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Wolf
13-11-2006, 04:43 PM
It is great to hear that there is finally a forum which is concerned
about Edmonton's future. It is great that everyone has a chance to
speak out, and it is about time, because what we really need are
people with vision and passion.

There was a time when I was passionately involved in bringing the
city to an international standard. Unfortunately, the biggest
handicap this city has are the endless winter months. To offset this
situation, I invented the Air-Transit- System. A pedestrian
transportation in the city core, which can be used all year round,
especially during the winter months, without being in the cold,
exposed to slushy sidewalks, or waiting on cold and windy
intersections for crossing the street.

But there was also another important business aspect. The
revitalization of the downtown core to balance the magnet attraction
of the West Edmonton Mall. The second floor area of the downtown core could be used and utilized for quality entertainment, like galleries, fine restaurants, elegant boutiques, theaters, fine food stores. In return people would move back into the core of the city, into lofts and condominiums. It would be a place fore the mature and refined public in contrast to the White Ave. and/or the West Edmonton Mall.

Most of all, all the new developments in the city (Grant McEwan,
condominiums, apartment complexes) would greatly benefit from such a system.

Beside all that, Edmonton would be noted worldwide.

http://web.mac.com/wwilbert1/iWeb/AIR%20TRANSIT%20SYSTEM/Welcome.html

MOD EDIT...I fixed the link code...RS

teddyt
15-11-2006, 01:12 PM
Good idea Wolf, but Edmonton's cheaper version is called the Pedway System.

IanO
15-11-2006, 01:17 PM
It is great to hear that there is finally a forum which is concerned
about Edmonton's future. It is great that everyone has a chance to
speak out, and it is about time, because what we really need are
people with vision and passion.

There was a time when I was passionately involved in bringing the
city to an international standard. Unfortunately, the biggest
handicap this city has are the endless winter months. To offset this
situation, I invented the Air-Transit- System. A pedestrian
transportation in the city core, which can be used all year round,
especially during the winter months, without being in the cold,
exposed to slushy sidewalks, or waiting on cold and windy
intersections for crossing the street.

But there was also another important business aspect. The
revitalization of the downtown core to balance the magnet attraction
of the West Edmonton Mall. The second floor area of the downtown core could be used and utilized for quality entertainment, like galleries, fine restaurants, elegant boutiques, theaters, fine food stores. In return people would move back into the core of the city, into lofts and condominiums. It would be a place fore the mature and refined public in contrast to the White Ave. and/or the West Edmonton Mall.

Most of all, all the new developments in the city (Grant McEwan,
condominiums, apartment complexes) would greatly benefit from such a system.

Beside all that, Edmonton would be noted worldwide.

http://web.mac.com/wwilbert1/iWeb/AIR%20TRANSIT%20SYSTEM/Welcome.html

interesting idea, but i personally wouldnt like to see the capital spent on this...

not to mention we are already seeing the transition of the core without such a system. Id rather see this $ spent on LRT.

Wolf
16-11-2006, 09:15 AM
Good idea Wolf, but Edmonton's cheaper version is called the Pedway System.

This is one of our greatest handicaps around here: "How much?" This is the first thing I hear when it comes to anything what cost money. I hear this since I came to Edmonton 30 years ago. I found hardly anybody who would go through the "real" numbers in relation to the benefits down the road. The Air Transit was presented 20 years ago to the city council. Several aldermen loved the idea, until the question came up "How much?". The imagination and vision is just not there. Perhaps it is the long winter month what puts a damp on it. If we like to be recognized and respected as a global city, we have to start to act like one. Being "bold" needs courage and a clear understanding of the future. Could you imagine .... no I should not ask that ..............

RichardS
16-11-2006, 11:13 AM
I need to know more about this before I comment.

One thing that plagues Edmonton is not so much the winter (it is really only 4 months at best now), bu tthe lack of streetfront pedestrian traffic. Having a pedway ssytem puts traffic indoors all year, and has no street interaction. Look at Calgary's DT, not the greatest street interaction, the businesses in the +15 are very tied to lunch hour shopping, and the afterhours life is blah.

How would this system address these concerns? Businesses don't want 2 storefronts...

Wolf
16-11-2006, 12:40 PM
I need to know more about this before I comment.

One thing that plagues Edmonton is not so much the winter (it is really only 4 months at best now), bu tthe lack of streetfront pedestrian traffic. Having a pedway ssytem puts traffic indoors all year, and has no street interaction. Look at Calgary's DT, not the greatest street interaction, the businesses in the +15 are very tied to lunch hour shopping, and the afterhours life is blah.

How would this system address these concerns? Businesses don't want 2 storefronts...


