Most of the discussions that are held in Austin revolve around the area, however, the meeting that was held last Thursday was a little different because it focused more on the biggest thorn to the communities that leave in the suburbs, transportation. It has been discovered that this is a major challenge for the community and that the sooner it is addressed, the easier it will be for the community to move around.
Speaking at the meeting, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority Executive Director Mike Heiligenstein stated that new inventions such as driverless cars and applications that encourage carpooling were on the rise. He noted that if used properly, these inventions would change the manner in which transport was handled in this town. He reiterated that there was need for the community to revisit and restructure the manner in which transport was organized. The transportation capacity of Austin has been growing and if well exploited, the problems facing the community would reduce or come to an end.
He stated that Williamson County had done a lot when it comes to the restructuring of their infrastructure. However, he noted that as long as the population was growing and more people were moving into the city from other areas, the community would have to keep creating more roads and making sure that the roads are smarter, advanced technically and very efficient.
A question was raised about the steps that could be taken to prepare for the transportation needs that would come up in the future. Mike stated that to start with, the land use codes which had been flexible for the past few years needed to remain that way. He state that while it was approaching a time when there would be autonomous vehicles, they would still need the same infrastructure that is being used presently. He therefore encouraged the people to keep making room for new garages, refilling stations, other similar structures.
Uber’s John stated that there was need to address the problem of the first and last mile car riders. He stated that the best mode of transportation for this group of residents was the model provided by the company.
Mike Heiligenstein is the executive director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority. The organization was set up in 2002 to address issues within the sector. He has been a public official in the Williamson county for the past 23 years and has served as a committee member in several other organizations. He is an exceptional and transformational leader in the community.
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