The 19th annual Williamson County Growth Summit was held on the 8th of December 2016 at the Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel & Conference Center. The panel consisted of transit experts, most of whom have decades of experience in the transportation industry. The summit was successful as the experts were able to come up with solutions for the traffic issue in Williamson County.
The discussions at the summit
One of the panel members, Mike Heiligenstein, the Executive Director of the Texas Regional Mobility Authority, noted that transportation infrastructure in the region could be radically transformed by new technologies. However, he said it is still important for the Austin area to work on improving transportation in the region by building more and better roads to cater for the transportation needs of the growing Austin area. He commended the town for the great job it has done with its roads and other transportation infrastructure over the past decade but also noted that the population of the region is bound to increase and there is therefore a lot more to be done.
Another panel member, Alan McGraw, who is the Mayor of Round Rock, raised the question of what the role of policymakers is in preparing for future transportation needs. In response to this question, Jared Ficklin, a designer at AgroDesign, said that the new technologies to be adopted will need more advanced structures to be put in place to accommodate them and facilitate their use and policymakers can help achieve this by having flexible building codes that will allow for such growth and advancement.
About Mike Heiligenstein
Mike Heiligenstein has served as the Executive Director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority in Austin, Texas since its establishment in 2002. He worked as a public official for Williamson County for over two decades before joining the Mobility Authority. Thanks to his experience and expertise in the field, he has led the agency in undertaking many projects aimed at improving transportation in the Austin region. The Mobility Authority has both short and long-term plans to modernize transportation infrastructure in the region to cater for the mobility needs of the area’s residents. He is a member of several other agencies and committees which are interested in solving the modern world’s transportation issues.
The experts strongly advocate the use of public transport to solve the traffic issue in the county. With new technologies like Uber, people will have a very easy time getting to the bus stops. Most of the ideas advanced involve leveraging technology to improve transportation infrastructure and solve some of the issues in the transportation industry.