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Thread: River Valley Gondola - Bridging the City

  1. #1

    Lightbulb River Valley Gondola - Bridging the City

    Before I get ridiculed to pieces, this is just an interesting idea I've had for a while. I have not looked in to the economics or cost feasibility of this so take it as it is.

    Every city must design its infrastructure around the topography it is encompassed by. It is often designed to accommodate the movement of people in an efficient manner specific to that cities needs. Some examples include the San Francisco street cars and the Vancouver water taxis. Both of these are quite memorable, unique to the city, and have helped make these cities much more walkable.

    Edmonton has the challenge of guiding people across the wide stretch of its river valley but it is almost always accomplished by car. Occasionally a very small number of people will commute to work by bike. But it is extremely uncommon for a person to walk to work from the Old Strathcona area because it is simply too far.

    A Gondola linking downtown Edmonton to the south side could serve a few purposes:
    1. a commuter device that citizens could use to efficiently cross the river
    2. a tourist attraction giving an amazing view of downtown Edmonton as well as the southern skyline
    3. A new icon of Edmonton (imagine)

    To be honest, I'm having trouble figuring out the feasibility of something like this. raises a few questions:
    Is there a big enough population for this?
    How much would it cost? (I think relatively inexpensive to run after implemented)
    Where exactly would it be located? (Hotel Mac area to 109th)
    Would people be willing to pay to use this?
    If so, how much?

    Somethings could be included to increase the demand of this. For instance, attaching bike racks so people using their bikes could use this as well. Also, a bus stop or two nearby couldn't hurt either.

    Anyways, just a new idea (I think).


    Or we could always just fix more potholes.

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    Downtown-Whyte Ave gondola? Sounds like a nice idea to me!

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    i got 6 bucks that says gondola on it!

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    I floated the idea of a gondola on the High Level Bridge when I joined this board.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    Take if from City center mall to the heart of Whyte.

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    ^Yeah I like those locations. Although, it would be nearly impossible to put the north end station anywhere but on the edge of the top because of the towers there.

  8. #8

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    Isn't the river a bit rough?



    Just kidding. Something across the river might be interesting though, although we do have the high level tram already, but that misses the main part of downtown.
    Last edited by moahunter; 30-10-2009 at 04:49 PM.

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    If it is feasible this is a fantastic idea. Not sure where it would be reasonable to have it downtown though. There isn't really a lot of open riverbank real-estate on the North side unless it's run right into The Quarters and we hope that project finds some legs.

    As for the South, if the city has no plans for the park on the east side of Gateway Blvd (where the caboose is, I have no idea what it's called) I'd say have it run right through there so it would end closer to Whyte Ave.

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    Great idea.
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    Great idea. It sounds like a lite version (no, perhaps not lite, but a different form) of what Portland, Oregon already has. They have an aerial tram that connects to a major new condominium area at the end of the streetcar up the vast hills to a university. It serves as a commuting service as well as a tourist attractions as you get great views of Downtown from it. Could be very similar with Edmonton's, but instead of going up(/down) a hill, you'd be suspended across a Mighty valley.

    Going from Whyte Avenue to the Legislature then west to 104 St and Jasper or 101 St and Jasper would be a great idea IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Isn't the river a bit rough?



    Just kidding. Something across the river might be interesting though, although we do have the high level tram already, but that misses the main part of downtown.
    Not to mention is more touristy than viable transportation, whereas this one would be both. And it's closed for the majority of the year.
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    No ridicule from me, ChillNU. I think it's a great idea.

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    Or how about PRT across the High Level?

    Where have I seen that before?

    For anyone not involved with or familiar with it, there was a previous highly fractious thread proposing PRT (Personal Rapid Transit?), and one of the suggestions was PRT across the High Level Bridge. I'd link to it, but it's very long, and I couldn't find the specific page.

    I think it's certainly an interesting idea. I've heard all kinds of "crazy" (as in well outside the box) ideas with this same aim, including things like escalators/moving sidewalks, and even "the hanging gardens of Babylon" in a Downtown Plan Review brainstorming session, that features some sort of transport mechanism.

    Better bus service from Old Strathcona to Downtown might be a start on this problem, but it seems you may be looking for a more exciting, innovative, attention-getting, and elegant solution. Interesting. for sure.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 31-10-2009 at 08:40 AM.
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    Like someone already pointed out, Portland already has one...no reason we couldn't do it - our river valley is an ostacle sometimes, if there is a connection that needs to be made that isn't' being made already. It would be very cool, especially if we ever get a high-speed train to downtown that would stop the streetcar over the highlevel from running anymore.

    Anyone know how expensive these kind of things are?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Or how about PRT across the High Level?
    That's a good idea I think Jimbo, better than the gondola. PRT would probably be equally "fun" and a good way to test the concept (issues like security would be well considered linking these areas) on a manageable scale. It could run say, down 102, over the high level, and perhaps stop at whyte (not sure if shop owners would want those "thin" elevated guide rails down whyte just yet).

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    Thanks for the comments everyone.

    I don't want to get into a PRT discussion, it's just not what I think we should be going for.

