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Thread: Governors Island

  1. #76


    This is far and away the worst idea I have heard proposed for Downtown since 9/11, and I have heard some doozies. Aerial gondolas cluttering up the magnificent New York Harbor? Do none of these nincompoops understand that the cluster of skyscrapers encircled by water is what makes Lower Manhattan the most fantastic vista in the world? Where are the brains on these people?

  2. #77


    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    I think the main shipping channel is on the east side of Governors Island, between GI and Brooklyn.
    Governors Island is only 400 yards from Red Hook. The main channel is between GI and Manhattan.

    Anyway, this is an interesting idea. Making the island easily accessible is a key to attracting investment. The Brooklyn side is narrow enough to consider a simple bridge.

    The distance to Manhattan is 800 yards. A skylift would only need a few towers. The loads would be light, so the towers would not be massive and interfere with the skyline. For a demonstration, visit the Bronx Zoo and take the skyfari across the complex.

  3. #78
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    East Midtown


    This is a very interesting idea, and the gondolas would be a tourist attraction in themselves. What panoramic views! Imaginative concepts like this can make our harbor a real destination. I agreee with Zippy that the towers wouldn't be massive enough to intrude or cause visual clutter. In fact, with a graceful design of towers and gondolas, they may be visually compelling.
    With plans for Governors island, Coney island, Randall's Island, the waterfront parks in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, I am excited to see more outdoor recreational choices for New Yorkers being presented. Its long overdue.

  4. #79


    Ah yes, it would be wonderful to have this beauty gracing New York harbor. Bring on the tourists!

  5. #80


    Funny you chose the exact thing that the article stated it would not be like:
    Unlike the much-larger aerial tramway connecting Roosevelt Island to Manhattan, the Governors Island gondolas would be about the size of those at skiing centers, carry six to eight people and run more regularly.
    Worthless example.

  6. #81


    While we're at it, why not build another one connecting the Lexington line to Randall's and Ward's Island. Tramways seem like a nice way to build cheap public transportation when the capacity demands are small (ie: 6-8 people per carraige). And this way working class people who don't own cars can access more green space

  7. #82


    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp
    Funny you chose the exact thing that the article stated it would not be like:

    Worthless example.
    Hardly. The Roosevelt Island trams carry about a dozen. So imagine the exact same thing with carts about 2/3 the size, and towers every bit as big and ugly.

    Sometimes, I wonder why New Yorkers allowed their officials to destroy so much of what was once great. But I really see the same thing going forward. People have a tendency not to appreciate what they have until it is gone. I always thought that the magnificent southern tip of Manhattan -- the most photographed urban setting in the world -- was an exception, but I guess not.

  8. #83


    Quote Originally Posted by BPC
    Hardly. The Roosevelt Island trams carry about a dozen.
    Maybe you need to actually ride on the tramway before making such statements.

    Roosevelt Island Tramway

    Bronx Zoo skyway
    The cab holds 4 people.

  9. #84


    I've ridden the Rooseevelt Island tram several times. My recollection is it holds about 12. If it's 20, so be it. In any event, I wouldn't want the Zoo tram and its attendant towers cluttering up New York Harbor and the Lower Manhattan waterfront either. Downtown is not an amusement park, much as our city and state planners are always treating it as such. This is simply an atrocious idea, which I hope will die quietly.

  10. #85


    The tram cars hold over 100 people.

    A big problem in New York is that, in a zealous effort to preserve history, it gets overlooked that New York is a working, evolving city, not a museum.

    Whether or not this idea is viable, does anyone else thing that it will destroy the downtown skyline? Or maybe that has already been done by those ugly boxes on the waterfront.

    Like it or not, New York is in part, an amusement park. 41 million people didn't visit last year just for the good weather.

  11. #86
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    New York City


    Ahhh, the modernist dream of unlimited transportation lives on.

  12. #87


    It seems that I am the only person who is bothered by this, but I pass it along all the same.

    City, state gonzo for Governors Island gondola

    Jonathan Cohen-Litant

    By Ariella Cohen
    The Brooklyn Papers

    A plan to connect Brooklyn and lower Manhattan to a proposed tourist Mecca on Governors Island via an aerial cable car earned a nod of approval from city and state planners Tuesday, but the vote didn’t come without hard questions on the pie-in-the-sky proposition.

