Recap of the Williamson County’s biggest issue: traffic Article and Mike Heiligenstein

Even though most of the transit conversations that go on in the Austin area lean more toward the city, there were conversations recently that were of a different type. What were these conversations about? They were about Williamson County Growth Summit and the ability to frame transportation problems circulating the needs of the communities within the suburbs of the region.

 

The discussion at the panel had the Director of Uber Technologies Inc. Texas Eternal Affairs (Leandre Johns), Jared Ficklin from ArgoDesign, the Executive Director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (Mike Heiligenstein) and also the founder of RideScout LLC (Joseph Kopser). Jared Ficklin is a product designer for transportation-focused products that has spoken of how there should be a aerial gondola system within Central Austin. During the even that was at the Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel and Conference Center, they had their conversation on how the technology is changing what is the transportation of the Austin region and all over the world.

 

Mike Heiligenstein, while acknowledging that the newer technologies that are out now like driverless vehicles and ridesharing applications are able to radically change the transportation infrastructure, stated that he believes that the area of Austin should still put money into the growing transportation capacity. He believes that they can do this by constructing more and smarter roads.

 

Mr. Heiligenstein stated that he thinks Williamson has done a great job when it comes to the construction over the last 15 years. However, he thinks that they are still going to get more people coming through. He wants them to put time into making sure the road are built and that they build them in smarter ways so that they are more efficient and also so that they are more technically advanced.

 

In answer to a question that arised from the moderator of the panel, Allan McGraw, asking what the policymakers should do in order to get ready for the transportation needs that shall arise in the future, Jared Flicklin stressed the point that building and also land-use codes would need to stay flexible.

 

Mike Heiligenstein and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority

 

Mike Heiligenstein is an individual with a career that is distinguished within developing infrustructure within Central Texas. As of right now, he leads the CTRMA. In 2002 the Mobility Authority was created to be a government agency that would design a modern regional transportation network which would be for Central Texas. They went operational in 2003, which was the time that Mr. Heiligenstein was appointed the job of leading the agency.

Mike Heiligenstein’s Relevance in the Transportation Sectors of Travis and Williamson Counties

The Williamson County Growth Summit was recently held to discuss transportation challenges in suburban areas. This summit was different from other discussions that usually focus only on Austin city traffic problems. It was hosted at the Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel & Conference Center. The summit was headed by Mike Heiligenstein, the director of Central Texas Mobility Authority. Joseph Kopser, Leandre Johns, and Jared Ficklin also directed the forum. It was themed on the relevance of technology in transportation.

 

Heiligenstein pointed out that new technologies have significantly transformed the transport sector. In his argument, he gave examples of ridesharing apps such as Uber and driverless cars. He said that Austin city requires investments targeted on expanding transportation services. This investment should target the rapidly growing traffic demands by Austin’s residents. Heiligenstein also highlighted the growing needs in Williamson County as a suburban area. Leandre Johns of Uber also spoke at the summit. He said that commuters living in Austin enjoy quick transport services. He also pointed out ways in which Uber is providing such services.

 

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA)

 

CTRMA is a government agency that runs independently and was founded in 2002. The institution focuses on improving transportation modes in Travis and Williamson counties. CTRMA is headed by a board comprising of seven members. The governor appoints the chairman of the board, Williamson County court appoints three members. In addition, the Travis County appoints the remaining three members.

 

Mike Heiligenstein

 

Heiligenstein currently holds the executive director position at CTRMA. He took over as executive director in 2003 after outclassing seven other finalists. He oversees the agency’s strategic planning initiatives. He has a bachelor’s degree as well as two master’s degrees. Heiligenstein worked for Round Rock City Council before joining CTRMA for eight years. He also worked as a country commissioner for Williamson County for 15 years. He uses his in-depth knowledge in business administration to manage operations of CTRMA. His mission is to boost the transportation infrastructure of Williamson County.

 

He is a member of the board of directors for International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association. He previously was an active participant as the Chairperson of The National Association of Counties Air and Water Quality Subcommittees. In 2009, Mike Heiligenstein was appointed to work in the Texas Transportation Institute Advisory Council.