Williamson County, a part of the Austin area in Texas, USA has been experiencing problems with transit. The suburban regions have been expanding rapidly in terms of population, and so has the mobility demand. Conjunctions and incredibly slow and risky traffic have been a plague to the region for some time now.
The problem was addressed at Thursday’s Williamson County Growth Summit in order to try and find solutions to the growing problem. There was a discussion between several transit experts including Mike Heilingenstein, the Executive Director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority. That is an independent agency that is not a part of the government.
The purpose of the agency is to take care of the transportation in Central Texas. That includes designing roads and fulfilling projects that have to do with bettering the transit where needed. The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority was founded in 2002, and Mike Heilingenstein has been an invaluable part of it ever since.
At the Williamson County, Growth Summit was also present Jared Ficklin who is a road designer and a part of ArgoDesign. At the panel, during the discussion, he talked about the change that comes with better technology.
He proposed that an aerial gondola road system should be built because that would alleviate the mobility demand for the time being. However, that would prove to be quite price and time consuming, and in the meantime, the problem with transportation would persist.
Mike Heilingenstein readily acknowledged the strong influence technology has on transportation systems. He talked about how much easier it would be to travel if people would utilize ridesharing apps more. However, considering the growing population in the suburbs, the use of ridesharing apps would not be enough.
Mike Heilingenstein reminded that Williamson County has a great road system already and in order to fulfill the mobility demand it should simply be bettered. There need to be additional roads in the expanding parts of the area so that the transit is more straightforward and therefore safer.
He stated that there is not enough time nor resource for brand new systems, but the already existing roads can be made safer and better regulated. The design of the new roads, however, does need to be a bit different. It needs to be smarter and have the possibility to be expanded upon as the demand for better transit grows along with the population of the area.
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority has already completed many successful projects, and it will undertake the project of Williamson County as well.
The independent agency, led by Mike Heilingenstein, will design and provide Williamson County with better and safer roads in the following years so that its citizens can travel safely.