Yes, we’re bringing this up again.

This is an open thread.

72 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Urban Gondolas”

  1. I suspect ADA requirements would preclude the use of a gondola for public transit in the US. But let’s say it passes muster or we substitute a tram. Where would you put one assuming some tech billionaire agrees to donate the funds earmarked for the building of an urban aerial cable system?

    My vote, after extensive research (i.e. 3 minutes with Google Maps) would be from Seattle Center up to Broadway. The Center is a natural as it’s already a demonstration point for the “City of the Future”. It seems like a workable route; roughly following the Denny alignment. And it seems to serve two population centers that currently have no fast reliable direct connection. Realistically it’s about a 1/2 hour using transit. By car it’s a 6 minute drive without heavy traffic. But heavy traffic is more the norm during times most people want to make this trip and that 1/2 transit trip starts to look pretty good.

    1. Seattle Center to Capitol Hill has been the proposed routing for several years for the reasons described above. ADA is solvable. The biggest issue (of many) is fare price. Private investment would almost certainly command a significantly higher fare than a bus. (Of course, so is Uber.) Will the taxpayers support construction and subsidies of yet another transport system?

      The other place that might benefit would be Ballard to practically anywhere, though the logistics would be difficult if passing over water. Until (unless) light rail comes to Ballard it was, is, and will remain a horrid commute to anywhere.

      1. A gondola is probably the best technology for passing over the ship canal. They can easily pass over those kinds of spans without any intermediate supports.

        Also, Seattle Center has a gondola back in ‘62, didn’t it?

      2. Yes, Seattle Center had a gondola ride in ‘62. I rode it. It moved to the Puyallup fairgrounds a couple decades back. Not sure if it’s still there.

      3. The Skyride went from one corner of the Center to the other. It was still running in the 1970s when I rode it.

      4. The gondola now runs from one far end of the fairgrounds to the other. It is useful as a lesson to transit planners how not to locate stations, if nothing else.

    2. Walt Disney World is opening three gondola lines next year to replace a significant portion of the Disney Transport bus network. Six stations will feature double loading. One area will be for guests able to board moving cabins and the other for those needing extra time and a stopped cabin. All cabins will be level walk in with no step up required. This system will become the global model for accessibility and the next generation of urban gondolas.

      1. That’s very interesting. My experience with gondolas has only been at ski areas. I’ve never seen an adaptive skier load but my hunch is areas have a protocol to facilitate it.Certainly Crystal Mountain must have numerous customers during the summer months that are unable/uneasy loading a moving car. The auxiliary stationary loading station makes a lot of sense. Any idea who engineered it? Doppelmayr?

        The big advantage of a gondola over a tram is of course “continuous” loading. True that a private company would have to charge higher fares than the bus system but if the bus system were a private enterprise it would have to charge a lot more (3-4X) than it does. It’s kind of miraculous that the monorail is able to stay in business but I guess a large percentage of it’s customers are simply tourists. That’s one reason I think the Seattle Center is sort of a “no brainer” if the City decided to launch this type of project.

      2. The Skyliner is a Doppelmayr project but because of Disney policies it will not be advertised as such. Though privately funded, in many ways it will be America’s first urban gondola network. Capacity is rumored to be 4,500-5,000 per hour per direction per line.

        Aerial tramways are becoming less common as gondolas become more and more capable. Continuous movement is king. Portland is learning this the hard way.

      3. How can a pair of cars on the same system one be moving and the other still, or a part of the car moving and another part not? If you have to stop the car anyway for ADA, why not stop it completely? Can the moving car get to the destination faster anyway? Or is it two separate tracks, one for continuously-moving cars and one for stopping cars?