    The problem with having this go over the high level bridge is that there is already ample access across the river via the LRT. If it was more catered to Whyte Ave, it would give people a more direct route to downtown (instead of having to head to the University or take a bus.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by chillNU View Post
    Thanks for the comments everyone.

    I don't want to get into a PRT discussion, it's just not what I think we should be going for.

    The problem with having this go over the high level bridge is that there is already ample access across the river via the LRT. If it was more catered to Whyte Ave, it would give people a more direct route to downtown (instead of having to head to the University or take a bus.)
    I think having the gondola/tram cross the River valley around 106 or 107 St would be good, as it'd be enough distance from potential Calgary Trail bridge, but further away from 109 St. Plus it could spur development on the southside of Whyte Avenue between 106-108 Streets.
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    I had a similar idea here: http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum...ead.php?p=9288

    Yes, I would support to see something like this in Edmonton.

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    Would be very cool to see. Personally I like the idea from end of steel park to the SHAW conference centre/LMP.
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    ^ Yeah I would think that would have to be the best area to have it.
    I think enough people have said this sounds like a good idea, so I'm passing it on to someone in government who could do something about it.

    More constructive criticism would be good too, thanks everyone.

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    every time I think of this I get a vision of a gondola not crossing the river valley, but following the river valley. Think of the views one could get! although if done poorly it would be an unsightly blight on the beautiful river valley, not to mention it would be pretty expensive and probably underutilized.

    just thought i'd share that though

  22. #22

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    That would be awesome but probably too costly, too slow, and I don't think people would use that on a regular basis... perhaps when Edmonton is much more dense in more areas.

  23. #23

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    ^It would be nice to look from, but would it be nice to look at? I think something within Edmonton might be neat, but once you leave the City, sort of nice to leave the River untouched.

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    Are we talking about something like these???


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    I will take a 100% pass on wires and towers in the valley !
    This is unless you're suggesting a funicular sort of hillside access to the base of the valley that you cannot currently walk, bike or drive to

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    Are we talking about something like these???

    Those are nice, but I think they're a little small, I like the amount of glass though... I had imagined something with larger capacity and cubical but those could probably work.

    What city is that by the way... Santiago?

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    That's Grenoble, France.

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    ^Why are they so close together? Wouldn't that spoil the view?

  29. #29

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    I love the idea. I think it would be wonderful. The view is pretty nice.

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    Interesting notion, chillNU. This could tie in with some of the Expo planning. What would you think if it wasn't a single span but instead something that stopped in Rossdale, perhaps at the decommissioned power station?

    Looks like about 2km from the End of Steel Park on the South Side to the Hotel Mac.

    For something comparable, there is this larger 4.4 km project in Whistler completed last year, for $51 million: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_2_Peak_Gondola

    Can't remember what the funicular lift for Louise McKinney Park was proposed to cost. This says $10-15 million, which sounds familiar: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/arch.../t-126017.html

    Issues I would anticipate:

    1) privacy for residences with gondolas traversing nearby (principally in Rossdale from passing overhead, but also condo dwellers to the west)

    2) general risk mitigation - if it were to pass over houses, or key facilities (like the water treatment plant or major roadways) what steps would be needed to reduce disruption in the case of an accident

    3) geotechnical stability of the slopes at either end: our sandy banks must be heavily stabilized to bear loads of any significance - not sure what kind of a factor this would be. Anything's possible, but cost and risk are the issues.

    4) the sag: is there enough height difference to accommodate the sag, particularly of the long span (no stop at bottom). Whistler looks like maybe an 8 to 1 sag (here: http://ww1.whistlerblackcomb.com/p2pg/details/) so a 2 km span might have a sag of 250m. Valley's about 60m deep. So you'd need some towers.

    Thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Iveson View Post
    Interesting notion, chillNU. This could tie in with some of the Expo planning. What would you think if it wasn't a single span but instead something that stopped in Rossdale, perhaps at the decommissioned power station?

    Looks like about 2km from the End of Steel Park on the South Side to the Hotel Mac.

    For something comparable, there is this larger 4.4 km project in Whistler completed last year, for $51 million: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_2_Peak_Gondola

    Can't remember what the funicular lift for Louise McKinney Park was proposed to cost. This says $10-15 million, which sounds familiar: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/arch.../t-126017.html

    Issues I would anticipate:

    1) privacy for residences with gondolas traversing nearby (principally in Rossdale from passing overhead, but also condo dwellers to the west)

    2) general risk mitigation - if it were to pass over houses, or key facilities (like the water treatment plant or major roadways) what steps would be needed to reduce disruption in the case of an accident

    3) geotechnical stability of the slopes at either end: our sandy banks must be heavily stabilized to bear loads of any significance - not sure what kind of a factor this would be. Anything's possible, but cost and risk are the issues.

    4) the sag: is there enough height difference to accommodate the sag, particularly of the long span (no stop at bottom). Whistler looks like maybe an 8 to 1 sag (here: http://ww1.whistlerblackcomb.com/p2pg/details/) so a 2 km span might have a sag of 250m. Valley's about 60m deep. So you'd need some towers.


