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River Valley Gondola - Bridging the City

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  • 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.
    Go down a few dark alleys.

  • #2
    Downtown-Whyte Ave gondola? Sounds like a nice idea to me!

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    • #3
      Personally I love it!
      "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

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      • #4
        i got 6 bucks that says gondola on it!

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        • #5
          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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          • #6
            Take if from City center mall to the heart of Whyte.
            "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

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            • #7
              ^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.
              Go down a few dark alleys.

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              • #8
                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, 04:49 PM.

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                • #9
                  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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                  • #10
                    Great idea.
                    youtube.com/BrothersGrim
                    facebook.com/BrothersGrimMusic

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                    • #11
                      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.

                      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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                      • #12
                        No ridicule from me, ChillNU. I think it's a great idea.
                        Nisi Dominus Frustra

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                        • #13
                          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, 08:40 AM.
                          aka Jim Good; "The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

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                          • #14
                            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?
                            www.decl.org

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                            • #15
                              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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