Traffic congestion is a serious problem in many areas across the United States. Austin, Texas, and its surrounding suburbs are no exception to this. In 2003 the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) was set up to deal with this issue in the counties of Travis and Williamson. The CTRMA is an agency which is accountable to the citizens in the areas that it serves.
The Executive Director of the CTRMA, Mike Heiligenstein, says that reducing congestion sometimes means building a road while at other times a different mobility solution is called for. His agency built a toll road between Leander and Cedar Park which has been a life changer for drivers in those communities. They also built another toll road between Manor and Austin which tripled the road capacity and helped reduce congestion on the existing regular lanes.
More and more the CTRMA is making use of cutting edge technology in order to reduce congestion. With most people using smartphones nowadays the agency has partnered with private companies in order to develop apps that drivers can use to find alternative routes or easily set up carpools with people nearby going in the same direction. If more people were to carpool it could result in hundreds of thousands of fewer cars on the road every day.
Mike Heiligenstein has been in public service for 30 years. Before started as a public office when he won a seat on the Round Rock City Council. He was also the Williamson County Commissioner for a number of years before attaining his current role. Over the years he has been involved in some important projects such as acquiring a large amount of parkland and approving major development of the Brushy Creek Regional Trail. He has also chaired the Clean Air Force which helped to drastically improve air quality throughout the region.
As a recognized expert when it comes to mobility issues, Mike Heiligenstein has spoken to groups tackling this tough issue throughout Texas as well as nationally. He also serves on two state boards; the International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association as well as the Texas Transportation Institute. He has also co-founded other organizations including Envision Central Texas and the Austin-San Antonio Corridor Council.
Mike Heiligenstein attended The University of Texas. He has earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Government and also holds an MBA.
Follow CTRMA on Facebook.