    Thoughts?
    1. i'm not sure that the privacy issue is any more real than from the streets and sidewalks in front of our homes or the bike paths and trails or even the lanes behind them or any more real than from the high rise condo or office building across the street or lane from the one you live in...
    2. while you probably wouldn't want to be taking it over a stretch of single family homes, i'm nor sure if the risk mitigation is any different going over something "in something" than it is going over something with a bridge or under it with an lrt tunnel or roadway...
    3. the geotechnical issues wouldn't be any different than those dealt with under the convention centre or the new "service building" in louise mckinney park or the abutments for any of our bridges (including the new pedestrian one)...
    4. eliminate the sag and use some signature towers in doing so - the taller the better! they should be "celebrated" if done "right" without trying to hide something that can't be hidden: even though this is a bridge, it illustrates the principle.
    5. and i agree with the original poster's comment on the images of the cars posted above that they're too small. if they can't accomodate 6 people you will cut off too many of the family and visitor groups for the system to do what you want it to... i also think they should kept large enough to accomodate wheelchairs, segways and bicycles as well as someone carrying a set of cross country skis.
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  32. #32

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    Thanks Mr. Iveson, I appreciate your insight. Thanks for taking some time on this.

    I like that idea of it stopping at Rossdale, it could potentially address some of the questions you posed.
    Privacy and safety could be issues. I think these factors would depend on the route... which would depend on where exactly the stations would be placed. Finally, where the stations are placed depends on two things:
    -where is there stable ground? (as you mentioned)
    -where would it encourage the most amount of people to use it?

    The sag - I'm not sure that the sag would be of quite the same proportion as the mountain. If they had not had the size of a valley that they have, maybe they would have reduced the amount of sag if that was possible. That being said, I'm not opposed to a couple towers.

    Cost Effectiveness- Do you think there would be a big enough market for this to be feasible now or in the future? How much money can the city justify spending on a project like this... if it does tie into the Expo, I would assume significantly more. Also, it seems that unique projects often receive private contributions. I feel that private investment could finance a portion of this. Is this a reasonable assumption?

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post

    [*]i'm not sure that the privacy issue is any more real than from the streets and sidewalks in front of our homes or the bike paths and trails or even the lanes behind them or any more real than from the high rise condo or office building across the street or lane from the one you live in...[*]while you probably wouldn't want to be taking it over a stretch of single family homes, i'm nor sure if the risk mitigation is any different going over something "in something" than it is going over something with a bridge or under it with an lrt tunnel or roadway...[*]the geotechnical issues wouldn't be any different than those dealt with under the convention centre or the new "service building" in louise mckinney park or the abutments for any of our bridges (including the new pedestrian one)...[*]eliminate the sag and use some signature towers in doing so - the taller the better! they should be "celebrated" if done "right" without trying to hide something that can't be hidden: even though this is a bridge, it illustrates the principle.[*]and i agree with the original poster's comment on the images of the cars posted above that they're too small. if they can't accomodate 6 people you will cut off too many of the family and visitor groups for the system to do what you want it to... i also think they should kept large enough to accomodate wheelchairs, segways and bicycles as well as someone carrying a set of cross country skis.[/LIST]
    I like the idea of having a "signature" tower.

    I was in Rio a couple years ago, and they have larger ones like this:



    photo: http://www.planetware.com/picture/ri...bra-bra004.htm

  34. #34

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    I strongly feel that it would have to go from the top of one bank to the top of the other.

    it has to bridge DT with whyte.

  35. #35

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    ^ I think that is still the idea... but a stop in the Rossdale area could be possible..

  36. #36

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    ^How? You are going to send it down the hill, then up again? Wouldn't a high crossing give a better view (and better link downtown to the South)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^How? You are going to send it down the hill, then up again? Wouldn't a high crossing give a better view (and better link downtown to the South)?
    you would have the same view from either bank to the first tower (and between any additional intermediate towers) and then you would drop down - say to rossdale or fort edmonton or wherever depending on the total route - before moving back up to the next tower (and between any additional intermediate towers - where you would have your same high view back again... as for the "better link to the south", these are not commuter/time sensitive trips - they are destination/activity oriented trips where the experience will count for as much as the efficiency much like one's holiday road choice to take "the scenic route".
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  39. #39

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    ^I see what you mean. As to "better link to the South", I was thinking more in terms of if it was only from Rossdale to the South. I think it needs to go from the heart of downtown (be it "as well as Rossdale", or on its own) as that is where the people are.

    I guess a link from Rossdale to downtown might actually pick up some "commuters" as well - i.e. people who live in Rossdale, but work downtown, or similar.

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    I think who pays for it and where it would go are questions that can only be answered if it is understood who it's for and the purpose:

    -Is it primarily for commuter use? If so, what are the logical points to connect? How will people connect to it at either end if they are not within walking distance to begin with?

    -Is it primarily for tourist use? At What times of day? Does improving access to the river valley for tourists (and secondarily for citizens) have value?

    There could be a business case for it, but it strikes me this is something like the water taxis in False Creek Vancouver: used by some commuters, sustained mainly by tourists.

    This idea is nowhere on the city's radar, and I'm not sure it would move ahead of the existing long list of infrastructure priorities without a strong case and a tie in to something like Expo.

