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Old 08-28-2017, 12:18 PM   #21
Justin7
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Re: Summer St. Gondola

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Originally Posted by datadyne007 View Post
The fact this is even being discussed is just colossally stupid and serves as yet another distraction to stand in the way of fixing our existing transit system.
I might agree if this was not being privately funded. This is probably not the best way to spend tax dollars and it surely won't remedy all of Boston's transportation woes, but privately funded public transit with a moderate touristy draw? Why is this a bad thing?
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Old 08-28-2017, 12:29 PM   #22
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Re: Summer St. Gondola

I'm a believer that gondolas can be an appropriate public transit option in some situations. This is not one of them.

There's already a bus tunnel that more-or-less connects the two ends of this hypothetical gondola! And there are direct surface roads on top of that! Whatever resources (public or private, it doesn't matter) might be put into the gondola should be put into improving the Silver Line instead.

A gondola from Assembly to Wynn/Gateway or from Charlestown to Eastie, meanwhile, I could (possibly) get behind.
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Old 08-28-2017, 12:41 PM   #23
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Re: Summer St. Gondola

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I might agree if this was not being privately funded. This is probably not the best way to spend tax dollars and it surely won't remedy all of Boston's transportation woes, but privately funded public transit with a moderate touristy draw? Why is this a bad thing?
It's a bad thing because it diverts attention from the real issue at hand, which is our inadequate existing transit system/infrastructure. The Gov. & MBTA are all over trying to privatize public transportation services, ignoring the core issues of the system at hand.

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I'm a believer that gondolas can be an appropriate public transit option in some situations. This is not one of them.

...

A gondola from Assembly to Wynn/Gateway or from Charlestown to Eastie, meanwhile, I could (possibly) get behind.
This. These are logical places, due to geography, for a high capacity gondola. This is not one of them.
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Old 08-28-2017, 01:54 PM   #24
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Re: Summer St. Gondola

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You could easily have it up within a year of writing the check for it, with only a month or two of actual construction time.
Congrats on your recent move to Massachusetts! :-)
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Old 08-28-2017, 02:32 PM   #25
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Re: Summer St. Gondola

I freely admit to having a bit of an obsession around these things, comes from being a nerd who grew up skiing. What they're great at in terms of urban transport is getting a lot of people over a relatively short distance in a straight line, particularly over water or difficult terrain. They can't really turn corners except at stations, and stations are the really expensive part. And if they're going past residential buildings in front of people's windows, that can be an issue.
I don't know where they're getting $100M from; your basic monocable gondola has 8-10-person cabins and runs about a tenth that, and is probably entirely adequate for this purpose. Though if they're talking 40-person cabins, that sounds like what's called a 3S (a German abbreviation for "3 ropes"), with two track ropes in each direction and one haul rope, and 40-50-person cabins. Those are pretty spendy, maybe in the 20-30mil range, but have huge capacity and can span long distances between towers. (The only one of these in North America spans a valley between two mountain peaks, at Whistler/Blackcomb in BC.)
An aerial tramway, with two big cabins that shuttle back and forth, like in Portland and on Roosevelt Island, is really expensive and has much less capacity; I can't see why anyone would consider one for this application.
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Old 08-29-2017, 05:58 AM   #26
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Re: Summer St. Gondola

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Apologies. The article I had read about this news didn't mention the type. I stand corrected & will edit the original post. In Latin America (and ski resorts) they tend to climb slopes too. (It's a good way to climb a slope)

The fact this is even being discussed is just colossally stupid and serves as yet another distraction to stand in the way of fixing our existing transit system.
I have to admit I find it strange to be discussing this as well. Gondolas are usually used to cross some challenging terrain or body of water. Rarely used to replicate a subway line (which is partially there already). Is the Silver Line such a clusterf**k that it really cannot be upgraded?
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:47 AM   #27
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Re: Summer St. Gondola

If I was the deep-pocketed private developer (say HYM Group for this example), I would negotiate some sort of market rate/affordable housing mixed use redevelopment of Maverick Landing in East Boston, more intensely develop the land (like 10 Eddy-level density buildings for 3,000+ units and commercial mix), and make the site's "public amenity" a gondola that travels SW across the harbor to Gov't Center Garage redevelopment. Apart of easements for the cable support towers, the station's would be on private land and fulfill a public good. I would imagine gondola-option for bike and pedestrian traffic across the harbor there would be much-appreciated, if not a dedicated pedestrian/bike link between Eastie and North End.

