Mike Heiligenstein Says That Only Technology Can Save Austin’s Traffic

Mike Heiligenstein of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority firmly believes that the communities in Austin need to adopt high-tech solutions to mitigate its traffic congestion. His arguments may be found in the Mystatesman article from September of 2015.


His company is in favor of using MoPac Express Lanes to help mitigate traffic and increase revenue for local communities. They had installed such technology at an 183A Toll Road in Cedar Park. This road was a huge success as it had reduced congestion of traffic in the area and allowed for the community to raise extra funds for improvement. The road now can have triple the capacity as before without the same level of congestion.


His company aims to create innovative solutions that will improve the traffic conditions in Texas. Within their computer system, variable tolling will be calculated at certain times of the day so that the fees will essentially be able to direct traffic. If a certain lane is clogged, the price will be raised so that fewer cars willing to pay will pass through.


It is also expected that “smart roads” will be taking over the state. These roads will have fiber lines embedded into them so that more in-depth statistics may be taken about the drivers on the road. This may further aid the techniques implemented into the toll roads since the computers will be able to monitor exactly what is happening in each lane.


MOPAC is currently working with Metropia to create a traffic tracking application for mobile phones. They are promoting this application so that users can use it to find alternative routes that go around the traffic, allowing for the release of congestion on the roads.


They are also heavily promoting carpooling apps so that fewer cars will be on the road. Carma is a new application that will allow carpoolers to meet up on demand so that nobody is left without a ride. It is estimated that Austin has 900,000 seats available that can be used for carpooling.


About Mike:


Mike Heiligenstein has dedicated most of his career trying to fix the roads of Texas. He is the Executive Director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority. He also serves the Texas Transportation Institute and other smaller transportation authorities in the state. He received two masters degree in Government and Business from the University of Texas. He contributes articles to multiple websites including Mystatesman, Houzz, and the Houston Chronical.


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