    This might make a neat Pecha Kucha presentation for someone to put together to get people excited.
    Last edited by Don Iveson; 05-11-2009 at 10:47 PM.

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    we do not have a large enough tourist base for this IMO... and I agree this should not be on the radar unless something of an Expo or the like were to be secured.
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    ^

    True. Although I love the idea the cost towards this verse what we get out of it is most likely not worth it.
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    ...although we do have 1,100,000 people who might be interested in this.
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    I understand the city has much more important priorities, especially when it comes to transportation concerns - LRT expansion needs to be completed quickly. Also, at this time it may not be too feasible, given our relatively low tourist numbers, low density etc, etc.

    However, with the pace of growth in this city, I don't think it's too unrealistic in the future. ie. 400k more people here in the next 20 years according to the city. I think that it has been kind of brushed off as a tourist only thing where I could see it as something that ordinary people would use from time to time especially if density increase in the coming years...

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    I think this is something they can look into doing when they build the Millwoods LRT extension across the river. Current plans call for this crossing to be at the pedestrian bridge by McKinney Park.

    Also...if they're going to build a funicular between Jasper Ave and McKinney Park then maybe the gondola is the way to do it?

    My first preference is still along the High Level Bridge.
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    Sorry... but it makes no sense to have it along the High Level bridge.
    -It already has a pedestrian sidewalk
    -The LRT has stops on both sides of it
    -there's already that street car that runs on top of it during the summer.

    It wouldn't provide anything that isn't already provided from existing infrastructure. Near 104th/105th there are none of these things, it is much better suited around this area. It wouldn't be of any benefit near the High Level Bridge.

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    If it's from Sask Drive to a redeveloped Rossdale plant site then I can dig that too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnugent View Post
    I understand the city has much more important priorities, especially when it comes to transportation concerns - LRT expansion needs to be completed quickly. Also, at this time it may not be too feasible, given our relatively low tourist numbers, low density etc, etc.

    However, with the pace of growth in this city, I don't think it's too unrealistic in the future. ie. 400k more people here in the next 20 years according to the city. I think that it has been kind of brushed off as a tourist only thing where I could see it as something that ordinary people would use from time to time especially if density increase in the coming years...
    I agree. I think it would have a very similar customer base to that of the High Level Streetcar. Mostly residents of the city who are looking for something different, or a taste of history, or are simply exploring the city in which they live. Granted I don't know much about the actual ridership on the streetcar and how many tourists they get each season, but I think that it would be something to look at for comparison's sake.

    and I agree with IanO that this probably shouldn't be looked at until the city secures Expo 2017, and it should be built in conjunction with that if anything.

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    tack it on to the Expo2017 bid. Downtown-Rossdale-Whyte Ave

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    ^good idea, cause if we can ever convince the provincial government to do a train between Calgary/Edmonton and we loose the high level street car because of it, this would be an awesome replacement

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    does $2.35 billion sound much worse than $2.3 billion?

    :P

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    As long as it's tied into Expo, and we haven't got it yet, couldn't a separate line from Rossdale up to the city centre be installed in addition to a one-shot, across-the-valley line. A separate Rossdale line would, of course, be contingent on what that area is used for after Expo has gone. To be solely for Rossdale commuter traffic I don't think would warrant the expense of a dedicated line down there. I'm not keen on the idea of starting a ride out of city centre to go to Whyte, then having to drop down to Rossdale and then be hoisted back up to continue.
    Last edited by howie; 03-12-2009 at 01:50 PM.

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    a 2 line system would be ideal, but anything more than that would be too much interference in the view of the River Valley I think. Imagine how sweet it would be to head out for an Edmonton Capitals game and take the River Valley Gondola from downtown (or Whyte) to and from the game.

  54. #54

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    Any thoughts for a line from the Muttart Cinservatory to Louise McKinney Park??

  55. #55

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    I see others have picked up on the Gondola idea:

    http://metronews.ca/edmonton/comment...xtension-built

    I agree especially that if something like this is to be implemented, it would have to link the CBD and Old Strathcona. I was excited to see that the city was considering an "aerial tram", but dumbfounded at the location they proposed, hopefully this could be adapted with a little persuasion.

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    I still love this idea.

    Connecting End of Steel Park (Old Strathcona) to Rossdale (Expo site) to the North bank of the river (downtown) is brilliant. I'd like to see the north tower built right at Telus Plaza. They would probably even be open to buying the naming rights of it (thus reducing overall costs). This would connect the LRT (Central Station) to the Gondola (Telus Station?) to the River Taxi at Rossdale going to South Campus (other Expo site).

    Maybe Epcor would even pay for naming rights for the Rossdale stop?

  57. #57

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    I still think this is an excellent idea as well, and should be proposed to the EXPO bid committee.
    www.decl.org

  58. #58

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    When imagining a route for this gondola to take, keep in mind that these things only really have the ability to make a straight run (unless you duplicate all the infrastructure to power the cables etc.) This means that unless your stops or stations are in alignment, costs will be way out of proportion to benefits.
    From a purely utilitarian perspective (ie ridership over spectacle) creating a link between CBD and Strathcona is better managed on the ground. This allows the opportunity for more stops (read: increased accessibility), bringing people to the Rossdale flats (creating development potential) and closing the public transit gap between the 2 commercial zones.

