In the 19th annual Williamson County Growth Summit, experts offered solutions to the county biggest issue of traffic. The event was held at the Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel & Conference Center, and the main agenda was how technology is evolving and changing the way of life globally and particularly affecting the transportation sector. In the discussion panel was Mike Heiligenstein the Executive Director of Central Texas Region Mobility Authority, Joseph Kopser founder of RideScout LLC, Leandre Johns the Director of Texas External Affairs, and Jared Ficklin of Agro Designs.
Heilligenstein was able to point out the current problem in Austin regarding Traffic. The first thing he was keen to admit that Austin lacked the capacity, the population growth especially in Williamson suburbs further straining the existing road capacity, there is the immigration of people to Williamson that is continuous, the land-use codes and building codes need flexibility, the adoption rate of autonomous vehicles process being slow and tedious.
His suggestions and solution to those problems were particularly very interesting. On matters regarding capacity, Heiligenstein insisted that smarter roads were needed thus investment in this sector was crucial. He appreciated the current efforts being made to deal with the issue, such a ridesharing apps, and other technological advancements such as driverless vehicles that were transforming transport infrastructure. The road building would also solve the mobility problems of the rising population especially in the suburbs of Williamson.
The migration of people to Williamson would not be stopped as they keep coming for over 15 years, and for those 15 years the infrastructure has grown and has been restructured, but the population keeps growing. The only way out is more efficient, smarter and more technically advanced roads as well as the remaining corridors.
Alan McGraw the Round Rock Mayor, a panel moderator at the summit, was concerned about policymakers preparations for the future transportation needs. Heilligenstein insisted that the land-use codes, as well as building codes, had to remain flexible to deal with such future needs. He insisted that despite efforts to incorporate autonomous vehicles being made the process was to slow for him and instead that the main focus should be on road infrastructure improvement.
Heilligensten has a distinguished career in the development of infrastructure in Central Texas and is currently serving as the Executive Director of Central Texas Region Mobility Authority. He has put efforts in expanding water, waste water, and transport infrastructure. The region Mobility Authority is a government agency started in 2002 to improve the transportation systems in Williamson and Travis Counties.