On eve of Sound Transit realignment vote, West Seattle SkyLink launches petition drive for gondola consideration

Tomorrow afternoon, as previewed here, the Sound Transit Board is expected to adopt a realignment plan – potentially delaying West Seattle light rail. Supporters of a transit alternative – a gondola system – have been trying to convince ST to seriously consider it as an alternative for the West Seattle spur of the system. They say a gondola line, which they call West Seattle SkyLink, could be built faster and cheaper than light rail between SODO and The Junction. So now they’re collecting signatures on an online petition with this request:

We ask Sound Transit to immediately commission gondola experts to conduct a technical engineering study on using a gondola as the West Seattle connection to the Link light rail spine.

We further ask the Sound Transit Board to use the results of the study to compare the gondola to light rail alternatives in reaching a determination on the best way to connect West Seattle to Link.

The gondola concept has been discussed for a few years, but the organized campaign under the name West Seattle SkyLink really revved up around the first of the year; we first talked with advocates in January. ST says it considered gondolas (see page 35) while planning ST3; SkyLink supporters think the transit agency should take another look. If you’re interested in signing their petition, see it here.

83 Replies to "On eve of Sound Transit realignment vote, West Seattle SkyLink launches petition drive for gondola consideration"

  • Joe Z August 4, 2021 (8:50 pm)

    After the vote tomorrow the West Seattle light rail spur will be fully funded and ready to move forward. Studying the gondola would result in more delays and push the delivery date into the mid-2030s or later. No thanks. 

    • Canton August 4, 2021 (9:14 pm)

      What aspects of the primary lead you to that conclusion? Dow? What issue do you have with looking at any and all alternatives to the island’s transportation problems?

    • nwpolitico August 4, 2021 (9:53 pm)

      Realignment is a delay with a hope of increased funding, not full funding. ST3 will still have a $6 billion plus deficit after tomorrow, with land acquisition costs only increasing.

    • Marie McKinsey August 4, 2021 (9:57 pm)

      What makes you think that  tomorrow’s vote will mean anything? It hasn’t been fully funded up until now. Even with additional federal money, they will fall short.

    • AF43 August 4, 2021 (10:19 pm)

      Have you read the realignment documents and
      listened to the Board meetings?  The Board is taking a strong stand on
      looking for cost saving solutions as well as additional funding to try to
      deliver a transit network as soon as possible.  There will be check points
      where projects will not move ahead unless their “affordability gap”
      has been closed.  No blank checks are going to be written tomorrow,
      especially for the West Seattle extension which at last count was $1.34 billion over budget..  

    • Joe Z August 5, 2021 (7:16 am)

      Read the documents they are voting on. The funding gap for West Seattle clearly says $0. They have $10 billion of funding available for West Seattle – Ballard and they have pushed all of the $1.8 billion in cost overruns to the Ballard side. The situation is not as dire as many would want you to think. https://www.soundtransit.org/st_sharepoint/download/sites/PRDA/ActiveDocuments/Substitute%20Resolution%20R2021-05%20Exhibit%20B.pdf

  • Jansen August 4, 2021 (9:09 pm)

    Please NO to this gimmicky Skylink idea. I will fight this joke of a proposal. I already had to throw away a sign in front of my business that was put there without my permission.

  • M.B. August 4, 2021 (9:28 pm)

    Our local transit folks can’t even keep escalators and elevators running at current stations. No way in hell am I risking being stranded midair fir God knows how long when something inevitably goes wrong or breaks.

  • Djet7carn August 4, 2021 (9:34 pm)

    Skylink is a point to point solution, just like the worthless ferry from Alki to downtown. The C line provides much better service at half the price. Light rail is at least part of a system. Regardless, there are better transit solutions than the parochial ST board who apparently have never been east of the cascades and lived or worked in cities with actual mass transit. 