  59. #59

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    This truly is the forum of "hey, imagine if there was no such thing as a limited resources or budget."

  60. #60
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    ^ At least we have imagination.
    Strathcona City Separatist

  61. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by RTA View Post
    ^ At least we have imagination.
    I have imagination. However, I am realistic about what I imagine and try not to get excited about things that are unnecessary and will take money away from something with more practical value.

  62. #62
    grish
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    let me outline how things work...

    A person with some imagination has an idea.
    The idea is shared, vetted, investigated.
    If the idea is good, it is pursued. If not, it is discarded.
    If the good idea is possible and has public support it is considered by the city after some lobby.
    If the good idea with public support fits into nto budgetary priorities, it is implemented (EDIT add) but after rounds of debate, studies, and consultations.

    So what is the problem with having a little bit of an imagination?
    Last edited by grish; 25-09-2010 at 06:03 PM.

  63. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    let me outline how things work...
    I think you meant to write "let me condescend..."
    A person with some imagination has an idea.
    The idea is shared, vetted, investigated.
    If the idea is good, it is pursued. If not, it is discarded.
    I think that is mighty presumptuous. Plenty of terrible ideas out there. Or are you suggesting that everything that has happened is a "good" idea? I know that sounds overly broad, but that is what you are saying there.
    If the good idea is possible and has public support it is considered by the city after some lobby.
    I would argue for an idea to be good, it would have to be possible. Otherwise maybe its neat but impractical? And ideas come in without public support. Although I suppose I am assuming you mean widespread public support and maybe you don't.
    If the good idea with public support fits into nto budgetary priorities, it is implemented (EDIT add) but after rounds of debate, studies, and consultations.
    Not always. Well, unless you can find some studies done on Bylaw 14547. That one sticks out in my mind as a really poorly thought out Bylaw.
    So what is the problem with having a little bit of an imagination?
    Never claimed there was. Since that isn't an argument I made, so why are you asking me that question? I mean, other than to try and control the debate with strawmen.

  64. #64
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    the presumption is that I asked YOU and that it was an actual question, not a rhetorical one.

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    The other presumption being made is that the idea is funded, built and run by the city when it can just as well be a private venture.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  66. #66
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    Umm...

    We already have the radial railway society running historic streetcars over the top of the high level bridge. Wouldn't a gondola be needlessly replicating this service?

    http://www.edmonton-radial-railway.a...ghlevelbridge/

    I took a ride on the Osaka tram last summer. Very cool! I'd rather see this service expanded and promoted, rather than untold millions spent on creating a gondola.
    If your argument is that it's not practical enough, then there's the #9 bus across the high level and into downtown. That's plenty practical.
    Last edited by kmusky; 25-09-2010 at 11:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flex Mentallo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RTA View Post
    ^ At least we have imagination.
    I have imagination. However, I am realistic about what I imagine and try not to get excited about things that are unnecessary and will take money away from something with more practical value.
    What you consider to be of "more practical value" isn't going to be the same as what others think is of practical value.

    Realism is great and all, but realism doesn't really have much to do with imagination. Realism doesn't dream big. I often don't think it dreams at all.

    In any case, your complaint is really pointless. It doesn't cost you or anyone a cent to imagine, dream, and talk about an idea in an online forum, practical or otherwise.
    Strathcona City Separatist

  68. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    The other presumption being made is that the idea is funded, built and run by the city when it can just as well be a private venture.
    From my experience of Gondola's in other cities, including tourist towns where there is a high demand, it will not be financially viable on its own as a private venture. My biggest fear with this idea, like others of similar nature, is that people will ride it once, go "great", then never use it again. Especially if the downtown LRT connector ever gets built out through to Whyte.

    In writing that, Edmonton has so few unique attractions, maybe it would be worth it.

  69. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    the presumption is that I asked YOU and that it was an actual question, not a rhetorical one.
    Well, my answer is nothing is wrong with a little imagination. The implication from the context in which the question was asked is that I was somehow suggesting that a little imagination was made. Either that or you just randomly throw out irrelevant questions.

  70. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    The other presumption being made is that the idea is funded, built and run by the city when it can just as well be a private venture.
    Assuming someone wants to privately fund it. I doubt you'd find many takers but who knows...

  71. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by RTA View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flex Mentallo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RTA View Post
    ^ At least we have imagination.
    I have imagination. However, I am realistic about what I imagine and try not to get excited about things that are unnecessary and will take money away from something with more practical value.
    What you consider to be of "more practical value" isn't going to be the same as what others think is of practical value.
    Of course. People have different opinions.
    Realism is great and all, but realism doesn't really have much to do with imagination. Realism doesn't dream big. I often don't think it dreams at all.
    I disagree. Realism tempers imagination into something more productive.
    In any case, your complaint is really pointless. It doesn't cost you or anyone a cent to imagine, dream, and talk about an idea in an online forum, practical or otherwise.
    No more pointless than imagining, dreaming, or talking about an idea in an online form.

