Williamson County has a lot of issues, but the biggest one right now is traffic. This is why the Williamson County Growth Summit did not focus only on the Austin area. This was the opportunity to frame various transportation challenges that were based on the needs of the suburban communities of this region.
The panel discussion had to include nearly everybody who mattered. This is why it had Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority Executive Director Mike Heiligenstein, besides the RideScout LLC founder Joseph Kopser. Next was Uber Technologies Inc. Texas External Affairs Director Leandre Johns along with ArgoDesign’s Jared Ficklin.
The event was at the Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel & Conference Center. The discussion centered on technology changing the overview of transportation not only in this Austin region but all across the globe. Learn more about Mike Heiligenstein: http://www.slideshare.net/mikeheiligenstein/mike-heiligenstein-of-the-ctrma-the-central-texas-approach
According to Biz Journals, Mike Heiligenstein is the executive director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority. He spoke about new technologies coming in that would include driverless vehicles, a number of ridesharing apps and much more. All this could mean a radical transformation of the transportation infrastructure.
Hence Austin area had to invest in order to grow its transportation capacity. This meant the building of more roads. This was the only way in which the mobility demands can be met. Williamson County is a suburb that is seeing a lot of growth in its population.
The Round Rock Mayor Alan McGraw spoke about policymakers having to prepare to meet the transportation needs that will be arising in the future. This would mean resorting to flexibility in terms of a building as well as land-use codes.
Ficklin spoke about autonomous vehicles and their specific needs. He spoke about parking garages as well as roads. There would be the need of parking garages of the future that will have levels. Each level will be just an inch more than the car. There will be multiple levels. One level will have a charging station while another will have a service station.
Mike Heiligenstein did speak about driverless cars and felt that they will take time in getting adopted. But the capacity for roads as well as buses has to be improved. Subsidies will have to be created that can help the rider as well as the transit agency.
There should be options so that people can make use of the public transit as well as their own private vehicle in a seamless manner.