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Mike Heiligenstein: To Fix Austin’s Traffic Problem, Look to the Future


Austinites are quite familiar with the city’s attempts to manage traffic, but as the population of the city continues to grow all efforts seem to fall short of affecting any change. Officials in Williamson County took a new approach to address this issue by bringing together the right minds at their Growth Summit to brainstorm on how to fix transportation and traffic issues in and around their suburban areas.

The summit was held at the Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel and Conference Center, and the

Executive Director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, Mike Heiligenstein was in attendance. Learn more about Mike Heiligenstein: http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2016/12/15/transit-experts-offer-solutions-for-williamson.htm

For Heiligenstein the answer to smooth traffic and effective transportation in the Austin area lies in looking towards the future.

According to Crunchbase, technology and its applications in the automotive industry were of particular interest to Mike Heiligenstein. This is certainly the case with ride-sharing apps that are better accommodating transportation of the growing Austin population.

With more people moving about Williamson County, Heiligenstein has noted a significant change in traffic as these cars manage to move more people about, affecting the number of vehicles on the road.

And moving further into the future, technology will do even more. The continued distribution of cars with autonomous functions and soon driveless cars will affect the function of traffic throughout the Austin area by making transportation smarter and safer.

This isn’t to say Austin hasn’t done its part to make roads safe. Mike Heiligenstein notes that many changes have been made to local infrastructure to make it more sound over the last 15 years or so, but that there still hasn’t been a concerted effort to better integrate emerging technology to reasonably accommodate the changes in population that are projected in the near future.

Some working in the tech industry seem to agree with Mike Heiligenstein, people like Jared Ficklin of ArgoDesign. Ficklin agreed that technology integration and overall innovation are just the thing the Austin area needs to prepare for tomorrow.

Small changes to often overlooked structures like parking garages could stand to benefit from seemingly minute changes that had to once account for human error by motorists.

About Mike Heiligenstein:

Mike Heiligenstein graduated from the University of Texas with a Master’s Degree in Government and Business Administration. With a profound understand of the worlds of government and business, Heiligenstein went on to become the Executive Director of the Central Texas Mobility Authority, responsible for transportation and infrastructure concerns in the region.

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