    • Martin August 4, 2021 (10:10 pm)

      half the price? Can you be specific?Point to Point? SkyLink would provide 8 stations: https://www.westseattleskylink.org/comparisonSkyLink would connect with busses in West Seattle and various Link/bus/streetcar at SODO and International District transit hub by 2025. A West Seattle Link line would only connect to SODO in 2032 where many people would need to wait for a train from Rainier valley which may already be full. Only in 2038 the Link line would connect to a new tunnel which may give you a direct ride, but many people would still need to transfer to another Link line or street car or bus at International District, just like with SkyLink. Do you want to wait that long?

  • DM August 4, 2021 (9:45 pm)

    Are there any examples of gondolas working out as viable public transportation in high density/high traffic areas for  commuters?

    • nwpolitico August 4, 2021 (10:21 pm)

      Yes, all over the world! My favorite examples are La Paz and Medellin.

      • Replying to NW Politico August 5, 2021 (1:58 am)

        So NW Politico, the two examples you have are in drug cartel countries? Mexico & Colombia, that is what you have?? My uncle was the highest person from the State Department in Colombia during the Escobar cartel and thankfully played a huge part in taking him down. And Medellin is where Escobar is from,  Do you seriously have nothing better than Colombia or Mexico as examples to plead your case? Skyline is a huge waste of time and people need to move on from this nonsense! There isn’t even enough parking for the water taxi. But yes!!! Let’s throw in another tourist trap on a location that doesn’t even have a direct route out of here for a year if we are lucky!

        • Replying to the nephew August 6, 2021 (1:00 am)

          Okay, for the record I’m not totally sold on the gondola idea but “gondolas wouldn’t work because Mexico has drug cartels” is A) racist and B) a major non-sequitur. Not even sure how to respond to “this city’s infrastructure must not work because someone Bad is from there.” also congrats on ur high uncle i guess lmao hope he had a good trip :)))

        • Brad Knife August 6, 2021 (9:54 am)

          La Paz is in Bolivia, but regardless, what do cartels, or your uncle, have anything to do with gondolas other than you randomly connecting some meaningless dots??

        • AF43 August 6, 2021 (5:57 pm)

          Perhaps this article from Newsweek in 2019 will help educate some folks and clarify assumptions being posted.  It’s entitiled “How Medellin, Colombia, Became the World’s Smartest City.”    Seattle could learn a thing or two from it.  https://www.newsweek.com/2019/11/22/medellin-colombia-worlds-smartest-city-1471521.html

      • Ex-Westwood Resident August 5, 2021 (2:20 am)

        The one in Singapore puts them to shame! Goes from the  city to Sentosa Island.It’s an interesting idea that deserves a look.

      • AnneF August 5, 2021 (10:23 am)

        The mountains and the density of people living in those hills do not compare to the hills of West Seattle. These are not fair comparisons.

    • Marfaun August 5, 2021 (11:45 am)

      Add Mexico City, Toulouse and Paris, France, across Germany & Switzerland, Vietnam, and closer to home — Telluride, CO., and soon in Vancouver, BC and Edmonton, AB.  Los Angeles is studying it for the Olympics, too.  Sound Transit vetted aerial gondola as a high capacity transit option in 2014 for connecting local areas, like WS, with light rail spine, like SODO & I.D.  They just didn’t tell anybody when they sent the ST3 package to voters in 2016.  Let’s get ST to follow through, eh?

  • GHO August 4, 2021 (10:03 pm)

    I don’t feel super-safe on a Metro bus these days. Am I the only one that thinks getting on a gondola alone with god knows who is a non-starter?

    • nwpolitico August 4, 2021 (10:34 pm)

      It runs continuously. You can get in the next car without a wait!

    • Martin August 4, 2021 (10:40 pm)

      How safe would you feel on a light rail car without driver or do you only enter in the front?Each SkyLink gondola has a video camera and a call button in case of any issues. Transit Security would secure stations just like they currently do in the downtown tunnel or elsewhere. Most incidents actually happen while waiting for transit. With SkyLink you won’t need to wait as cabins arrive continuously. 

    • Marfaun August 5, 2021 (11:47 am)

      New cabin shows up every 30 seconds.  If you don’t like the company in one, get on the next one 30 sec. later.