      4. Detachable lifts (high speed chairs and gondolas) often have a “switch track”. At Jackson Hole for example the gondola “puts the cars to bed” every night in a mid mtn barn. Same thing with one of the chairs at Schweitzer. It’s common practice where there is extreme weather. So, I’m guessing the Disney World system uses this to shunt cars off the main cable. The trick is then creating a “hole” where that car can retake an appropriately space position. I’ll be interested to see video of how they pull this off. Another way to pull off “stationary” loading would be what essentially amounts to a horizontal escalator (airport people mover). That could be sync’d with loading speed of the gondola. That might be the way to go for a system aimed at the general US population.I don’t consider Telluride a typical cross section of the US population but I expect their ADA compliance protocol involves stopping the main haul cable.

      5. The one Disney World has had for decades has this already. They have to because the 90 degree turn in the middle of the line means the have to split the rope.

        It also allows them to carry more people as they are able to board on three different tracks and push the cars onto the rope as people are ready.

        Really, I can’t think of one I have ridddn that isn’t set up that way.

        Six Flags Georgia does this so they are able to

      6. The double loading system I am talking about is completely new – never done in this way anywhere before. It is believed that every nth gondola will go to the second loading area automatically after detaching from the haul cable. A clutch will stop it at some point while the cable and other loading areas keep flowing. The stopped cabins will merge back in at set intervals.

        Photo here of the Disney World gondola hub where all three lines converge. Look closely at the turnarounds.

      7. All ski gondolas I have used have level boarding, so I believe this is standard practice already. Also, high speed gondolas completely detach themselves from the cables when they enter a station, so having stationary loading should be very easy to accommodate.

      8. Very easy in theory but Disney is spending somewhere on the order of $300 million to accomplish it. To put that in perspective, the Crystal Mountain gondola cost $8 million. I bring up this future system up because it is a total game changer for gondolas as transit.

      9. There must be more to it because what they had (apparently the old one was taken down in 1995 or so) did much of that. Each car was detached from the cable at the terminal, and a track switch in the ceiling sorted them onto several platforms.

        Ive not found a good video of it yet, but Six Flags Georgia has a vaguely similar arrangement, though the track switches there appear to only be used to take cars out of service.

        This video:
        you can see the track switch for taking cars to the side at 10 seconds in.
        At 0:38 you can see the spare cars stored on one of the sidings off to the side of the main track.
        At the end of the trip, you can see another gravity operated switch at 3:05 and the counterweight for the switch hanging down from the ceiling.

        The track switches at the old gondola at Disney World were designed so that each time a car passed over the track switch the weight of the car would cause it to change to make the next car go to a different track. It was really a very amazing bit of counterweights and hinges that accomplished this.

        The part that they are probably having issues with is trying to automate the entire process. It was pretty labor intensive to have all the employees required to push the cars around on the track before they are taken up by the cable, plus help people board. They probably also need to make the track switches more fail safe than the older style. I remember the gravity operated type being pretty scary looking in terms of their potential to allow a car to fall off the track if it got coasting the wrong way on the track.

      10. It’s ridiculous that this is even being discussed. Have people ever been skiing? This is standard technology. Gondolas detach from the cable at stations and they don’t need people to push them around, they go onto a track with a separate propulsion system at a custom speed. They also have the option of going onto a second track when they need to be removed from service. Allowing this system to work for ADA boarding is child’s play.

      11. The tricky part is keeping the cars spaced evenly. Maybe not rocket surgery but you have to keep the cars evenly spaced on the haul rope; hopefully w/o slowing it down or stopping. There’s a que of cars at the loading station all moving along at the standard speed (slow walk). So theoretically a car diverted for stationary loading could get back to take it’s original spot in line but I suspect they have a more sophisticated system than that. I’m guessing there is always at least one stationary car in position. You’d want it to rejoin the cue w/o having to cross the traffic of people loading although that too could be handled by the staff monitoring the line and assisting passengers.

        It’s very different at a ski area. The vast majority of the people have experience loading this type of lift or are getting on with friends that explain the drill. At a minimum they have the ability to walk in ski/board boots and schlep all their equipment. Go watch loading on the beginner chair lifts for an example of what goes wrong with inexperienced passengers and parents with very young kids.