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Old 08-29-2017, 10:11 AM   #28
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Re: Summer St. Gondola

$100 million Gondola to nowhere... I like it already. This should be fun.
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Old 08-29-2017, 11:55 AM   #29
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Re: Summer St. Gondola

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But what about the FAA?????
What about us lazy slobs....?
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Old 08-29-2017, 12:18 PM   #30
BosDevelop
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Re: Summer St. Gondola

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(The only one of these in North America spans a valley between two mountain peaks, at Whistler/Blackcomb in BC.)
I have been on the Peak to Peak gondola and it is an incredible engineering/construction feat. That thing is extremely high in the air!
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Old 08-29-2017, 12:33 PM   #31
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Re: Summer St. Gondola

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I might agree if this was not being privately funded. This is probably not the best way to spend tax dollars and it surely won't remedy all of Boston's transportation woes, but privately funded public transit with a moderate touristy draw? Why is this a bad thing?
I don't think this should be called "privately funded" the $100,000,000 was a government requirement on the developer. Since this is basically a tax that the government isn't collecting directly the public should at least have a say on how the money is spent... not a dime should be spent on a "study" for a gondola in this location. If they want to spend their own money, sure, but it shouldn't get counted against the $100 million requirement unless approved by the government. The money they spend on a study could be spent on some pedestrian bridges and actual infrastructure that has already been studied to death.
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:13 PM   #32
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Re: Summer St. Gondola

Curbed Boston created a nice (simple) list of 9 aerial trams in the US.

As might be assumed, most are "tourist-type" trams for skiing, etc (Snowbird Arial Tram, Alyeska Resort Tram) although some get a mix of tourists and residents / visitors (Roosevelt Island Tram; Portland Areal Tram).

https://www.curbed.com/2017/4/28/154...-united-states

Post links to a blog post about the Squaw Valley Arial accident, something I had never heard about. 12 people ended up dying while many survived. Saving them seems to have been quite the challenge.

http://www.moonshineink.com/news/30-years-later
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Old 08-30-2017, 09:31 PM   #33
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Re: Summer St. Gondola

Note it says "up to $100M". It's strange for sure but I'm sure it would be cheaper than say putting a tunnel somewhere around Summer Street.

I'm also assuming the money is going to solely be used to improve connectivity/speed to the area from SS. I think if you were going there you would take the 7 bus and not the Silver Line. Maybe that's the real purpose, to replace a theoretical private bus service which would clog Summer St.
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Old 08-31-2017, 09:00 AM   #34
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Re: Summer St. Gondola

Good grief this is such a joke i can't believe this was even proposed.

What's the footprint of the stations, if you include the 'low clearance' area where the gondola approaches the ground?

Summer St. is super wide, and constrained by bottlenecks on all sides, especially dewey sq. Just paint a freaking bus lane and call it a day.
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Old 08-31-2017, 09:37 AM   #35
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Re: Summer St. Gondola

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Good grief this is such a joke i can't believe this was even proposed.

What's the footprint of the stations, if you include the 'low clearance' area where the gondola approaches the ground?

Summer St. is super wide, and constrained by bottlenecks on all sides, especially dewey sq. Just paint a freaking bus lane and call it a day.
I mostly agree with you. However, I don't know that the logistics are too crazy. Gondola/Tram stations don't have to be too huge. And they don't necessarily need a "low clearance" area if the station is elevated. You could potentially place the stations over the street, and if you needed a little room on the side to complete the turnaround, there's plenty in front of the Fed (though obtaining it is a different story) and in vacant lots in front of the Marine Industrial Park.

Obviously it's not the most practical/ideal transit connection between SS and the Seaport.
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Old 08-31-2017, 09:56 AM   #36
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Re: Summer St. Gondola

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I mostly agree with you. However, I don't know that the logistics are too crazy. Gondola/Tram stations don't have to be too huge. And they don't necessarily need a "low clearance" area if the station is elevated. You could potentially place the stations over the street, and if you needed a little room on the side to complete the turnaround, there's plenty in front of the Fed (though obtaining it is a different story) and in vacant lots in front of the Marine Industrial Park.

Obviously it's not the most practical/ideal transit connection between SS and the Seaport.
Sorry, this is just a bizarre proposal. We spent billions of dollars eliminating overhead highway crap through downtown, and starting an underground transit connection to the Seaport -- with a perfectly good underground connection to South Station and an existing underground turnaround loop.

Scrap this stupid proposal and use the funds as a downpayment on Silver Line improvements.
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Old 08-31-2017, 09:57 AM   #37
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Re: Summer St. Gondola

For a city that just spent billions to eradicate the blight of overhead roads and trains, this seems silly. If they do build it, the stations should be inside buildings, not hovering out in the open.

I still want a transit connection from the Seaport to North Station that is faster than walking.
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Old 08-31-2017, 10:14 AM   #38
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Re: Summer St. Gondola

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I still want a transit connection from the Seaport to North Station that is faster than walking.
That's called north-south rail link...
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Old 08-31-2017, 11:19 AM   #39
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Re: Summer St. Gondola

I agree that the proposal is silly, but so are the comparisons between elevated highways/rails and a gondola. The chasm between the elevated highways/rails and cable car in terms of visual and audible impact to the immediate area is immense.

I also don't fault Millennium for proposing something as silly as this. 100M could potentially fund the entire project. 100m to the MBTA to improve SL service doesn't guarantee that any work will be done. This obviously won't happen, but it's not the worst idea/strategy ever to push for improved transit to the Seaport since nothing else seems to be happening.
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Old 08-31-2017, 11:42 AM   #40
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Re: Summer St. Gondola

Use the 100 Million to continue the Silver Line Tunnel ~500ft more to remove the grade crossing at D St, and then paint bus lanes/soft bollards for a loop around to Summer St/back on D. Maybe incorporate the Haul Road, too.
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