How Mike Heiligenstein is Developing Transportation Solutions at CTRMA
Williamson County held its growth summit in December last year. The discussions at the summit centered on the transportation challenges that faced the suburban communities in the region. The panel at the summit comprised of various professionals in the transport industry including Joseph Kosper who is the founder of RideScout, Mike Heiligenstein who is the Executive Director of Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, Leandre Johns, and Jared Ficklin who is a product designer at ArgoDesign.
One of the main topics of discussion was the impact that technology would have on the transportation sector in the future. Heiligenstein noted that the infrastructure in the area would still need to be improved even though new technologies would play a significant role in the future. He said that this is because the population in the area was growing rapidly and there needed to be a system that would serve their mobility demands. He also called for the integration of technology into the roads to make them smarter.
Ficklin responded to a question by the Mayor of Round Rock on what policymakers needed to do to aid in the transition by recommending that building codes should be made flexible. Ficklin said that this was because the parking garages and the roads would look very different with the introduction of autonomous cars. Mike Heiligenstein has been the executive director of CTRMA since it was started in 2002. He serves on the boards of several transportation organizations including the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. He worked as an official of the public in Williamson County for a period of twenty years and later joined CTRMA. He is part of the professional staff employed to offer their experience to help the authority achieve its goals.
CTRMA has worked to enforce some of the solutions proposed in the Urban Mobility Scorecard that was developed by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. CTRMA has established paths for pedestrians along the various projects that they have put up. The authority worked with Metropia to develop a mobile application that provides alternative routes to commuters in real time. The application is integrated with the traffic monitoring system. It can spot which roads are free and recommend them to commuters. CTRMA collaborated with the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization to start the Highway Emergency Response Operator. The program provides assistance to motorists whose cars have minor problems on the interstate highway.