    “What it will cost to build [a gondola] that can withstand the elements and accommodate maritime needs of the harbor?” asked James Gill, chairman of the Battery Park City Authority and a member of the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corp., a state- and city-appointed board that is transforming the former Army and Coast Guard base across Buttermilk Channel from Red Hook into a 92-acre public space.

    A quarter-mile of water separates Governors Island from Brooklyn. Currently, the only way to reach the island — unless you want to crawl through a 14-inch sewer main — is by ferry from Lower Manhattan.

    The gondolas are a small piece of the redevelopment plan — but the tram’s potential to bring Brooklyn residents to the island could become an essential lure for investors in the project, planners said this week.

    “Accessibility is a major issue for development and the [gondolas] certainly could make the connection simpler,” Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff said.

    Next month, the Governors Island board will request proposals from developers willing to sink hundreds of millions of dollars into building on the island. The project depends on finding a partner with deep enough pockets to support the massive project.

    Governors Island, like the Brooklyn Bridge Park development, is mandated to be self-financing.

    State officials have told developers that they will provide the necessary infrastructure to get people to whatever attractions developers put there.

    “We have to see what people are interested in doing,” said Doctoroff. “It could become a major attraction. We have to wait and see.”

    In the past, planners discussed linking Brooklyn to the island with a costly bridge, as well as a regular ferry service connecting Lower Manhattan, Governors Island and the Brooklyn waterfront.

    Doctoroff wants to see the gondolas built in order to secure his vision of the waterfront as the “world’s greatest harbor district,” he said.

    He imagines a cable car system with stations at Brooklyn Bridge Park, the East River Waterfront Park in Lower Manhattan and on the north end of Governors Island. The system would resemble a ski lift with six- to eight-seat cars that run quickly and frequently between the newly landscaped greenspaces, each with their own public esplanades and private recreational offerings.

    But other city officials wondered just how the flighty attraction would jibe with other activity on the waterfront, including the arrival of large cruise ships beginning in April in Red Hook, which is also a working container port.

    “How high do you have to go so you don’t interfere with shipping?” Gill asked at Tuesday’s vote. “The higher you go the more expensive it becomes.”

    Planners of the Brooklyn Bridge Park, where Doctoroff would site one of his gondola stations, were absent from Tuesday’s meeting. A state official working on the waterfront “park” project told The Brooklyn Papers that he had no idea that his Governors Island counterparts were planning to put a gondola station in or near Brooklyn Bridge Park until he read a story in the New York Post on Monday.

    Community members who have criticized the state’s plan for Pier 6 — which will host a hotel, condominiums and a landscaped lawn — said they welcomed the cable car terminal.

    “We’ve been saying for a long time that this kind of public connection should be on the pier,” said Cobble Hill Association President Roy Sloane.

    But Sloane wondered if the plan for the airborne public transit wasn’t a case of missed signals.

    “My first reaction is to wonder if the left hand knows what the right hand is doing,” he said. “It’s hard for me to imagine that residents of Brooklyn Bridge Park are going to appreciate having a cable car operation in their front yard.”

    The gondola would be Brooklyn’s first. The only other aerial transit system in the city is the much-larger Roosevelt Island tramway, which carries 2,000 passengers a day and operates at a loss.

  13. #88
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village


    “It’s hard for me to imagine that residents of Brooklyn Bridge Park are going to appreciate having a cable car operation in their front yard.”
    First, it's not a cable car.

    Next, there aren't any residents of Brooklyn Bridge Park yet. If a gondola is part of the park plan then everyone will know it is there before they buy. Shouldn't be a problem. And let's not forget, these are the same people who apparently won't mind having a major highway "operation" in their back yard, I hardly think the quiet gondola is worse than that.

    Right off the bat he's assuming that NIMBYS wont let this happen, even before they know what it will be like.

  14. #89

    Thumbs down

    BPC I agree with you. IMO, I think it will disrupt the views of the harbor.

  15. #90


    See. At least two.
    Last edited by ZippyTheChimp; January 25th, 2006 at 05:34 PM.

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