        The low cost solution would be skateboards and a high speed rope tow. And then people could get on/off anywhere along the route ;-)

      12. There is a big difference between gondolas and chair lifts. Yes, people have issues with chair lifts. I have never seen anyone have an issue with a gondola, and loading without ski boots and ski gear would be even easier. Also, cars are often not evenly spaced in practice, so I know it isn’t necessary. Again, this really isn’t a challenge.

      13. “The low cost solution would be skateboards and a high speed rope tow.”

        As Y.T. did in “Snow Crash”. She skateboarded around and hitched a boost from cars on the freeway by throwing a rope with a clamp onto the back of a car and riding like a waterskiier.

    3. A “board while moving” system does seem illlegal per ADA. It also appears rather dangerous for some to use.

      1. In the ones I have used, the end stations separate the cars from the cable which allows them to be stationary.

      2. So this only works if there’s only two stations, not if there’s intermediate stations? Most of the Denny Way gondola proposals I’ve seen have at least three stations, one in Uptown, one in SLU, and one at Broadway.

      3. No, intermediate stations also decouple from the cables. Seriously, go to Whistler and check it out. It isn’t very far away.

    4. Gondolas can easily accommodate ADA. Not only that, but they are massively cheaper to build than other forms of grade-separated transit but can accommodate passenger loads that probably exceed link’s current load (but not max possible loads with more frequent service and 4-car trains). Whistler is adding two new chair lifts and building a new gondola for only $55 million.

    5. After quick check down the pages, fact that my former hall monitor Evelyn, age 79, is going to show up in her Clan MacGregor tartan and white socks (with the dagger in the right one) and smack me, for getting ahead in line can’t stop me.

      Every single support pole is going to need soil and rocks present, and mud, water, sewer pipes, fossils, ancient cemeteries and Swedish Hospital soils absent. Might be cheaper for Ballard-CBD tunnel can’t swing a spur eastbound to Capitol Hill Station, with every destination sight saying “via Seattle Center and Eighth.”

      So community cableways really do make sense. Seattle terrain is more Sweden than Switzerland. And give those Portland cars a break. Proves that Airstream could also have a transit future. And were also only transit thing running during blizzard of my last visit.


  2. A commenter yesterday said they once talked to someone who took an Uber instead of the route 8 from the Madison Valley to Amazon because the bus was “too unreliable, jam packed with people, and horrendously slow.” (the route 8 runs every 10 minutes in the morning and takes about 18 minutes from Madison Valley to SLU).

    I want to remind everyone that many racists in this area are closeted, so when talking to other people, these secret racists usually don’t want to come right out and admit they are uncomfortable around black people. In this case of not wanting to take a bus that originates and continues through African American neighborhoods, they aren’t going to admit the real reason they don’t like to take that bus. Instead, they are going to mention other, more socially acceptable reasons, like the route is too unreliable, etc.

    Now I’m not saying that all people who use those hackneyed excuses to not ride the bus are racist, but in this part of the county, those are the excuses a closeted racist would use.

    1. Going to the wayback machine:

      “… For people like this, the way to get them on the bus is to give the transit the priority and frequency it needs to make transit clearly *faster* on time than UberPool – ideally, allowing the bus to make up all the time it spends loading/unloading passengers, and then some, by using dedicated bus lanes to bypass traffic congestion.”

      So, you’ll fight racism by helping us get red lanes for the #8?

    2. Okay, Sam, let me show of the two most dangerous racists I’ve ever seen in my life.

      Aren’t they intelligent, and well-spoken. Aren’t they pretty? And so calm, matter of fact, and reasonable? One of them even used to be a leftist (very common with the far right.)

      Her observations about Finnish culture are very accurate. Especially about their heroes being not warriors, but poets and wise-men and -women.

