Mike Heiligenstein has always maintained that traffic is increasing in Austin. But he also maintained that a tech solution could help to solve it. This is because traffic congestion is a key issue today. Hence one solution cannot work in this situation. Multiple resources will be required to address the traffic woes. Mike Heiligenstein and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority are doing exactly that.
He further states that CTRMA is looking at building mobility solutions and not just a road. There are times when a road suffices, but sometimes it does not.
This is where Mike Heiligenstein gives the example of 183A Toll Road in Cedar Park along with Leander. This was enough to transform these communities as they were experiencing exponential growth. He also cites the U.S. 290 toll road. This is between Austin and Manor. It was able to triple the capacity of the road that already existed.
Mike Heiligenstein further states that CTRMA is an accountable agency that was established by the Travis and Williamson counties and hence it is answerable for its actions.
The Mobility Authority is focused on innovation. Hence they have come out with the new MoPac Express Lanes. These will have variable tolling. This means the use of sophisticated technology that would help in managing the flow of traffic better. He does acknowledge that congestion cannot be eliminated entirely. But MoPac will ensure that there is a more reliable commute so that people can reach their job interviews or concerts on time.
This is why CTRMA has gone into a partnership with Metropia. A mobile traffic app will be created that will get integrated with the monitoring system being used currently for traffic. This way real-time data will be available to commuters. They can know about alternative routes in case of traffic congestion on existing routes.
CTRMA is also in partnership with Carma. This is a carpooling app. The commuters are encouraged to opt for car pools. This will ease traffic congestion in a big way. Besides, lesser cars on the road mean less fuel and less pollution too!
There is an increased emphasis on residents to walk and pedal. This is why the Mobility Authority is building Shared Use Paths along their projects. This means dedicated pedestrian ways as well as bicycle paths.
CTRMA is also seeking support from the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. They are trying to come up with the Highway Emergency Response Operator program. This will provide free roadside assistance to motorists.
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