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His way is the high way

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This guy wants to get you high before work.

A real estate executive is pitching a network of sky-scraping trams as a way to beat the crowded subway commute between waterfront Brooklyn neighborhoods and lower Manhattan. Under the proposal, the gondola cars would whisk Brooklynites between Dumbo, the Navy Yard, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and spots in Queens and Manhattan. Trams, which are used as a tourist attraction in cities worldwide, are an untapped technology that could alleviate the underground and roadway congestion that is mounting due to development near the waterfront, said Daniel Levy, president of CityRealty, a website for apartment seekers.

“An aerial transportation system would be a relatively inexpensive and quickly-deployable solution here in New York,” he said in a statement.

Levy is seeking private funding for the scheme that he says could speed commuters from Brooklyn to Manhattan in just four minutes, handling as many as 5,000 commuters per hour, and shaving as much as a half hour off of train transit times. In other words, it is perfect for well-heeled Williamsburg residents looking to escape the crunch of the Bedford Avenue L stop without having to leave behind those East River views. The project would cost $225-$300 million, according to a rep for the East River Skyway group.

A longtime advocate for alternative transit networks in Brooklyn, particularly the return of the streetcar to Red Hook, said the gondola scheme is not a bad idea, but that it wouldn’t work without something feeding it. Something like a streetcar.

“Gondola service would take a lot of muscle, but then again [railroad and shipping magnate] Cornelius Vanderbilt started off rowing a ferry between Staten Island and Manhattan, and that took muscle, too,” said Bob Diamond, who once ran a trolley along Beard Street in Red Hook before the city pulled the plug on it along with the idea of a larger streetcar system. “But it needs to be planned out properly. You need a coordinated service plan to distribute people into the neighborho­ods.”

Diamond’s Vanderbilt reference could not immediately be verified.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhurowitz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 5:24 pm, September 17, 2014
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Reasonable discourse

Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Unfortunately, I don't picture this ever being a reality. It will probably cost a lot, plus there will be disputes on who will be footing the bill especially with those who don't want to pay for this. The idea itself isn't bad, but it will mostly remain a fantasy. Let's not forget finding the space for this as well. Just like how the streetcar line won't happen, I feel the same thing for this. Even Queens Crap calls this a low priority and unnecessary.
Sept. 18, 2014, 5:44 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Gondolas have been proposed as a way to connect Governor's Island to the rest of the city, as well. It seems like it would be cheaper than excavating a subway connection, and it would be more popular than water taxis.
Sept. 18, 2014, 10:26 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Gondolas that supplemented the existing subway network as "express" lines would be welcome, too. Think if you could take a diagonal from Midtown East over Central Park to the Upper West Side. Or if you could ride from Central Harlem straight down to Midtown and Downtown in two stops. Or, dare we dream, direct from downtown Brooklyn to LaGuardia or JFK?
Sept. 18, 2014, 10:31 pm
Vinny Polack from Greenpoint says:
A much better use of the money would be a waterfront highway like FDR along the North Brooklyn coast. Cars are not going anywhere, might as well get them out faster.
Sept. 19, 2014, 11:16 am
kevin from wburg says:
I guess once the plan is executed 3 to 5 years from now, Delancey Street could be a giant hub of Everything. But i doubt it. I love the idea of a cable car system that essentially takes you nowhere helpful.

And the seaport... I guess that helps the Finance Folks. But don't they usually just take cabs to work anyway??
Sept. 23, 2014, 11:58 pm

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