      But as the girl keeps talking, the subject quietly and reasonably shifts back to the a way Muslim immigrants are destroying her country. To which her American friend heartily agrees. The Finnish girl has one thing on her side;

      Finland and the rest of Europe are walking distance from Syria, and a boat-ride from Seattle to Portland. The United States is flanked by two oceans that’d never allow an enemy beach-head, and harmless neighbors on the other two sides.

      But Europeans’ most debilitating danger is the flip side of our real strength, much more powerful than our military. Their only hope for survival in the coming years is to do what we did- unforgivably limited to white Europeans ten score years ago (close)? Form the United States of Europe.

      Which no leader in Europe dares even suggest. By same corroded token…our own self-inflicted danger is not racism itself. But its deliberate use to permanently divide our people. Five or six nasty little nationalist Europes will fit our borders just fine, and be very officially welcome. So health care, our country’s and our own, best not focus in insurance.

      Now given these pages’ concentration, couple transit-related warnings from history past and right now. One, missing hair-piece and all, Mussolini never got the trains running on time. But Hitler had no similar trouble with the boxcars. And a block from Angle Lake Station, there’s a Federal facility with a lot of expansion room on the ground.

      Even more room on the Tacoma Tide Flats when Link arrives.

      Mark Dublin

      1. You think that Middle Easterners and Africans can never become like Europeans? That they can never have an Enlightenment so to speak, and the rise of values for democracy, equality, and secularism? I posit that the reason these aren’t emerging faster is not some innate inability but that their leaders are manipulating them and stirring them up for their own (the leaders’) benefit.

  3. Andean cities such as Medellin make cable a no-brainer, ie, intense ghetto density up incredible mountain slopes. Are there any US cities that even come close to this highly sloped terrain let alone density? Even hilly cities such as San Francisco seem to have managed with cable cars. And places like West Seattle can’t handle unsightly elevated light rail, I couldn’t imagine them ever ok’ing gondola support structure.

    That said, I recently rode in several Medellin and Manizales gondolas and they were plenty convenient and easy to ride. Whereas Medellin’s was well used, Manizales had trouble filling their units. Definitely best for denser areas.

    1. US cities have backyards. Seeing into backyards cannot be allowed. That’s why the light rail line has to move over to I-5 in South King County (because nobody had invented the view barrier at the time), and why neighborhood associations will never allow gondolas (for which view barriers are harder to build) to soar overhead.

      It’s also one of the reasons we can’t build more than low-rise housing around any of our pricy light rail stations.

      Just try offering Queen Anne a gondola from the monorail station. See how quickly they’ll scream “but, our backyards!” Never mind the view from the Space Needle.

      1. The gondola at Silver Mtn in Kellogg ID goes over peoples back yards. I’m sure there are lots of other examples in the US. But from the Seattle Center to Broadway via the Denney alignment avoids this issue. Really, if you’re going over SF backyards then the route probably doesn’t have the required density to justify it’s existence. I think it’s more of a valid point that Seattle doesn’t yet have the level of density to make a gondola feasible. That said, doing some back of the napkin calculations based on the Mtn Village capacity it looks like break even point vs buses would be if you could keep operational costs in the neighborhood of $1,000 per hour.

      2. There are still protest signs covering backyards in Maquam Hill in Portland aimed at the tram.

      3. This is bogus. The reason the I-5 alternative was chosen for Federal Way Link was that Des Moines didn’t want trains on 99 and Federal Way thought I-5 would have faster travel time. There are no houses or back yards on 99; it’s all commercial/multifamily. Even if an elevated line could see the next block, it would not be high enough to see multiple blocks. The high segment between I-5 and TIB Station has views of apartment buildings and maybe houses. One apartment building even has a “Rent Here” sign on the roof.

