May 25th, 2017
In Viewpoint Editorial’s September 3rd issue, the American-Statesman confronted the issue of traffic congestion in Austin. However, with the help from Central Texas Regional Mobility, Austin can reduce traffic congestion by creating tolled roads. When agency implemented its first toll road 183A, it minimized traffic congestion in both tolled lanes as well as non-toll roads. With building MoPac Express Lanes, our intent is the make people’s commutes more predictable and reliable. Working alongside Metropia, MoPac will integrate a traffic app keeping people updated with the latest traffic conditions. As a result, it will prevent people from running late and allowing them to reach their destination with ease.
Another addition to reducing congestion, we’re working with Carma, a carpool app, to increase the amount of people who carpool. That will lead to less cars being on the road allowing for smoother travels for the population. Where it’s possible, Mobility Authority will build Shared Used Paths to allow bikers and pedestrians to reach their destination. In cases of emergencies, Mobility Authority plans on creating a free roadside assistance program for motorists with help from the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. Although Mobility Authority doesn’t have all the answers, it plans on implementing the solutions it does have.
Mike Heiligenstein is the Executive Director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority. Mike has served the Mobility Authority since 2003. He saw Mobility Authority grow from a startup to a recognized national leader in toll road operations. Alongside his work with the Mobility Authority, he’s been a public official for 30 years. First he was a Round Rock City Council Member and then he was a Williamson County Commissioner. During his time serving, he focused on infrastructure projects that included transportation, major parkland acquisitions and the development of the Bushy Creek Regional Trail.
He also contributed to the regional air quality initiative when he was the chair or the Clean Air Force. He currently serves on the board of the Texas Transportation Institute as well as the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association. His service to the public is in making transportation as seamless as possible while also contributing to the overall wellbeing of the Austin community.
Here is a new release regarding Texas spending: http://www.chron.com/news/transportation/article/Flush-with-cash-TxDOT-still-looking-for-toll-11090442.php
“With all the restrictions we have now on transportation, we may have to rely on (comprehensive development agreements) or put these projects on hold,”
– Mike Heiligenstein, executive director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority
Mike Heiligenstein is Executive Director of Austin’s Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority in, Texas. This autonomous government agency was designed in 2002 to design a contemporary, regional transportation network for Texas. The current and future projects of Mobility Authority are primary elements in a multi-modal, carefully planned transportation system designed to meet the dissimilar mobility needs of this region that is growing at a rapid pace. Heiligenstein has been with this authority since its inception. He has overseen the expansion of their very first project, 183A in Williamson County. 183A is one of the very first projects in the whole country to transition to all cashless, electronic toll collection. The Authority recently opened Manor Expressway (290 Toll) project and is also constructing
Express Lanes on Loop 1 (MoPac).
Mike currently serves as President of the Tunnel and Turnpike Association. He serves on the Advisory Board of A&M Transportation Institute in addition to numerous several other committees and groups that are dealing with transportation issues. Before taking the controls at the Mobility Authority, Heiligenstein served the Williamson County for more than two decades as a public official.
While many discussions in whole Austin area focus on Austin itself, Williamson County Growth Summit that took place on Thursday was an opportunity to frame challenges about transportation around the needs of suburban communities. The discussion of the whole panel included Mike Heiligenstein, Executive Director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, Joseph Kopser, founder of RideScout LLC, Leandre Johns, External Affairs Director of Uber Technologies Inc. Texas and Jared Ficklin from ArgoDesign, a product designer who has proposed an aerial gondola system for whole Austin. At the event held at the Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel & Conference Center, their discussion centered on how technology is changing the face of transportation in the Austin region and across the globe.
Heiligenstein, while noting that modern technologies like ridesharing apps and driverless vehicles could transform transportation infrastructure radically, said that this area still needs to invest so that transportation capacity could grow, particularly by building smarter roads. Mike also mentioned that it is the only way to properly serve the mobility demands of a swiftly growing population where the growth is in the suburbs. Williamson has also done an amazing job of structuring the infrastructure over a decade or so. But you’re still going to have an additional number of individual coming here. It was the nineteenth year of annual Williamson County Growth Summit in the Austin Business Journal.
Follow Mike’s Twitter feed:
With V2X technology, connected cars can tell you what’s around the corner.https://t.co/BlhlvSFt3K
— Mike Heiligenstein (@MHeiligenstein) April 4, 2017