Mike Heiligenstein, Executive Director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority emphasizes that finding innovative approaches to ease Austin’s traffic congestion is certainly at the top of the list. Business leaders from across Texas attended a panel discussion to focus on Austin’s chronic transportation issues.
Most cities face infrastructure problems, like ageing networks, when it comes to transportation. Mike Heiligenstein understands that unless a solution is found, the impact on the central Texas region will become profound. As new trends in automation emerge business leaders acknowledge the need to upgrade the urban infrastructure. ArgoDesign’s, Jared Ficklin pointed out that leaders must review zoning ordinances and land use policies to ease the urban crawl and prepare for efficient and future technically advanced roads. Future zoning can help balance commuter times, especially in places that are heavily car dependent.
Many leaders believe that autonomous vehicles are the answer to easing traffic congestion, but Heiligenstein is still skeptical. Are robotic cars more advanced and more efficient than human drivers? Some believe autonomous smart vehicles can diminish driver reaction time, communicate with other vehicles, and introduce new opportunities for traffic management. Imagine vehicle-to-vehicle capabilities that could maintain safe driving distances, eliminate accidents and overall create a standard for safer driving. Automotive technological solutions are headed that way.
Joseph Kopser of Uber Technologies Inc envisions a future of smart lanes for ridesharing, and current car conventions are focusing on future mobility. “Subsidies are one approach to assist and encourage riders and ease burdens on the transit agency,” says Leandre Johns, Texas External Affairs Director.
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is the planning agency for the 16-city region. Their purpose is to facilitate collaboration and strategic direction for improved transit and focusing on mobility and forward-thinking infrastructure for Central Texas.
Mike Heiligenstein, Executive Director of CTRMA leads the planning commission, working to build a modern transportation infrastructure and reduce urban crawl. His experience spans two decades of working on public infrastructure issues as a Councilman and Commissioner in Round Rock and Williamson County. Heiligenstein has successfully supervised and completed capital improvements totaling $500 million. He holds a Bachelor and Masters degree in Business Administration and Government, and is a sought-after public speaker on transportation and modern infrastructure topics.