Recently the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority met to find a response in how to deal with traffic. The Executive Director, Mike Heiligenstein, and others met in order to come up with solutions to the deep traffic problems they are having in the region and foresee in the future. One of the propositions they came up with was to a aerial gondola system through Central Texas that would take passengers over the roads, keeping them off of them. The main focus of the meeting was to find ways to innovatively use technology to change how transportation is used to get around the region.
Mike Heilgenstein believes that the face of transportation is rapidly changing as new technologies are introduced now and in the future. He believes the solution could include smart roads working with smart cars in order to reduce congestion and improve safety. One of the main issues in the area is that most of the growth is in the suburbs which leads to daily heavy congestion caused by people commuting back and forth between their homes in the suburbs and their jobs in the urban area.
Another of the main subject discussed was that land use codes would likely need to be changed as, even though self driving cars will still need parking, for example, the parking structures will be radically different than today due to the vehicles self parking themselves, and the addition of charging stations.
Mr. Heiligenstein has also argued that mobility solutions need to be developed, which sometimes will be additional road capacity but other times another solution needs to be found. He is putting in place, as head of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, variable tolling which is expected to help traffic flow in the region. While he acknowledges that congestion can’t be entirely eliminated it is his belief that it can me mitigated through effective use of technology. Another use of newer technology is partnering with a company in order to create a mobile traffic app that will alert drivers to real-time alternative routes, and a carpooling app in order to get more cars off the road.
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