  • Martin August 4, 2021 (10:21 pm)

    There are many gondola networks in South America, France, Turkey, Israel, Singapore and other cities. The largest gondola network is in La Paz where on some days more than half a million trips are taken, that’s far more than Link handles. Mexico City built a line 5 years ago with 6m riders a year – based on that success, they just opened two more lines and two are under construction.

  • Cautious Woman August 4, 2021 (10:42 pm)

    Gondola nonsense again? Yeah because I really want to be stuck in a bubble suspended above the sound with random strangers who could easily assault me. On trains there is safety in numbers, passengers can move to other cars away from dangerous people, or get off before their stop. Gondola has no such thing. 

    • Yes to SkyLink! August 5, 2021 (6:18 am)

      Unfortunately, we can’t plan transit around everyone’s anxieties. There is some discomfort and a level of risk in daily life and with transportation modes. We have to manage our own comfort level and personal safety on transit. Have been on some uncomfortable bus and train rides, and think actually it will be easier to assess the ride situation with a smaller gondola cabin and to choose to wait for the next one if not comfortable, since they will run more continuously than trains.

      A couple other notes in response to other comments.

      The water taxis are not worthless, they are a great convenience! Would prefer to hop on a water taxi from Alki, or Fauntleroy (if that was a thing) and ride to downtown than take the C line bus, any day.

      We need to shift from modes of transportation that are prone to roadway traffic issues, and that are more harmful for the environment.

      A SkyLink gondola would never get stuck in traffic after an accident, and would be better for the environment.

      Another consideration, SkyLink would likely be more convenient for those with accessibility needs.  Imagine those in a wheelchair can just roll themselves right on from the platform independently.

      Also, would be easier for those with bikes to ride. Sometimes bike racks on buses are full and can be awkward to get up there, and it can be difficult to ride on link rail with a bike because of the cabin design and how full they get. With continuous gondolas cabins arriving, this should be easier for cyclists.

  • Jort August 4, 2021 (11:15 pm)

    Gondola boosters have been plastering on veneers of seriousness about their “gondola”  “proposal” but it becomes much more clear that the only thing they’re serious about is this: intentionally weaponizing the “Seattle Process” to force additional delays so that there will be no high-capacity transit in West Seattle, at all. These guys know the gondola thing is dead on arrival. They know that Sound Transit and every other related governing body in this state is going to literally laugh this “proposal” by amateur neighborhood enthusiasts straight into the garbage can. But “gondola” proponents also know that, if they get enough people to pipe in during public comment and say, “But whaddabout the gOnDOla!?!?>>!” you’ll be able to delay, delay, delay the light rail line until it’s no longer feasible to build it. That’s the entire point of all this. The gondola is a distraction ultimately meant to delay the light rail. And the way that you can prove this, every single time with every one of these so-called supporters, is by asking them, “So, if Sound Transit says no to the gondola-joke, will you support light rail instead?” They won’t say yes, because fundamentally they are 100 percent opposed to the light rail. Friends, neighbors, community members — please do not fall for this joke. It is a cruel one and you will burden your children and your children’s children with a lack of sustainable transportation for generations because you were suckered into believing that somehow a magical unicorn pony gondola that solves all our problems could actually get built, if we all just clap our hands loud enough. 

    • Jared August 5, 2021 (4:54 am)

      For the record, I support the gondola.  It achieves the same end in less time and with fantastically less money – that is, with money we actually have now – and would be an aesthetic improvement over elevated light rail.  It’s just a better fit to our West Seattle landscape. If ST actually looks at it and says no, I support light rail.  Just, unfortunately, I will only get to enjoy that next option way off in the misty future and probably not laid out as currently promised.

    • My two cents … August 5, 2021 (10:31 am)

      Jort – Are your just now discovering that the gondola option is all part of a secret cabal that wants to maintain SOV autos with lead burning gas-o-line en-gines???SMH 🤪

    • Marfaun August 5, 2021 (11:50 am)

      Critics of SkyLink fall into two categories:  informed and opinionated.  Those who have visited the SkyLink website (https://www.westseattleskylink.org) tend to be more informed.  Those who haven’t tend to be less so.