        The Lynnwood Link I-5 alignment was chosen because it was four minutes faster than the 99 alignment, and ST’s numbers showed it would gain more riders than it lost. (Attracting more riders from Lynnwood; fewer from Aurora.) It was also the cheapest option, and was the reference concept in the ballot map. Most of us disagreed with this and begged ST to choose Aurora but it didn’t. In Snohomish County it’s on I-5 because there are no better alternatives; it’s all sprawl there, and Swift is handling 99.

        Nobody ever brought up views into backyards as an objection that I heard, and I can’t imagine ST even at its worst rejecting an alternative because of a few backyards’ privacy, when it’s dealing with a multibillion dollar investment and thousands of passengers to serve. The anti-urban objections that were raised were about ugly, noisy trains and about commuters increasing congestion and using street parking. You’d have to postulate a vast conspiracy among boardmembers and objectors to account for them never saying backyard privacy if that was their real reason.

        In any case, even if there’s a law prohibiting elevated trains from being anywhere that can see into a back yard (but apartments are fine!), it doesn’t apply to helicopters and seaplanes and drones. They are looking into your back yard.

      4. Mike Orr,

        I’m referring to the segment between Angle Lake Station and Federal Way TC Station, where there are backyards downhill that people can practically see into just from driving on Pac Highway.

        Certain cities cited these sorts of neighborhood concerns. In particular, Des Moines said they wanted a 216th St Station, or not to have the train on Highway 99. The Board decided to divert the train instead of adding what would have been a very useful station that would have added just as much trip time as the I-5 scoliosis. The impetus for this decision came from a county councilmember who serves on the Board and represents Des Moines.

      5. I just remembered why Des Moines didn’t want Link on 99. It said the construction and upzoning would displace the strip malls that provide inexpensive storefronts for immigrant startup businesses.

        Which pretty much tells me “Don’t live in Des Moines”, because while I’d like to shop at immigrant startups, I don’t want to walk past acres of parking lots and empty space to get to them and between them. It’s so depressing. Why can’t Des Moines buy a few lots and build a multistory arcade and charge the same cheap rents there?

        Kent owns the east side of 99, and it strongly did want Link on 99, and planned a dense urban village for it. But ST deferred to the cities that had the default suburban mentality.

      6. That doesn’t make any sense. I can see right into my neighbor’s backyard from my back windows. Every tall apartment building I’ve ever been in, including a dorm I lived in and two third floor apartments I’ve lived in, could see into people’s backyards.

  4. Is cable-pulled technology eligible for monorail authority funding? It appears to be.

    Broadly speaking, that could include funiculars, aerial trams and maybe even elevators and escalators. With so many cable technologies possible, I could see how a distribution of cable-powered small projects across Seattle could garner enough broad support for voter funding approval.

    1. Here’s a bit of karma:

      Lisa Herbold’s boss at the time (Nick Licata) pushed to make sure monorail funding authority couldn’t be used to build light rail.

      Now, Councilmember Lisa Herbold is acting on behalf of West Seattle NIMBYs to bury the light rail line so that only the homeowners get the view, and the riders do not. But she needs to find additional funding sources. Hmmm. Too bad she can’t tap the monorail funding mechanism.

      1. I’m simply going to make the point that the cost of putting that last West Seattle station in a tunnel is likely much greater than the cost of putting a gondola station hub (2 lines? 3 lines? 4 lines?) at Avalon or Delridge as well as serve lots more neighborhoods, people and trips.

        The same could be said for ending Ballard Link south of the Ship Canal and having a gondola hub there to go directly to Central Ballard, Central Fremont, the Zoo, Ballard High School and Magnolia.

        I’m not recommending a gondola system. I’m only pointing out that alternative transit system designs could be much cheaper than the “must have light rail station built our preferred, expensive way” mentality.

      2. Thats an interesting idea… One central West Seattle station with a bunch of gondola lines radiating out feeding the main Link station.

      3. Actually, a gondola network could serve the Admiral District, Alki Beach, the Triangle, the Junction, and Fauntleroy Ferry Dock quite well. Then send the train straight down Delridge to get within walking distance of Westwood, and on to White Center and Burien. All probably for a lot less money than burying the train.

