The traffic congestion problem seems to be getting out of control in Texas, but according to the executive director of Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority Mr. Heiligenstein, the issues need to be addressed by applying multiple resources. He concurred with the predictions of the Viewpoints editorial of Sept 3 rd that there will be an increase in traffic congestion in Texas. However, he was quick to point out that the community needed a technological solution to the matter.
Due to the exponential growth that the communities are experiences, there is an imperative to build mobility solutions, for instance the building of 183A Toll Road in Cedar Park and Leander, and the construction of the U.S. 290 toll road between Austin and Manor which are transforming the communities by doubling or tripling the traffic capacity the roads can contain. One advantage that the Regional Authority enjoys is that it is an agency that is accountable to the local people of Williamson and Travis who established it.
The greatest mission the Authority has is to introduce innovations like the institution of variable tolling that will apply advanced technology to manage the flow of traffic in the new MoPac Express Lanes. He was also quick to note that traffic congestion cannot be eliminated whatever the circumstances, but at least people in a hurry to get to events or job interviews will have a quicker commute. Traffic flow will be predictable because the rates for Variable tolling will synchronize demand and supply so that during rush hours, the Express Lanes will move on even if the other lanes are at a standstill.
He added that by baking technology solutions into all future projects, they would construct smart roads , for example on the 183 South projects, fiber lines will be embedded between the airport and US 290 in anticipation of the time when road infrastructure and the number of vehicles will speak the same language such as the automatic detection by a road that from the exit ramp a vehicle is moving in the wrong direction. Commuters will also have alternative routing provided by a mobile traffic app which will be integrated into the transportation system.
Heiligenstein who is the Executive Director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority has had a long and distinguished career in the development of infrastructure. The Authority was created as an independent government agency in 2002. Its primary purpose is the improvement of systems of transport in Travis and Williamson Counties.
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