Seattle is a city full of transportation problems and congestion hotspots that could be solved by forward-thinking, public transportation improvements. Expansion of the S.L.U.T. and light rail throughout Seattle always seem to be on the table. But what about urban gondolas? Everybody's all "light rail this" and "light rail that," while the urban gondola is just hanging out, literally. Over at The Montlaker, they propose that an urban gondola might be the perfect solution to the ongoing traffic nightmare that is the Montlake Mess.
"A gondola could easily connect the 520 flyer stop on the future Montlake Lid to light rail at UW Station with door-to-door service. Imagine stepping off a 520 bus at Montlake, stepping onto a gondola car, riding it for two minutes over the Montlake Cut and arriving on the upper level of UW Station. An escalator/elevator ride down takes you to light rail below, or walk straight across the pedestrian bridge toward central campus."
They note that gondolas have actually been proposed before, with a version that would have flown over the waterfront through Seattle Center, South Lake Union and all the way up to Capitol Hill.
They provide some admittedly-bad photoshop to help make their push for this out-of-the-box public transportation idea.
Obviously, the monetary needs for such a project would be great. And in a city full of disconnected public transit options, do we really want another separete system to move us around town (Imagine telling an out-of-towner "Take Sound Transit downtown, hop on the S.L.U.T., transfer to the gondola and then take the bus the rest of the way")?
Of course, we could sit here and nitpick all day but Montlaker can shut down all our concerns with one very good point:
"...the best reason for a gondola over the Cut? The view would be f***ing fantastic."
SOLD! Where do we send our check?
· Could an urban gondola solve the Montlake Mess? [The Montlaker]
· A Gondola with a Cherry on Top [CityTank]