This sounds like a far fetched idea, but private investors are optimistic. Great Western Pacific, the owner of Pier 57 and the Seattle Great Wheel has proposed to build a gondola from the waterfront to the Convention Center along Union Street. The total route would be half a mile long with stop in the middle near Benaroya Hall and the Seattle Art Museum.
Matthew Roewe, of Via Architecture, said the demolition of the viaduct will take out about 1,200 waterfront parking spaces. But the Convention Center has 1,200 parking spots that are underused, particularly on weekends, he added. Thus, the gondola.
Trip time: Half-mile trip in five minutes.
Capacity: Hold eight passengers leaving every 16 seconds. That adds up to 1,800 passengers an hour — the equivalent of 50 full Metro buses — with no carbon emissions.
Construction: Eight columns about 70 feet tall would support the cable and gondola cars, which would travel 40 to 50 feet above the ground — over top of electric trolley wires.
Cost: Around $5 per trip
The backers hope to have the gondola up and running within “a matter of weeks” after demolition of the viaduct, currently scheduled for 2016, Griffith said.
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