        Admiral Districters might even overlook the backyard issue if they get that fast, neat ride down to the beach.

        If the dock is part of the package, I would expect some contribution from Vashon.

      4. We’re discussing this when many West Seattleites are trying to put Link in a tunnel saying they don’t want to look at an elevated line or have it invade the bucolic peace of the golf course? People have also opposed trolley wires for the same reason, and a Metro spokesman said they have to consider trolley wire a negative environmental impact when proposing it in a new area, even though I said I consider it a positive impact because it makes it look something like a streetcar and shows clearly where the line goes. No matter how much you say gondolas are smaller and less obtrusive than elevated trains I think you’ll still find the same opposition. Especially if you’re talking about the views between Admiral and Alki.

      5. Mike: WAY smaller, WAY less intrusive, and nearly silent from ground level depending on the height of the towers. You are right that some people will still be opposed to it and complain, and may be able to raise unfounded fears in other voters, as that is always the case. I would hope a pro-gondola campaign would do a good job of communicating the facts.

  5. Does anyone know why Pierce Transit wants to make Route 500 very frequent in its long range plan? It’s not that busy…

    1. I’ve been on the 500 a few times. It is the fastest local connection between the future Federal Way TC Station and downtown Tacoma. To my knowledge, ST is not interested in making route 574 frequent, even after the train gets to Federal Way, so this is the next-best option. It also happens to serve the three locations where there will be light rail stations between Federal Way TC and Tacoma Dome.

      I agree with this aspirational goal.

      1. Although, it should be noted that the train will come anyway a few years after that, and PT’s plan is for 2050. Shadow bus route lime Mike suggests below?

      2. It is unfortunate that Pierce Transit isn’t interested in making 574 frequent. They could afford to serve East King 15 years ago when nobody out there rode the bus, but aren’t willing to serve Pierce. Nicely done. It is time for the City of Tacoma (as I’ve called for repeatedly) to exit Pierce Transit and worry exclusively about local transit. Regional transit is the job of ST. BTW, just as Community Transit offers bus service from SnoCo to Seattle for its commuters, in this area, the commuters are going from Federal Way to downtown Tacoma. In a similar move, it should be METRO, not PT providing Federal Way-Tacoma service. Nobody is commuting from Tacoma to Federal Way.

    2. It’s the main local route between Tacoma and King County. And Fife promises a dense downtown. There’s also some housing planned in the Tacoma Dome neighborhood. It’s similar to 405 BRT and Swift: an aspirational hope that if you build it, they will come. In this case by making a bus frequent.


    Wheel Chocks – Laminated, 8 x 8 x 8_ H-1591 – Uline

    OK, found the problem. Typo. The rubber wedge my instructor threw at my head when I got into the seat of my 1953 GMC without kicking it hard under the right rear wheel was called a WheelBLOCK!

    Got written up for not jamming one under my right center wheel when I took a restroom break before swinging up to 62nd and Prentiss. With the bus on flat ground.
    And the Instruction Department went the way of the BL.

    Somebody tell that poor blonde newscaster to stop crying because the computer had replaced both mechanical systems and the brains God gave a gopher long before she was born. So her mother hadn’t been born yet.

    On your way to tell the Metro official that Mark Dublin says this is what happens when seniority turned the block between your employers’ ears into a chock. Happened to me when I told DSTT project that Metro would eventually turn the Bredas into buses.

    Couple years before that CNC fake news out of the pizza parlor basement covered up the fact that the Nisqually quake was really a Breda squashing its own wheel (rubber thing) and demolishing Tacoma.

    And Sam, by revealing this link you’ve just blown your cover. Racism or anything else, nobody will ever believe you’re an idiot again.


  7. Why build a gondola when you can build a small diameter hyperloop instead? It’s faster, more energy efficient, and it doesn’t have all the polital and legal problems of gondola.