      • Jort August 5, 2021 (4:18 pm)

        Yeah, don’t worry, I read the site. What they didn’t spend on a graphic designer for their logo (yikes) they instead spent on unsubstantiated promises and other fantastical magical unicorn pony promises meant to deceive enough people into thinking the gondola “proposal” is actually realistic. It’s not, and again it’s important to note that the “gondola” isn’t the primary goal of this organization. The primary goal is to stop the elevated light rail. This proposal deserves antagonism and ridicule – not curiosity.

    • Jen Gardner August 5, 2021 (11:53 am)

      WOW! Paranoid nonsense. Shouldn’t everyone have a bike instead of riding either though?

    • Mickymse August 6, 2021 (9:25 am)

      Except that – surprise! – Sound Transit has studied gondolas as a transportation mode, Jort. And they have even identified it as a possible choice for connecting neighborhoods to the main light rail spine.So, while I don’t personally support gondola over light rail in West Seattle, and I find your blog comments amusing most of the time… I also wish you would really learn when to keep your uninformed opinions to yourself.

  • ProbablyYourNeighbor August 5, 2021 (12:40 am)

    The first time I saw one of the gondola signs in a business window, I figured it was joke. Seeing that they’re trying to get funding to research it as an alternative, it reads much more clearly as grift.

    Some points to make,

    – Comparing a single line from the Junction to King St Station with La Paz or Medellín without context is, very generously, disingenuous at best. Those are both entire gondola systems with 36 and 19 stations respectively, not to mention ~31km and ~15km in total length.  

    -Looking at PPHPD (passengers per hour per direction) as a metric of capacity, gondolas move fewer people than busses and are capable of an embarrassingly small fraction of the capacity light rail offers.

    -For giggles, I ballparked the length of a run (one leg straight from the Junction to SoDo, another up to King St Station) at about 7km. These people promise that that journey will take “just 14 minutes.” Do that math, and you’ll find that they’re saying this gondola will travel at dead-on 30kph, or about 18.6mph. Head over to Google and query “gondola speed,” and lo and behold the first result is “For top-supported systems such as the Aerial Tram and Gondola, maximum speeds are 12.5m/s (45km/h) and 8.5m/s (30km/h) respectively.” What a neat coincidence!

    -Probably also worth noting that the above mentioned systems seem to operate at average speeds around ~11mph, so not only would our theoretical gondola be the bargain of the century, it would be an absolute speed demon as well.

    • Martin August 5, 2021 (7:45 am)

      “move fewer people than busses” – yes, each cabin is smaller than a bus, but SkyLink would have hundreds of them. Before the pandemic we had 26 busses during morning peak going to Seattle, whereas SkyLink would provide the capacity of 60 busses which is about the same as Link can currently handle. Yes, Link can add a fourth car and run more frequently which is great for downtown, but Sound Transit only expects 27,000 riders a day by 2040 while SkyLink can handle 55,000. Mexico City built a similar line in 2016 and two more just got inaugurated.

    • Jay August 5, 2021 (8:00 am)

      I have a feeling it’s a cynical plan to slow transit development to West Seattle. I wonder what the overlap is between gondola advocates and people who moan about Seattle’s “war on cars.”

      • Martin August 5, 2021 (9:13 am)

        SkyLink proposes MORE transit in West Seattle and the region as it would not only serve 3 stations around Alaska Junction but also High Point, Morgan Junction, and Admiral Junction. It would allow Sound Transit to use the $2b savings to accelerate building other Link lines across the region. Many people complain about parking around the Junction. With SkyLink you would be able to get on a gondola and drop your kid off at day care at Morgan Junction, have lunch at the Alaska Junction, and get groceries at PCC turning West Seattle into a 15min city!

        • East Coast Cynic August 5, 2021 (12:53 pm)

          Since there is such a concern for saving money and time for construction, why not also propose the gondola for Ballard, if it hasn’t been proposed already?  Since Ballard has to wait longer than we do for link–between 2035-2040, why not offer construction of a gondola to connect to link in Roosevelt or the University District to save time for their residents and link money for other (more deserving?) areas of the region?  Why are we so special?