  72. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    The other presumption being made is that the idea is funded, built and run by the city when it can just as well be a private venture.
    From my experience of Gondola's in other cities, including tourist towns where there is a high demand, it will not be financially viable on its own as a private venture. My biggest fear with this idea, like others of similar nature, is that people will ride it once, go "great", then never use it again. Especially if the downtown LRT connector ever gets built out through to Whyte.

    In writing that, Edmonton has so few unique attractions, maybe it would be worth it.
    Why make something just to have a "unique" attraction? And from the sounds of it, a gondola wouldn't be unique to this city anyways.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flex Mentallo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    the presumption is that I asked YOU and that it was an actual question, not a rhetorical one.
    Well, my answer is nothing is wrong with a little imagination. The implication from the context in which the question was asked is that I was somehow suggesting that a little imagination was made. Either that or you just randomly throw out irrelevant questions.
    irrelevant questions vs irrelevant posts makes for a pretty irrelevant discussion. this thread is about a little bit of an imagination. why pick on it? it is harmless. (rhetorical. ask and answer)

  74. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flex Mentallo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    the presumption is that I asked YOU and that it was an actual question, not a rhetorical one.
    Well, my answer is nothing is wrong with a little imagination. The implication from the context in which the question was asked is that I was somehow suggesting that a little imagination was made. Either that or you just randomly throw out irrelevant questions.
    irrelevant questions vs irrelevant posts makes for a pretty irrelevant discussion.
    Then feel free not to engage next time.
    this thread is about a little bit of an imagination. why pick on it? it is harmless. (rhetorical. ask and answer)
    Why not point out the flaws? Or do we have to wait till someone brings it before city council before we are allowed to do that?

  75. #75
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    The problem isn't with pointing out the flaws, the problem is that in your original post in this thread you decided to point out the flaws in people, not the idea:

    This truly is the forum of "hey, imagine if there was no such thing as a limited resources or budget."
    the idea in this criticism is secondary to the flaw in the people having the ideas. Want to describe the idea as financially bad–go for it. Just don't drag the people down. Hence is the distinction between having an imagination to propose ideas and actually practical ideas that could be implemented. One is either a subset of the other or an intersection with the other.

    Cheers.

    ps if you do wish to comment on the people having these ideas and not the ideas, I hope you follow your own words in the future:
    Then feel free not to engage next time.

  76. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    The problem isn't with pointing out the flaws, the problem is that in your original post in this thread you decided to point out the flaws in people, not the idea:
    That is fair comment. I touched on part of my underlying criticism but I did focus too much on my general annoyance with these kind of ideas (because some do get implemented...remember the singing bins asking you to recycle?) Anyways, I don't think there is demand for it and it would likely be costly. While the river valley is very nice I don't think a gondola ride across it will bring in repeat users (or even many first time users) from either inside or outside the city. I could be wrong, but I invite someone to provide a study of the issue otherwise its battle of the anecdotal evidence. Nor can I think of a place where foot traffic on both sides would make it useful for normal transportation where there isn't already a method of crossing.
    the idea in this criticism is secondary to the flaw in the people having the ideas. Want to describe the idea as financially bad–go for it. Just don't drag the people down. Hence is the distinction between having an imagination to propose ideas and actually practical ideas that could be implemented. One is either a subset of the other or an intersection with the other.
    I think that is a stretch to try and turn my comment into a general condemnation of imagination. It is a condemnation of imagination not tempered by reality but put forth as an actual solution. I mean, bringing dinosaurs back from the dead and having a park here showing them off would be a great way to drum up tourist business etc..etc... but I don't post the idea here because I know that its inherently unrealistic.
    Cheers.

    ps if you do wish to comment on the people having these ideas and not the ideas, I hope you follow your own words in the future:
    Then feel free not to engage next time.
    Unfortunately, I find hoping to be overrated generally.

  77. #77
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    glad we can agree on most of it.

    you cannot have ideas that are known to be financially viable from the start. They are ideas born out of imagination. As you've suggested, studies need to be done to check whether an idea is worthy an investment. Where would the study come from? There needs to be some measure of belief in the idea before a study can be done.

    So, are you now suggesting that the gondola idea is at the very least worthy of a study? Then it couldn't all that bad, could it? Not as an idea anyways.

  78. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    glad we can agree on most of it.

    you cannot have ideas that are known to be financially viable from the start. They are ideas born out of imagination.
    Well...some things are more easily categorized as financially viable than others from the start. Further, there is a personal vetting that can be done.
    As you've suggested, studies need to be done to check whether an idea is worthy an investment. Where would the study come from? There needs to be some measure of belief in the idea before a study can be done.
    I'd agree with that.
    So, are you now suggesting that the gondola idea is at the very least worthy of a study? Then it couldn't all that bad, could it? Not as an idea anyways.
    Nope, I don't think it is. I think it would be surprising if it got to study stage. However, if someone kept pushing it for whatever reason I'd place my money on a study (as proper as a study can be...which is another issue) shooting it down too. However, I also acknowledge that I could be wrong and this could be a great idea. I would be shocked, but there you go. That isn't a vote of confidence though. I also acknowledge that there could be an invisible intangible and otherwise undetectable unicorn sitting right next to me at the moment.

