Albany, NY

Opinion: An urban gondola in Albany

Carol Durant

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urban gondolaCarol Durant

We are still talking about having a gondola over the Hudson River from Rensselaer to Albany? Here is the website. http://capitalgondola.com/about-cdg/ The answer is yes. My first actual question after I guffawed is how much money am I the taxpayer going to have to shell out? According to the website this endeavor will be privately funded for $25 million dollars. With the higher cost of everything including electricity, gas and rising inflation, I imagine that the price tag for this venture will definitely increase.

I do like new ideas that work. If you are going to continue to loot ideas from the Five Boroughs, it should make sense. The bike initiative looks like a successful venture because I have seen people using them in the city. I don't actually know if the bikes generate revenue, but I intend to find out. Also, did we get the 2020 census numbers yet? We have had under one hundred thousand people in Albany for years. Now, if we have over one hundred thousand inhabitants that would be great. Most of the people who beat feet out of the city between 4:15pm and 4:55pm live outside of the city limits. Why do we need a sky traffic lane to assist them in getting out of town?

According to the website, this urban gondola will assist commuters getting to work, which is the reverse of getting out of town. Most of the people who work in Empire State Plaza might take the gondola and the ride may lull them into thinking about vacation. I envision plenty of PTO forms will be issued after their rides. Although, if gas prices remain high, that might increase ridership a bit. Where will the workers park their cars? Oh, right at the Amtrak station, since the City of Rensselaer has residential parking permits.

The gondola is supposed to add to the economy via tourism. It's a unique activity with stunning views. https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Capital-District-Gondola-sees-an-expanded-future-14515603.php What happens in the winter if the gondola gets stuck and the riders are in peril over the Hudson River. The fire and rescue squad with a James Bond type firefighter will have to make a rescue hundreds of feet in the air. I am not just being a naysayer, it has happened at ski areas where the water is snow. Well, the project is definitely behind its target goals by a few years. Keep your eyes and ears open for updates.

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