          • Jort August 5, 2021 (4:21 pm)

            Because what happens in Ballard doesn’t effect whether there are “concrete towers” of elevated light rail here in West Seattle. The point of this isn’t cost or time savings, the point is to throw enough dirt in the air to delay and obfuscate the design and construction process in an effort to ultimately kill the light rail project. They are weaponizing Seattle must fundamental Achille’s heel: the Seattle Process. 

    • Marfaun August 5, 2021 (11:57 am)

      Sound Transit vetted gondola as a high capacity transit option for linking local areas, like West Seattle, with light rail spine stations, like SODO & the I.D.  ST just didn’t tell anybody when they presented the ST3 package to voters in 2016.  The ST Board, overseeing an agency $6-$8 billion debt, without a good plan for getting 73%-over budget light rail to WS, is now allowed to make different choices, like they did in changing from a (voter approved) ST2 First Hill tunnel to an I.D. streetcar.  The “math” of speed & people movement depends on configuration — which is why SkyLink is urging the board to do the study.  For “giggles,” visit the SkyLInk website:   https://www.westseattleskylink.org

  • Meeeeee August 5, 2021 (6:11 am)

    Gondola lovers please stop this nonsense.It’s not a fit for what the transportation issues are in W. Seattle.

  • Shawn August 5, 2021 (6:16 am)

    That’s a hard no from me. A train is what I voted for, and a train is what I eventually expect to see built. 

    • Marfaun August 5, 2021 (12:04 pm)

      Light rail will displace (or evict) businesses and 100-200 homes, cost $300M-$400M a mile to build, cause traffic jams & interfere with Port of Seattle, maritime & Nucor steel operations for 5-7 years.  It’ll get passengers from somewhere near Alaska & Fauntleroy to SODO by maybe 2032, and downtown by maybe 2038 or 2040.  A gondola will displace few or no businesses & people, take two or less years to build with minimal or no traffic congestion, not interfere with Port et al. operations.  It’ll get as close as two blocks from the Alaska-California business district, and carry riders all the way to the I.D. — by 2025 if the ST Board acts now.  

      • K August 5, 2021 (5:35 pm)

        I beg anyone making these outrageous SkyLink claims (by 2025! few to no displacement! no problems with the Port! Better travel times than the bus! High Point and Admiral stations! Double the ridership of WS ST light rail!) to provide us with some reliable data. The SkyLink website is full of these wild claims and the only links out are to op-eds, I assume are written by whomever made the SkyLink website, and videos of cool gondolas, which are exactly that, cool (gondolas are cool!) “Manufacturers and consultants” gave them the cost estimates, yet no information or data provided to back these numbers up.  But at least there is a GoFundMe link.

      • Derek August 5, 2021 (6:03 pm)

        As sad as eviction of a few residents is, it’s for the greater good. I think we need to pay the people moving handsomely as part of the expansion and move on with the building phase.

    • Pigeon Point RN August 5, 2021 (12:35 pm)

      Well, I voted (several times, in fact) for a monorail and that seems to not be coming, so don’t get your hopes up too high.

  • Peter August 5, 2021 (7:22 am)

    LOL!  No.  Look, we all know the only reason for this gondola idiocy is to oppose light rail.

    • Marfaun August 5, 2021 (12:15 pm)

      They oppose light rail from SODO-I.D. to WS.  ST’s plan is 73% over budget & has no viable route.  Visit the SkyLink website:  https://www.westseattleskylink.org.  The SkyLink folk  support building the light rail network, just not a $300M-$400M /mile bulldozed rail spur through Delridge, Avalon & the Junction that displaces businesses & 100-200 people, interferes w/ Port of Seattle, maritime & Nucor operations, and will cause 5-7 years of traffic jams & extra pollution.

    • Shawn August 5, 2021 (3:09 pm)

      Yeh if it was a gondola AND a train… It would still be horrible due to how dangerous they are. But at least I could ignore it and take the train. But they are acting like it would be sufficient as a replacement, which is completely absurd. It is all a bunch of nimbis really only complaining about a couple hundred single family houses that should have been bulldozed decades ago anyway if we had sane zoning, and the fact that cities, if you are lucky, grow and  therefore get denser over time.