  79. #79
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    Flex Montallo, I appreciate your concerns in this discussion, but I'd caution that you're perhaps being presumptuous yourself in your condemnation of such an idea at this (early) stage.

    There are people within the city administration (as well as council) that are quite keen on just such a possibility of a river-valley gondola, or similar.
    Additionally, while still in an early stage, a design consultancy within the city has been contacted to study different means of mechanically moving people from the downtown core down to LM Park (and potentially other river valley sites). Of the three options currently outlined, one is in fact an aerial tramway. So yes, it absolutely is/will be moving towards the study stage.

    In due time, we'll have more public details and can better argue the merits of such a proposal. Until then, it's really just idle speculation.

  80. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renton View Post
    Flex Montallo, I appreciate your concerns in this discussion, but I'd caution that you're perhaps being presumptuous yourself in your condemnation of such an idea at this (early) stage.
    Fair enough.
    There are people within the city administration (as well as council) that are quite keen on just such a possibility of a river-valley gondola, or similar.
    Well, in my experience, that actually validates my early condemnation.
    Additionally, while still in an early stage, a design consultancy within the city has been contacted to study different means of mechanically moving people from the downtown core down to LM Park (and potentially other river valley sites).
    And this kind of expenditure on consultants, which the city itself has admitted it is addicted to in a bad way, is why its important to shoot some of these things down early.
    Of the three options currently outlined, one is in fact an aerial tramway. So yes, it absolutely is/will be moving towards the study stage.
    A thing I will be shocked to find out we need or want...however, I imagine the consultant will find so given either the terms of reference they are working under or other factor (of course, maybe not).
    In due time, we'll have more public details and can better argue the merits of such a proposal. Until then, it's really just idle speculation.
    Fair enough. I do question the value of some work done but you are right, until its actually prepared it will be hard to attack the methodology the work done. However, I still think the idea is so fundamentally flawed that I don't need a further report to criticize it.

  81. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renton View Post
    Additionally, while still in an early stage, a design consultancy within the city has been contacted to study different means of mechanically moving people from the downtown core down to LM Park (and potentially other river valley sites).
    This is such a waste of money when we already have a mechanical means, being the escalators in the Shaw conference centre. It isn't access that keeping people away from this park, it is fear of the inhabitants (which is less of an issue when its busy during weekdays).

  82. #82

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    ^I guess LRT is a waste too when we already have buses?
    "A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines." - Frank Lloyd Wright

  83. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    This is such a waste of money when we already have a mechanical means, being the escalators in the Shaw conference centre. It isn't access that keeping people away from this park, it is fear of the inhabitants (which is less of an issue when its busy during weekdays).
    The Shaw escalators cover about half the vertical drop to the bottom of LMRP, where the bathrooms and retail bays are located.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  84. #84
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    I found an interesting site put together by someone in Toronto.

    The Gondola Project.
    aka Jim Good; "The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

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    I was wondering about taking a bike on a gondola. I guess this pic from Medellin helps answer that question.

    aka Jim Good; "The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

  86. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by noodle View Post
    The Shaw escalators cover about half the vertical drop to the bottom of LMRP, where the bathrooms and retail bays are located.
    Its an incredibly easy walk, the escalators cover the "worst" of the hill. The issue isn't access, the issue is that there is nothing at the bottom that's worth going to. Put something interesting there, and people will go there. At the moment though, the image in most people's minds is of the aggressive homeless they have seen down there.

  87. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOA View Post
    ^I guess LRT is a waste too when we already have buses?
    Notice that LRT actually tries to connect interesting places though? I think the river valley gondola could perhaps work as it could connect downtown and whyte in an interesting way.

  88. #88

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    Well, then either the river valley is an uninteresting place, or you've just contradicted yourself.
    "A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines." - Frank Lloyd Wright

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    I wonder, for Expo, if something along the lines of motorized golf carts or community shuttle buses might work.

    (1) One line from Strathcona, along Walterdale/Gateway, to Rossdale (Telus Field). These shuttles could use the multi-use trail, if one is built alongside.
    (2) A second line from Rossdale to 107 Street Transit Centre/LRT connector.
    (3) A third line from Rossdale to SCC, possibly crossing the SE LRT bridge to Muttart Station.
    (4) A community bus/shuttle from Muttart station travelling along the James MacDonald Bridge to Rossdale.
    "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    I was wondering about taking a bike on a gondola. I guess this pic from Medellin helps answer that question.
    At Kicking Horse in Golden you can fit two mountain bikes and people in each cabin. There's a specific way to load them since the bikes themselves are longer than the cabins are wide, but once you've loaded em once it's pretty easy.

