After posting on the future possibility of a gondola transportation system appearing along Buffalo waterfront, Seth C Triggs, Vice President Citizens for Regional Transit passed along some additional information regarding the proposal, a few of the specs, and more details about the upcoming presentation at Hallwalls.
Buffalo Outer Harbor Gondola (SkyLine)
An aerial gondola (called the Buffalo SkyLine – see route) is proposed to connect the Canalside area with a park on the Outer Harbor. This gondola would be a tourist attraction in and of itself, allowing for unprecedented views of the harbor and grain elevators. It would travel higher than the Skyway, crossing over it and then landing in the park.
The aerial gondola is proposed because it reaches a high altitude quickly (unlike a bridge) for the fraction of the cost of a fixed crossing (about $22 – 60 million or so versus $100-200+ for a lift bridge). High standardization of the components helps keep the price low. Accordingly, gondola systems are found throughout the world in virtually every environment.
It also allows accessible, fast transport of pedestrians and cyclists. The system can operate even in severe weather conditions like those Buffalo faces in the winter. Its height will prevent it from interfering with marine traffic.
Aesthetically, the elements of the system can be themed with advertisements and even accept an LED lighting system similar to that of the Peace Bridge.
Because the system is functionally simple, operating costs are low compared to other modes; the exact figures will be determined once it is fully designed.
The public is invited to the Hallwalls presentation (341 Delaware Avenue) on Monday, May 18, at 1:30 p.m. where Creative Urban Projects’ Nicholas Chu will be the featured presenter (along with 21st Century Park and Citizens for Regional Transit). Details of the applications of gondola technology will be shown, and we will then see how they can work for the benefit of downtown Buffalo.
Lead image from Dean Evaniak (from a series on BRO before the momentum for the current initiative began to take hold). See the series below: