Austin is a major city of Texas with many opportunities and problems. The biggest problem is the ever increasing traffic in Williamson County. Growth Summit was held in Austin during December 2016. Fortunately, the traffic issue of Williamson County was discussed, and the transit experts presented the possible solution. The event was held at the Conference Center of Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel. The agenda of the summit was curbed the issue of transportation in Austin and internationally through technology. Four well-known figures were part of the panel: Jared Ficklin, Leandre Johns, Joseph Kopser, and Mike Heiligenstein. Jared Ficklin is a project designer whose area of interest is transportation; he works at ArgoDesgin. Mike Heiligenstein works at Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority as the Executive Director. Ficklin said that the most suitable option for Central Texas is a system called Aerial Gondola.
Mike Heiligestein said that the transportation infrastructure could completely change with the introduction of driverless vehicles and ridesharing apps. However, a lot more has to be done for the area of Austin to manage its transportation capacity. The biggest requirement of the area is smart roads. He emphasized the point that population is continuously increasing and smarter roads are the best option to meet area’s demands. According to him, the Williamson County has the highest rate of growth among all suburbs. Although the County has increased the infrastructure during the last fifteen years, the population will further increase here. Several roads were constructed, and the capacity of old roads were increased. Now the only way to further improve the situation is to make things more efficient and technologically advanced. Ficklin suggested that building codes and flexible land use should not be changed.
It was 2002 when the government decided to create Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority. Its task was to design a modern regional transportation network for Central Texas. Mike Heiligenstein was made the Executive Director of this institution who planned and initiated many projects to meet the transportation needs of this area. The project known as 183A was the first one; it was a fully electronic cashless toll collection system. Recently Manor Expressway was opened for public use. After a few weeks, MoPac Express Lanes are going to open. Mike Heiligenstein also works as the President of the Association for Turnpike, Tunnel, and International Bridge. Texas A&M Transportation Institute also seeks his advice. He also guides numerous committees and working groups for transportation.