Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Air-Tram: A Conceptual Alternative to the SF Proposed Subway Addition

So a few weeks ago I posted a "crazy" idea about high speed gondolas flying across the city. See: Another Crazy Transportation idea: High speed sky trams.
But when I read that San Francisco had a $1.2 billion proposal in the works to extend their subway system, I thought some more about the concept and realized maybe it wasn't such a crazy idea.
The proposed subway route goes down two wide straight long streets. Would it be cheaper to build above the street instead of below? And isn't it a seductive idea to build a super-light supension bridge across the city? A suspension system supporting only rails and a few rail cars could be extremely light and unobtrusive to the street view. If anything the modest towers would be an iconic addition to the skyline and elegantly express the city infrastructure.

This video is my first sketch of this concept. My intention is not to convince anyone that this is a good idea. My intention is merely to convince people this is a possible alternative worth considering. The next step is to develop the idea and compare its price tag to a new subway addition. I'm not banking on it, but I have no reason yet to discount it either.
video

This posting is a perfect example for what this Sketch Portfolio is about - A crazy dumb idea gets stuck in my head and the more I think about it, the more it starts to look more like a good idea.

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