The Williamson County Growth Summit that held late last year drew the participation of many experts in the transportation industries. In fact, the gathering presented an opportune moment for the professionals to deliberate on the transportation hurdles revolving around the requirements of the area’s suburban communities.
Some of the experts involved in the panel discussions included Joseph Kopser from RideScoutLLC, Director of Texas External Affairs Leandre Johns, Mike Heiligenstein among others. Jared Ficklin from ArgoDesign and Leandre Johns proposed the development of a gondola system to serve Central Austin. New transportation technologies like ridesharing applications and driverless vehicles are expected to change transportation infrastructure radically. However, Heiligenstein cited that the Austin area needs to invest more in developing its transportation capacity, especially in building smarter roads.
Heiligenstein advocated for the expansion of capacities and more roads in an attempt to accommodate the transportation needs of the increasing population. In fact, he reiterated this point by claiming that Williamson County was getting to a point where the remaining corridors in the area have to be made more efficient, smarter and technically advanced. He also acknowledged the achievements made by Williamson County in the last 15 years. Additionally, Ficklin emphasized that policymakers in Williamson County ought to make land and building-use codes that are flexible in a bid to accommodate future transportation needs.
Mike Heiligenstein is an expert in infrastructural development, especially in the Central Texas area. As the head of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, Mike Heiligenstein has played a significant role in boosting the transportation network in the area. Apart from his current role, Mike has served as an elected representative of the people of Williamson County for about 23 years. As an elected official, he spearheaded various expansion efforts for wastewater, transportation and water infrastructure. In fact, he also served on various bodies including the Austin-San Antonio Corridor Council, the regional MPO and the Clean Air Force of Texas.
Formed in 2002, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is an independent government agency aimed at improving the transportation system in both Travis and Williamson counties. Its mission for implementing innovative, multi-modal transportation solutions, which create transportation choices and minimize congestion, helps to spearhead the work of the agency. Its operations are overseen by a board of directors, which includes seven members. The governor is in charge of appointing the chairman of the board while the county commissioners’ courts of Williamson and Travis counties appoint three members each to serve on the board.