There is more to the story. One of the things not mentioned is SECURITY. Unfortunately, this is a big factor in the downtown area, especially in the late hours. The ped-ways in Calgary and in Edmonton are only open during business hours. This system is designed to be open 24 hours, and controlled by security cameras. There are already newer condominiums and apartment buildings build closer to downtown, so office and home could be in walking distance. This would help the traffic and parking situation. Downtown office buildings will perhaps change the top floors into condos and lofts, which would be another convenience. To have more people living downtown is only possible if a certain level of "security" is provided. We have several hotels around the downtown core, can you see people would leave late at night the hotel to have a downtown stroll? I don't think so. Ideal would be the situation to close off the core of the city from traffic and make it a pedestrian zone all year round, as it is done today in many cities, especially in Europe. You say winter is four months "only". Explain this to a business owner. For him/her this is lost money four months long. Ideal would be if the core part of Jasper Ave. could be covered, like a mall. Unfortunately, it is possible, but not an easy task. One step at the time in the right direction is the key here. It is like everything else, you make a positive change, other changes will follow. Important in this process is a "Long Term Vision", without it, it is not even worthwhile to start anything.

RichardS
16-11-2006, 02:27 PM
I say 4 months only as to combat the stereotype that Edmonton is snow-bound 10 months of the year....

I also do see a lot of street traffic lately, even in -20. So, I don't think these businesses suffer too much. Maybe if they shoveled their sidewalks.... ;)

Anyway, I like the 24X7 aspect vs the +15; however, I am not too convinced on the extra security aspect. Are we not allowing certain people in?

Additionally, for this to be integrated into the city, condos/apartments that would want to connect would have to give up real estate to connect this pedway into their fabric. So, they would incur extra building costs for something that gives back little to no revene depending on what the builder and customer wants.

I am not poo pooing the idea at all. Just some simple questions of cost benefit and logistics. I am not worried about the how much as I am worried about the ability to create a culture and street life. If this idea flies, I have no problem in supporting it and finding the ways to make it feasible.

Wolf
16-11-2006, 03:09 PM
I say 4 months only as to combat the stereotype that Edmonton is snow-bound 10 months of the year....

I also do see a lot of street traffic lately, even in -20. So, I don't think these businesses suffer too much. Maybe if they shoveled their sidewalks.... ;)

Anyway, I like the 24X7 aspect vs the +15; however, I am not too convinced on the extra security aspect. Are we not allowing certain people in?

Additionally, for this to be integrated into the city, condos/apartments that would want to connect would have to give up real estate to connect this pedway into their fabric. So, they would incur extra building costs for something that gives back little to no revene depending on what the builder and customer wants.

I am not poo pooing the idea at all. Just some simple questions of cost benefit and logistics. I am not worried about the how much as I am worried about the ability to create a culture and street life. If this idea flies, I have no problem in supporting it and finding the ways to make it feasible.

Well, this time winter started pretty early, and from here I hope we would have only four months to go .... wishful thinking .....

The security is only there for protection. The system can be easily monitored, so people would have a sense of being save, and that there is somebody watching.

The idea has to be seen in a bigger picture. It is an attraction for the city itself, because there is no other city who has done that. This is of great marketing and advertisement value. Best example is West Edmonton Mall. Unfortunately because of the Mall, the downtown core lost its attraction... the city went west ...

Anyway, if we want to make the city interesting enough for big investors, industries, cooperations ect., we have to offer a little more then the biggest shopping mall, don't you think so?

To make the city core a save place to live for 24 hours is the first step.
Then people start to move in and the ability to create a street culture (as you call it) will take its place.

IKAN104
16-11-2006, 04:32 PM
I think this idea is really cool but needs tweaking. I like the grandness of it and the fact that you are daring to dream so big.

I would be concerned however about the loss of pedestrian traffic along the store fronts on street level. Covering the sidewalks (partially?) or even entire streets might be a better idea. It could keep people protected from the elements and still allow them to go shopping "outside".

Even if nothing comes of this Wolf, please keep dreaming and keep throwing your ideas out. You are a visionary.

RichardS
16-11-2006, 05:57 PM
Anyway, if we want to make the city interesting enough for big investors, industries, cooperations ect., we have to offer a little more then the biggest shopping mall, don't you think so?

To make the city core a save place to live for 24 hours is the first step.
Then people start to move in and the ability to create a street culture (as you call it) will take its place.

We agree here. I worry though as a +15 inm Calgary killed all street level life for quite awhile...that's all. This could be an attraction, yes. However, do we now have a winter street and a summer street?

Just things that "lessons from pedways" taught me.