    Plus Musk has already demonstrated both the core tech and the boring tech via his Boring Company. It’s proven.

    Point-to-point with PRT Hyperloop. Have a vision, make it happen.

    1. Leaving only the political, legal, mental, labor treatment and General Obnoxion (you’re right, he named his next model after himself) of the hopefully temporary CEO.

      When he worse than lied under oath about taking his company public, his stockholders should’ve showed up in green leather German shorts, hats with feathers, curvy pipes and torches, repossessed his whole inventory of monsters and sent them to Toyota,

      Meantime……let’s go down to Central and find out if the Metro Historic Vehicle Association has a 1400 artic. Fare inspection could still be a problem.

      Give every NIMBY a lifetime pass including air fare, and also let all their kids drive one for five minutes. One negative stakeholdation vote out of their parents and they’ll howl their way all the way through transit engineering school. All whining ever got me was a Breda.


    2. I’m not sure if this is serious or satire, but for the purposes of the post below, I’m going to assume it’s serious.

      The hyperloop is unproven:

      You would still have the political and legal problems of tunneling a subway with hyperloop.

      The Boring Company literally reinvented the wheel on tunnelling, because the Europeans already figured out how to tunnel for cheap:

    3. I don’t see how hyperloop will ever be a cost effective passenger transportation method. It operates in a near vacuum, so you have to have to figure out how to get fresh air to the passengers. You need about 6 cfm per passenger of fresh air supply. What they use in spacecraft for oxygen generators would be exceptionally expensive for train car density worth of passengers.

      What they are currently building is Amazon’s new high speed delivery system for freight and nothing more. Freight doesn’t need to breathe.

      1. Glenn….just have oxygen tanks. Weight is not a major concern on hyperloop like it is on spacecraft, so you can easily accommodate a large oxygen (actually air) tank. A scuba tank, which is really small, can easily sustain a diver for 30-60 minutes, and that is when it is being consumed at high pressure and while exercising. Someone sitting down and breathing at 1 atmosphere should be able to get well over 2 hours out of it, probably a lot more, and a hyperloop pod can house a much, much larger tank than a scuba tank. It turns out Elon Musk is pretty good at building high-pressure tanks as well, so they would most likely be at much higher pressures than scuba tanks. This is a non-issue.

        Now, I think hyperloop is much better suited to serve long distance routes than in-city routes because the speed really pays dividends on longer routes. A gondola is vastly cheaper to produce as no tunneling is required (and would still be cheaper even if the hyperloop were elevated – which would make it much more of an eyesore than a gondola), so much so that I doubt an energy efficiency savings would ever pay off. I’m not convinced a hyperloop would be more efficient anyway.

    4. Lazarus, tell us where we can find the proof. Especially reports on how long it’s been running, and what’s made it break down so far. Also number of casualties when it does.

      Want to compare the Vision of driving my Prius (or the ’65 Valiant I used to have) home on its wheel-bearings with last time Elon ran a Tesla over the WWII tank trap that Tacoma’s version of SDOT left in the street.

      Remember, for anything new in history, meaning everything, Vision has to involve your nose and the equipment on both ends of your spine.

      Not liking colors that universally indicate safety colors isn’t anto-safety eccentricity.
      Because first thing I need to ask him how anybody can rely on Vision (metaphor, not medical!) that’s (willfully )color blind?

      C’mon, man! What’s his phone number. Have to tell him what block of Twelfth and how far he’s got to run around in the dark ’till he runs it over. And oh, yeah. Night Vision goggles don’t work for anybody that wants to run something over.


  8. In other transit-related news…..

    >>Starting Monday, Nov. 12, buses will be able to travel on the 1.5-mile stretch of the southbound I-5 inside shoulder lane between the Lynnwood Transit Center and the Mountlake Terrace Freeway Station. This lane comes from the new bus-on-shoulder program funded by WSDOT and Sound Transit, and is the first Sound Transit 3 construction project to come online following voter approval of the regional transit measure in 2016.<<

    Full article can be found at the link below.

