Austin area’s discussions are majorly based on the welfare of the city itself. However, a current meeting, the Thursday’s Williamson County Growth Summit allowed discussions on how to solve the transport challenges experienced by the communities living in the suburbs, alongside other needs.
Mike Heiligenstein, the Executive Director at the CTRMA led the summit. Other attendants were Leandre Johns the Texas External Affairs Director, RideScout LLC founder, Joseph Kopser, Uber Technologies Inc, Jared Franklin of ArgoDesigns and Leandre Johns of Texas External Affairs. ArgoDesigns is a transport product designer. Jared suggested an aerial system for Austin. The event took place at the Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel and Conference Center. Transportation in Austin and worldwide was the main agenda for the discussion. There was need to improve the technology used in the transportation industry.
Heiligenstein suggested that Austin area needed driverless cars as well as ridesharing apps to give a paradigm shift to the entire transportation infrastructure. These technologies will help to promote investments because of the increased transportation capacity. The roads in Austin will also be smarter and safer. According to Heiligenstein, this would be a perfect and sole way of serving the increased mobility and transit demands. The growing population will also experience better transport, one that eases congestion and heavy traffic. Williamson Country for instance, was one of the suburbs experiencing the highest population growth.
Even though Williamson County had a structured infrastructure that could serve its people for over ten years, they had not considered that the county would be the preferred residence for many. Heiligenstein advised them to build more roads and expand the existing transportation capacities. At this rate, the corridors would also be congested. Therefore, it would be important to make them smarter and advanced.
Alan McGraw thought that the policy makers at Williamson County needed to prepare for the future transportation needs of its people. Ficklin was in agreement to this and added that parking garages would also be important. All the suggestions were geared towards improving the transportation technologies and infrastructure at the Williamson County.