Recently in Austin, Texas the Williamson County Growth Summit opted to spotlight solutions to transportation troubles directly affecting the infrastructure of the city’s suburban areas. The shift of focus from urban transit to issues facing outer, regional neighborhoods was a change of pace. The Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel & Conference Center hosted a panel featuring the likes of Leandre Johns, the director of Texas External Affairs, Joseph Kopser of RideScout LLC, the enigmatic product designer Jared Ficklin who represented ArgoDesign, and of course Mike Heiligenstein, the celebrated executive director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority. While the bulk of the discussion revolved around the ways in which technology is affecting transportation as a whole, in their city, and around the globe, Mike Heiligenstein managed to directly address the need for Austin to further expand overall transportation capabilities due to currently outward expanding population moving into the suburban outskirts. Said increase of people thus demands that the city further develop roads and means of transportation for those residing in Williamson County and areas similar to it. To understand the importance of such panels and their effect on locals, one must educate themselves on all the good work being done by the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority and it’s leader, Mike Heiligenstein, who continues to look out for all people in an ever shifting landscape.
In 2002, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority was formed as a government agency focused on the enhancement of local transportation infrastructure, concentrating largely on the suburban regions of Austin. Their focus revolves around crafting solutions for counties such as Travis and Williamson, which both have rapidly increasing populations in need of solid transportation systems. The Mobility Authority is composed of the aforementioned Executive Director, Mike Heiligenstein, his staff and occasionally additional contractors to develop transportation solutions. Their work affects a multitude of systems from airports to transit service. They deal with bike lanes and with traffic congestion. In short, the Mobility Authority stands to improve and maintain infrastructure all around the city.
Finally, one must recognizes the efforts and leadership of Mike Heiligenstein. His experience is unparalleled. He has been a Williamson County public official for twenty-three years. He oversaw the Mobility Authority’s first project and is the president of the International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association. He is constantly innovative and dedicated to improving regional transportation concerns, and has dedicated himself wholly to Austin.