads help in decongesting traffic in the region.
According to Ficklin, there is need to create flexible building and land-use codes. Such flexibility will allow for new roads and modern parking garages. He noted that the current laws do not permit the creation of optimized parking garages. Ficklin was responding to a question raised by the panel moderator, Alan McGraw, who is the Round Rock Mayor.
About Mike Heligenstein
Mike Heiligenstein is a transit expert. He is based in Texas. Mike is the executive director of CTRMA, an organization charged with the duty of improving mobility in Austin. The agency was created in 2002. Mike is also the president of International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike association. He serves on the board of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. Before Joining CTRMA, Mike worked as a public official for two decades.