In a recent Austin Business Journal article, staff writer Michael Theis covered an important meeting dealing with the need for expanding traffic routes and highways to accommodate the increased growth in the Williamson County area. On hand were Mike Heiligenstein who is the Executive Director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, the founder of RideScout LLC., Joseph Kopser, and representatives from Uber and ArgoDesign. The meeting was called to try to ease the traffic flow burden of this area of central Texas that is increasing its population with every year. The larger issue discussed was how technology could ease traffic and transportation issues in the future.
On the table for discussion was everything from Google’s and Uber’s work on driverless cars and the taxi transportation system and even included a proposed gondola system. Read the full article here: bizjournals.
Texas, California, and Florida are three states increasing in population with a high ratio of cars compared to citizens. A look at the problem in London where traffic congestion is even worse and local London authorities are implementing both use taxes and days when certain license plates can not drive in the city area.
If we examine world highway conditions, we find that small, agile motorcycles are used in equal or greater proportion to full-size and compact cars. Also, the third world more heavily relies on bus systems for the mass transport of citizens to different locations. Somehow the fanciful system of a gondola, the type used to transport skiers to the top of mountains, makes no sense in this discussion. Rail and bus systems in concert with a competitive taxicab system like the Uber model should be more fully examined. The gasoline era will be coming to an end by the close of this century, and the alternative forms of transportation need to be examined and considered now.
A study of traffic congestion conditions in Costa Rica is a prime example. The country has frequent earthquakes, and any rail system is untenable. Many motorcycles dangerously ply the highways while many in the country have no real need for cars. This thinking is diametrically opposed to the thinking in the United States of America where the private car is king of the road.
Eyes need to be opened in Texas and throughout the country before it is too late.
Sources: Mobility Authority.