Holy shit, y'all, remember a year ago when we were all semi-jokingly talking about a system of gondolas as one quirky answer to our transportation woes? Remember "Rise above it all" part deux? A system of enclosed bubbles, floating us all around the city center in some futuristic yet whimsical Jetsons-esque landscape...
Well, a convention-center-to-waterfront gondola may well be on its way, according to KOMO News and the Griffith family, who own the Seattle Great Wheel on the waterfront. As KOMO reports, the Griffiths are set to announce plans today for just such a line:
Kyle Griffith says an east-west line on Union Street would connect the Washington State Convention and Trade Center to the waterfront, with a stop at the Pike Place Market.
Griffith says he hopes the gondola line will help overcome a growing reluctance to visit waterfront attractions.
"One of the biggest complaints we get on the waterfront is difficulty parking," Griffith says.
That difficulty will only grow as tunnel construction moves north, the Alaskan Way Viaduct is torn down, and parking spaces disappear.
"We're excited to tie into parking garages by the convention center that are empty and underutilized," Griffith says. "Typically visitors to the waterfront are family groups with elderly and young people with strollers and walkers. The gondola really is a perfect solution. It's an amenity that'll be great during viaduct construction and the difficult times the waterfront will face."
Griffith says the gondola line can be erected quickly, but not until the state demolishes the central portion of the viaduct.
"What we're hoping to do is get the towers and foundation in, and then when the state knocks the viaduct down, we could hang the cables and the gondolas and be up and running in a few weeks," Griffith says.
The future is here.