Improving Transportation in Austin Texas- Mike Heiligenstein

The Williamson’s County Growth Summit recently had the opportunity to discuss the transport challenge that has been facing the State of Austin. In the panel, it included Mike Heiligenstein who is the Executive Director of the Central Texas Region Mobility Authority, the founder of Ride Scout Joseph Kosper, the Director of External Affairs at Texas Leandre Johns, and Jared Ficklin of Argo Design. The discussion was held at the Sheraton Georgetown, Texas Hotel and Conference Centre. The event was organized to discuss how technology has been changing the face of transportation in the region of Austin and the world in general.

In the discussion, Mike mentioned of the advanced technologies such as the driverless cars and ride sharing apps will help in the transformation of transportation infrastructure. Mike also said the Austin area still needs to expand its transportation capacity by constructing more and modernized roads. He did not forget to mention that the construction of more roads was a great opportunity to offer better transport services to the growing population in the Suburbs especially Williamson County.

The County of Williamson is one of the counties that have made efforts to construct good roads for the past 15 years, but according to Mike they need not stop the construction as the area is expanding in population. Mr. Ficklin was responding to the questions of what the policy makers need to do to prepare for the future need of transport in the country when he said the use of land codes need to remain flexible. Ficklin further explained even with the use of automated vehicles; the drivers will still need the garages, roads as well as parking areas. Ficklin explained that the current parking lot needs to be well designed in a way that it will be five feet tall, which is an inch taller than a car have multiple levels within the service station on one level and the charging station on the other level design that does not fit any current code.

Mike Heiligenstein is the Executive Director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority in Austin Texas. Mike, a leader and his leadership skills alongside his vast knowledge, has given him a position at International Bridge as the President as well as Tunnel and Turnpike Association. Mike is known to a go-getter and is very passionate about transportation. He has been serving on the Advisory Board of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. He is also involved in other committees and institutions that deal with transportation issues in the United States. Before taking the management responsibility at Mobility, Mike served tin the Williamson County for more than 23 years.