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Thursday, August 24, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard
On Tuesday, the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority delivered two extra large tea leaves for Project Connect Kremlinologists to digest. In a blog post, the agency declared in no uncertain terms what two modes its high-capacity transit planners are not considering: In addition to heavy rail (subways and elevated trains) being off the table, so too is the dual object of pathological fascination and unrestrained scorn, the urban gondola. In addition to being slow, without air conditioning and obtrusive to ground-level right of way, the eight-mile system proposed by a local designer would be unprecedented and unlikely to secure any form of federal funding. “Due to all of these factors, we’re not considering gondolas, a mode that doesn’t even meet the definition of high-capacity transit, for investment as part of Project Connect,” the post bluntly states. As for subways and elevated trains, the costs would be too high and the returns too low in a city without the large, dense populations of bergs such as New York or Chicago where those systems thrive, according to the post. The post concludes by stating, “Project Connect is working hard to bring real transit solutions to Central Texas,” as if installing permanent shade over city streets and sidewalks isn’t also a noble endeavor.
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