On September 15th, 2015, Mike Heligenstein on ‘My Statesman’ wrote an article highlighting the progress that Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is achieving to help curb the problem with traffic in Austin and other surrounding communities that are affected by the heavy traffic.
Through the article, Mike mentioned that the agency was created to offer mobility solutions. These solutions can come in the form of new roads and sometimes in other forms. He gave an example of 183A Toll Road in Cedar Park and Leander, which according to him, it has helped the communities as they experience the growing population. He also touched on U.S. 290 toll road that since its creation has tripled the capacity of the previous roads.
He also expressed the importance of new technology and innovation to help solve the traffic problem. He gave the example of MoPac Express Lanes, which will use ‘sophisticated technology.’ He also states that even though the agency would like to, it cannot eliminate congestion entirely.
Mike Heiligenstein mentions the use of banking technology that will see the birth of “smart roads.” The 183 South projects will be lined with fiber lines that will help the future self-drive vehicles collaborate with the roads.
To help handle the issue of congestion, he said that the agency has partnered with Metropia that will see a new traffic app created. This app will provide real-time traffic update giving commuters alternative routes. He also mentioned their partnership with Carma, which offers carpooling services.
Through this app, passengers will be encouraged to share their rides as the statistics of empty seats in Austin stands at 900,000 per day. He said that a plan to fill these seats with people is underway and will help to reduce congestion. Learn more about Mike Heiligenstein: https://communityimpact.com/austin/news/2013/07/15/mike-heiligenstein/
He also mentioned that the agency is building paths along their projects that can be used by residents to walk and pedal. He gave the MoPac Bridge that is reserved for pedestrian and cyclist as an example of this achievement.
He pointed out vehicle breakdowns as one of the reasons for congestion. To solve this problem, he wrote that the agency has a HERO (Highway Emergency Response Operator) that will offer free assistance to motorists who experience these breakdowns.
He believes that HERO will play a huge role to keep the traffic flowing and reduce congestion. He mentioned U.S. 183, Hays County and George Town as the main areas that need immediate action.
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is a public agency that was created in 2002. The agency was mainly set up to tackle the issue of traffic and improve transportation system of Travis and Williamson Counties.
Mike Heiligenstein serves as the Executive Director of this agency. He is also a board member of Texas Transportation Institute. He is also a board member of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association. He holds a degree in Government from the University of Texas and a Masters of Government as well as an M.B.A from the same institution.