Wolf
17-11-2006, 08:07 AM
Anyway, if we want to make the city interesting enough for big investors, industries, cooperations ect., we have to offer a little more then the biggest shopping mall, don't you think so?

To make the city core a save place to live for 24 hours is the first step.
Then people start to move in and the ability to create a street culture (as you call it) will take its place.

We agree here. I worry though as a +15 inm Calgary killed all street level life for quite awhile...that's all. This could be an attraction, yes. However, do we now have a winter street and a summer street?

Just things that "lessons from pedways" taught me.



Don't forget that this is not a pedway which crosses the street from one building to the other, connecting businesses. I understand your concern that the street level would be ignored. I see the street level as a part of the Air Transit System. If we could avoid traffic with vehicles on this level, then the possibilities are endless to make the street level a very interesting part of the whole idea. If weather permits, people could sit outside in a pleasing street/landscape with flowers, shrubs, fountains and water plays. Street lightning could lighten up the city core in combination of the illuminated Transit System. The City core could be very attractive and pleasing. Our mind-setting would change, and we would love to have a late night stroll, because there would be many others. Window decoration would have a meaning again. Relaxing and good feeling music could be played in the background. Flat-screen billboards could be tastefully placed with the newest information ......... you just have to see it in your mind what opportunities would arise from this idea............but when the weather is rainy, becomes cold and winter arrives, you still have the enjoyment to travel slowly on running belts letting the city scape passing by, looking at the decorations in the windows and getting off at the next connection to investigate a little more what has intrigued you. Not to forget that the second floor is utilized with complimenting fine entertainment (galleries, coffees, theaters, restaurants, boutiques). Be bold and just let your fantasy go ..............

RichardS
17-11-2006, 08:24 AM
I've thought of this for awhile too. I have the ability to let go and say what if....some of my late teens and early twenties stuff was way out ther, including an airport I designed... ;)

But now as I start staring 40 in the face, I get slapped by things from the real world. Pedways needed to be elevated. Elevated walkways bred second level stores. First level stores paid less rent and complained. Others lamented having to have 2 storefronts, and how cost prohibitive it was. People used them rain, shine, hot or cold. They were warm in the winter and air conditioned in the summer. Then we were criticized for having a derth of people on the streets, as was Calgary.

I like the concept. I am just trying to vet the idea through some issues I've seen before. It is like HSR, a great idea, but let's talk it through. If I were to let my dreams go, let's just say HSR = MAGLEV built throughout the province and then the country. Mount Edmonton would be a bit more grandiose and probably on the outskirts of town (where I do have an idea on how to pay for it), water would be a non-issue, and a distribution network to support electric vehicles would be in place...and that's just the beginning...:D

Funk E-Town
17-11-2006, 09:43 AM
Oh my... this is so 50's Isaak Asimov...

Not that there is anything wrong with that - its just a question of where are we going to locate the positronic android factory and the energy beam transmitter to the space station... hey... this could definitely be the answer for Downtown East!

What's next? The re-birth of the Downtown Dome?

Wolf
17-11-2006, 07:36 PM
This is my last comment, and I like to thank all the commentators for their suggestions, advise and criticism. I am hesitant to say that, because you perhaps call this bragging or arrogant. I am in the architectural field for forty years, and I was involved when Munich had to face the 1972 Olympics. There was no transit system, no pedestrian core downtown. When the bold suggestions were presented to the public, there was a lot of screaming that this were bad ideas, that they would bring the city to bankruptcy, that people would loose their business, and the complains where endless. Some very gutsy people in the decision making position took the risk and stepped forward. Today nobody is complaining about the decisions being made at this time, for a very good reason.

I designed a store in downtown Munich with eleven (11) elevators build in just for moving merchandise, even my wife thought I am crazy ....... we built it anyway, and is running for 30 years, and it still does. On top of it, it increased its revenue from day one to 200%.

I also was involved in designing shopping centers, which gives me a little credibility that I know what I am talking about. I built on permafrost, and developed proven new building technologies patented in North America.

All what I am saying is this: Don't take me for a fool, and think that I would not know what I am talking about. All I am asking you to do is to come out of the box, and look at opportunities what can become realities ..... and Richard, don't give up your big dreams, you still have a lot going for you ...... situations or people slapping your ideas are not the ones you should care about, appreciate the ones what support your dreams and ideas.

Sonic Death Monkey
17-11-2006, 07:57 PM
If this comes to pass, then let me be the first to give it a funky and marketable moniker:
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Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you...
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THE HUMAN HABITRAIL!
:)

I like Wolf's concept, but needs some tweaking. Something less Logan's Run.

ThomasH
18-11-2006, 12:32 AM
I think this is a good idea but wouldn't it make more sense to cover the entire street (think WEM's europa blvd.).