Mike Heiligenstein works with Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority as the executive officer. He took the position after selection by a seven-member board of the authority in 2003. Before joining CTRMA, Mike worked for eight years as a member of Round Rock City Council and a commissioner in Williamson County for 15 years. He holds a bachelor’s and two masters degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.
Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority primary responsibility is to provide solutions that decongest traffic in Austin and other cities in Texas. It works in close collaboration with Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and other state agencies to create reliable solutions. Under the patronage of Mike Heiligenstein, CTRMA rose from a start-up toll road operator to a nationally recognized leader.
During a forum at Texas Department of Transport, Mike stated that it has not been easy to solve the problems facing Super Highway 130 project and the problems might continue for the next two decades. He attributed the problems facing the project to the reluctance of neighborhoods and cities to allow for more lanes. Responding to concerns on improving the situation, he called for a change of travel behavior and adopting a multi-modal approach.
Solution to the transport sector in Austin according to Mike does not lie in ensuring the traffic on the highway moves but also on improving the capacity to meet the growing traffic on the motorway. Mike noted the current increase in the demand for trucks and cars in Austin and the potential impact on the roads. He cited the I-35 and the residents as the major setbacks in achieving the set goals.
Toll roads in the state of Texas experienced poor financial performance attributed to weakening the economy and the rising cost of gas. On this issue, Mike asserted that roads tolls made a significant contribution despite the challenges. He noted the contribution to the construction of 183A where its development received full funding from user revenues. While acknowledging that road tolls were not the only solution to problems facing the transport sector, he said that it was one among others.
One of the solutions provided by CTRMA is MoPac a technological app developed in partnership with Metropia. The solution provides road users with real-time updates on the prevailing traffic conditions in the state. The app as Mike argues will help motorist make informed choices on the roads to use avoiding areas with congested and slow traffic thus getting to their destinations faster.
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