  9. Mike, I may not have made myself clear as to exactly who I was talking about.

    Nowadays, YouTube- which I love for world’s last good popular music like Emmy Lou Harris from like 1977- is also filled with well-dressed, well-spoken, intelligent young people explaining calmly and reasonably that race prejudice is natural and correct.

    (By her style of “lecturing”, I get the sense that the dark-haired girl could very well be a Baltic Jew like me. Like many of our own far right- throughout history.)

    Explaining how they are certainly not racists (perish the thought) but just carefully positing that latest DNA evidence proves that from time immemorial, some of us feel…well…just more “comfortable” with each other. And it’s a violation of their own rights to interfere.

    Because of the fact that Europe is literally walking distance from the horrible war expanding like a California brush fire- fanned by the active interference from countries like Britain, France, and the United States…

    Every European country now has active, influential groups whose purpose is to terrify their countrymen- and women- about the terrible dangers posed by people fleeing for their lives. Look up “Viktor Orban” in Hungary.

    Middle Easterners, incidentally, have been extremely useful to Northern Europe these last few decades. Bluntly, with generous retirements, no Norseman over forty is going to run a grocery store. Or drive a bus.

    Exactly like a lot of today’s residents at Angle Lake. Whose main crime has been working harder than us natives, at work we wouldn’t do at gunpoint, and settling for lesser wages because survival depended on it.

    What I meant to say about the frightened Europeans is that a lot of their fears are based on a reality that we just don’t have- being accessible to the whole world on foot or a short dangerous boat-ride.

    Making their far right’s work a lot easier. As it’s making ours so much more shameful. Because the safety offered by our oceans- we barely got away with D-Day-and the two countries across our borders- is so shameful for us, and our own instigators so damnable.

    The peoples in Africa and the rest of the world who’ve spent centuries colonized by Europeans are finally speaking up with the truth: That they had civilizations and technology far superior to Europe. Until, starting out with business fraud, took over their countries and robbed them into centuries’ long poverty.

    What last trip to Africa four years ago showed my that present and coming generations of Africans, especially women, are becoming the world’ shrewdest and most competent business people.

    Iraq and Syria, incidentally, also used to be modern countries. ‘Til about a decade ago. No question they’ve had, and have got brutal demagogues for leaders.whom the young professionals hate. Most of all for the corruption they breed.

    My main point about Europe is that the vulnerability they fear so much, they could eliminate if they can finally join Hungary and Denmark into a single country. They’ve got same wealth, same populations, same level of advancement as ours. Beyond mere cooperation, they need to see themselves as the same country.

    As, for all our faults, vast majority of us have done all our lives. But. I generally try to get mad instead of scared, but sight of our Chief of State cheer-leading over a Congressman for criminally assaulting a reporter, marked for me the skull’s emergence from our national skin.

    Pissed at the Democrats for letting this one pass unnoticed in the horse-race. As the right wing would’ve done to us in same circumstances, my side should have made the whole election about that exact video. Health insurance, very important.

    But if we know what’s Good For Our Health, like da guys in da striped suits say in the movies, we don’t let punks get in the habit of signaling their scumbags they can push us around. That’s all.


    But was also saying that the US is in existential danger that our racists will manage to fracture the national unity that’s always been our real defense.

  10. Damn, wish both that I had my vision back, and that there was some way to edit after pushing the button. Because I needed to finish with a very important point about Africans and Syrians and their so-called Leaders:

    The worst of them are directly controlled by both civilized and advanced Europeans, and our own professed (lying) liberty-lovers now looking ever harder to do the same to, and with, us Americans.

    When the average American soldier joins the service knowing how likely this is to get them killed by the people they think they’re liberating….well, too bad the schools don’t have any money left to teach them about irrelevance like that.


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