  91. #91

  92. #92

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    My proposal for a gondola line (click for larger image):



    Pros:
    - Connects Jasper Ave with Whyte Ave
    - Activates Rossdale
    - Greater access to Kinsmen
    - Effective public transport to the Baseball stadium
    - View of the Valley (quasi tourist attraction)
    - No impacts to traffic (no at grade crossings)
    - Connects Whyte to River Valley and connects Jasper to River Valley
    - Gondola Jasper terminus is adjacent to Central station

    Considerations:
    - Proposed alignment does not impact existing infrastructure (no realignment of roads required) (possible utility adjustments required though)
    - The north terminus at 100St can be built upon the existing ETS station grounds
    - Proposed route is roughly 2.55km long
    - Assuming 16km/h operating speed (based off another urban gondola system), it takes 11.5 minutes to go from terminal to terminal including the intermediate stops
    - The pylon towers for support have been placed in areas where the city either owns the land or can easily acquire
    - A gondola will not be closer than 40m to any existing building (in the horizontal plane)
    - South terminal at the proposed future High Level streetcar station expansion, immediately north of Whyte Ave, across the farmers market
    - Possible split line from Rossdale to connect to Univsersity (as per Jaybee's proposal)

    Cons:
    - this is flawless. no cons.
    Last edited by B.ike; 01-03-2016 at 11:22 AM.

  93. #93
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    Love it. Only concern is how that would affect the Rossdale revitalization plans. I believe a condo is planned for at least one site you've got mapped out.

  94. #94
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    Yeah, I think that second support tower from the Jasper Station is where the Bellamy Hill Condo tower is proposed, no? Awesome idea though! I'd definitely be behind this way more than the current proposal. (Even though, call me crazy, but you could have both... They kind of serve different areas of the river valley).

  95. #95

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    Re-posted at B.ike's suggestion:


    I love the idea of a gondola for the next project.

    How I'd do it:

    * Image changed, meant to use 104 Street (as City planners contemplated), not 103 (which would obliterate a traffic artery.)
    • Activates Rossdale Powerplant (if we ever need that)
    • Serves our beautiful empty stadium (if we ever need that)
    • Wicked fun ride past the new Walterdale Bridge and High Level Bridge
    • Relieves parking pressure on Kinsmen
    • Integrates with the LRT at both ends.


    edit:
    • And links U of A Main Campus to Enterprise Square, as well as University to Downtown (a bit redundant, but that is currently the most crowded part of the LRT system.)


    Could probably build the University-Kinsmen link immediately, while ideas for Rossdale stew.
    Last edited by JayBee; 01-03-2016 at 01:40 AM.
    Let's make Edmonton better.

  96. #96

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    Optional extension to Hawrylak Park (which I don't see getting very constant usage in all seasons, but just for kicks.):



    Stations: 5
    Total distance: 4.3 km. (300 metres shorter than the distance of the Sunshine Village Gondola.)

    Serves:
    1. Bay/Enterprise Square Station (and the rest of Downtown)
    2. John Ducey Field (used to be called Telus Field)
    3. Rossdale Powerplant (an excellent location for an Indigeous Museum plus flat-floored concert hall, or my second favourite location for TWOSE relocation)
    4. Kinsmen Sports Centre (my favourite location for indoor velodrome construction, but already hugely popular despite very awkward access by any mode)
    5. University Station (and the rest of the U of A Main Campus)
    6. Hawrelak Park (home of numerous beloved festivals in Summer and Winter, not so much in Spring and Fall.)
    Let's make Edmonton better.

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    I would rather have a connection to Whyte than the U of A. The U of A link just duplicates the LRT, so the only benefit is stops at Kinsmen and Rossdale. We need a direct link downtown to whyte.

  98. #98

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    I think that a well designed line from DT to Whyte is a great idea and would be heavily used. The CEO should allow open proposals to private companies to finance build and operate, entirely separate from ETS, with a subsidy based upon ridership. The subsidy could be funded by savings of reduced demand for ETS in the area.

    Will this ever see the light of day? IMHO, No.

    ETS and the Transit union would never let the project come before Council.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

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    Not sure if this is been posted before but this is a good look at what could be. I think it may be a little far fetched but i love the principles. I wish Edmonton would step out and take risks more often.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55TDpeU3l2Q

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    I think "urban cable" is the ideal solution to our transit and active transport issues in the core.

    1) Far cheaper than rail

    2) Faster and easier to install than anything else (including a funicular)

    3) Cross difficult terrain (river) with minimal extra investment

    4) Zero mixing with traffic, no traffic issues created

    5) Continuous pickups for frequency and predictability


    I think that a downtown to whyte "urban cable" link would be among the most utilized of any public transit project in the city. It would have enormous implications for development and business growth. Imagine linking our two entertainment districts with one seamless transition. A night out would never be "whyte or downtown" again, both would be considered functionally the same destination.

    Commuting would be made simple for pedestrians and cyclists who can simply hop on and off without worrying about hills. Rossdale would be fully connected to the rest of the city, allowing for development opportunities that aren't car-dependent.

    And if we are going off of what other places have done, it could probably be done for around the same price as our funicular project. To me, this is an absolute no-brainer. Do we want a glorified escalator and pedestrian ramp, or do we want a project that would change the core of the city for the better in a very fundamental way?


    Ideas for different stops:

    Rossdale

    http://www.newsteelconstruction.com/...lecarJul12.jpg

    Downtown

    http://www.ciudadempresarial.cl/tele...on1-vista2.jpg
    Last edited by Jaerdo; 01-03-2016 at 11:46 AM.

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