Weekly Roundup: No Gondolas! In Chalk!

Post by Steven Dale

Renderings of the new London Thames Cable Car. Via IanVisits.co.uk.

A few highlights from around the world of Urban Gondolas and Cable Propelled Transit:

  • India’s Jammu and Kashmir governments submit plans for the Patnitop Hill gondola – the first of its kind in that region of India.
  • Opponents of the Vancouver/Burnaby Mountain urban gondola arm themselves – with chalk.

Given the amount of rain Vancouver experiences, maybe chalk wasn't the best protest tool available. Image via Burnaby Now.

    Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

    Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.


    1. About using chalk, it is on the contrary one of the best things to use as it is non-intrusive, non damaging, non permanent. All the opposite to the gondola...
    2. Fair enough. But quick question: How is the gondola damaging?
    3. Damaging their property values! With secondary concerns related to "environmental damage" somehow caused by gondola towers.
    4. Steven, let see: the gondola will be a permanent fixture, an eye sore (no matter how amazing the views from all those gondolas around the world, the infrastructures themselves are never pretty - except maybe for the architecture of the stations); it will create disturbance for the people living in the area, it will also disturb the wild life; a line of tree will have to be clear cut, at least during construction (see the Peack to Peack in Whistler); it will divert funds from much more necessary investment in the Lower Mainland (Evergreen line, Surrey-Frase, Broadway corridor...); it will not put a single car off the road, on the contrary, we expect a number of people to start driving as they won't to take the gondola (because they're afraid, or because it's too expensive: monthly car fee + monthly transit fee = too much on a family budget; as the car is a must have, people will cut the transit fee - remember that until now people living up the mountain had a subsidised transit pass so it was almost frre for them; this has now been cut off so they have to pay full fare - circa $150 a month); it is more and more evident that a bus service will be maintained between Production Way and SFU, or maybe a new one introduced from the Evergreen Line to SFU so there will be no clear CO2 gain... Also, risk of waking, or rather not waking up at all when a 3 tons gondola falls in your bedroom (and this things to fall, albeit rarely) @ Monorail, you seem a little "mono... minded" but so far there is no evidence of any loss in property value, although I haven't tried to sell my house. Real estates agents I've talked to do not seem concerned yet although I'm pretty sure the price of the real estate will drop. What's certain though, is that the developers at the top of the mountain are having a hard time selling their condos and the poor people who bought are having a hard time to resell, with dropping prices. So the gondola really looks like a "cherry on the cake" feature that will allow them to maintain or increase their profits. The community of people actually having a need to be at SFU (the studtns, professors and staff) are only marginally considered. This is just a quick, of the top of my mind summary. More to be published soon. :-) Cheers!
    5. ■India’s Jammu and Kashmir governments submit plans for the Patnitop Hill gondola – the first of its kind in that region of India. More interesting than this ropeway for tourists is the rural ropeway between the towns/villages Purkul - Lambidhar - Hathipaon - Radha House - Mussoorie with a length of 11,7 km ! ! ! Source: http://www.fairwoodindia.com/dehradun-mussoorie-ropeway
    6. This gondola is damaging by potentially sucking resources away from far more worthwhile transportation projects in the Metro Vancouver region. This proposed gondola, by replacing a bus route, will simply shift riders from one form of transit to another. The region is crying out for projects that will actually take people out of their cars and put them on transit - projects that will be more cost-effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and that will serve the transportation needs of far more people: e.g. the Evergreen Line, the extension to UBC, the extension in Surrey. The developing region south of the Fraser River needs transit solutions, but SFU really does not - this is a vanity project.
    7. Is this an "urban ropeway / cable-car ? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11284381
    8. Looks like a small aerial tram (just one cabin going one way and the other). At first I thought it's a car and I was fascinated by the speed, later the shadow appeared :)
    9. Matt the Engineer
      [forest] Almost everything you mentioned can be said about all transit. It actually all sounds so heavily *anti* that it comes across as disingenuous - are these really your concerns, or are you just throwing every anti argument you can think of, no matter how credible? Which of these issues is the one that you felt so strongly about it made you come here? Or is there another motive you haven't mentioned? I don't know much about this proposed line, but if it's really to serve "developers" then I'm still not sure I have a problem with that. I live in a streetcar suburb in Seattle built over a century ago - my neighborhood is dense and lively because developers built for transit. Even though the streetcar hasn't existed for 70 years, it's made the neighborhood a great place to live. Regarding views, check out Portland some time. Their aerial tram adds character to the neighborhood and their city is proud of it.
    10. @ forestgrove well you sound like a person who's been spending too much time in a "forest". concerns about the cable system causing financial damage to your personal property values shouldn't b hidden under guise "environmental damage", "wildlife disturbance" and "eyesore issues". Selfish NIMBYists with no care for the greater good of the community such as yourself impede progress, development and evolution of world-class cities such as Vancouver.
    11. @monorail: We're not saying we don't have some NIMBY concerns, property values are NIMBY related. However, there are many other issues and concerns we have about this proposed project. There is NO benefit to the residents this gondola is affecting, it will run 21 hours per day from 5am to 1am, 365 days per year, with gondola cars moving by every 40 seconds. We live in an earthquake zone in an immediate community area that is already riddled with large oil and gas pipelines, "installing" five to seven huge tram towers in an existing conservation area could have devastating effects. Replacing the gondola for busses that already have low ridership doesn't help to get people out of their cars and taking transit, they're already doing that. One if the last main concerns we have are the private interests of the SFU Trust and the UniverCity development in this publicly funded project. The gondola will drop students off in a new location further from the existing bus loop and closer to the new residential UniverCity condo development, thus negating and time savings benefits to students. Residents who purchase these brand-new $350K to $600K Leasehold condos are also getting subsidized transit passes! Subsidized by local tax paying residents... You do the math...
    12. Agree: This is one of the central problems with the Burnaby Mountain gondola, all the sacrifice but none of the benefit to Forest Grove residents - though it is worth pointing out that noise from buses will be severely reduced due to the gondola. Disagree: Earthquake zone is not an issue. Plenty of systems have been built in far more geologically sensitive areas with no issues. Disagree: The buses up to SFU are hardly "low ridership" - that's a disingenuous and dishonest claim. Agree/Disagree: Current thinking for the SFU gondola station is in a location less than 30 seconds walk from the existing bus loop. So, yes, you're correct in saying that it's "further from the existing bus loop" but not to an extent that it will "negate . . . time savings benefits to students."
    13. A good idea, go by bus at an earthquake: http://www.google.at/search?q=highway+earthquake+kobe&hl=de&rlz=1T4SKPB_deAT305AT306&prmd=ivnsb&source=lnms&tbm=isch&ei=YDkkTqz7FNHLswbqrrH1AQ&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=2&ved=0CA0Q_AUoAQ&biw=1024&bih=488 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeuacva4TEE
    14. Sorry, I've forgotten the bus: http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/january/17/newsid_3375000/3375733.stm

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