      • Mickymse August 6, 2021 (9:32 am)

        Wow, those are some pretty dismissive and elitist comments about plans to scrape two or more ENTIRE BLOCKS of homes (not all single family) owned in many cases by low-income, non-White families, and in other cases for DECADES before you probably got here, I’m guessing. And where exactly is it that you think they’re going to be able to move to if they want to remain in the neighborhood?

  • neighbor August 5, 2021 (8:29 am)

    Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but Sound Transit couldn’t opt to do a gondola instead of light rail even if they wanted to. One of the challenges they’re faced with is that ST3 was passed by the voters with very specific deliverables, including a West Seattle light rail line with 3 stations. As I understand it, they can’t change any of the deliverables without the whole plan going back to voters, which would just delay any possible project start by years.

    • Martin August 5, 2021 (9:20 am)

      If you read the Sound Transit 3 measure, it specifically allows the ST Board to make changes to the plan turns out to be unaffordable, impractical or infeasible. During their Realignment process, ST’s legal counsel acknowledged that the current plan is unaffordable and needs to be realigned. This happened before: light rail was supposed to serve First Hill but became infeasible and the Capitol Hill/ID street car was built instead.

      • Jort August 5, 2021 (4:24 pm)

        To be clear, Marty states this as fact, but it is not. It is his opinion, and merely his and the “gondola” boosters’ own interpretation of the statute. He is reading the statue as favorably toward his position as he can. Legal challenges to a switch to a gondola-only would arise — and those challenges are likely to be incredibly successful, no matter how many people sign an online petition.

  • WSB August 5, 2021 (8:51 am)

    I don’t often have to remind people of this as it’s common-sense respect but … one screen name per participant per discussion, please, One person trying to look like more than one person in a discussion is just not cool and won’t be allowed. Thanks. – TR

    • drahcir August 5, 2021 (9:11 am)

      Wow, seriously people are doing that???  That’s lame! 

      Geez next thing you know we’ll be having people spreading conspiracy theories about bamboo ballots & Italian satellites changing election votes … on wait.

  • DogMom August 5, 2021 (9:14 am)

    Gondolas are a cute idea, but SDOT can’t even fix the bridge after ignoring warning signs of collapse for years, so to think that they’d build us gondolas is absurd and naive, lol. If you want better transportation options, don’t live in West Seattle because SDOT hates us. 

    • WSB August 5, 2021 (9:25 am)

      SDOT does not build/manage transit, whether light rail, gondolas, buses, whatever. Sound Transit is an agency spanning parts of King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties. The only overlap is in the elected officials who sit on ST’s board (the City of Seattle is currently represented by Mayor Jenny Durkan and Councilmember Debora Juarez). – TR

      *Corrected (thanks, Chemist). SDOT is building/has built the in-city streetcar.

      • Chemist August 5, 2021 (12:28 pm)

        I’d say SDOT is in charge of some streetcar construction and ends up hiring out operations via contract with ST.  I also thought rapid ride line construction was kind of shared.

        • WSB August 5, 2021 (1:15 pm)

          Thank you. Forgot about the streetcar. Re: RapidRide, SDOT is paving the roads (most of them), KC is building the stations.

  • Daddy August 5, 2021 (9:29 am)

    My kids would love this! It would also bring a lot of tourism and money to West Seattle. Lets do it!!!

  • B August 5, 2021 (10:31 am)

    I’ll happily wait for the light rail.https://www.theurbanist.org/2020/12/23/gondolas-cant-meet-west-seattles-transit-needs-light-rail-can/

    • Barton August 5, 2021 (12:50 pm)

      Shocking – The Urbanist publication insists that light rail is the only way.

      • K August 5, 2021 (5:39 pm)

        The Urbanist also published 2 pro-gondola op-eds by two different people named Martin, maybe one of them is on here?

  • helpermonkey August 5, 2021 (11:10 am)

    Gondola is the Goodspaceguy of transportation solutions. 

    • Marfaun August 5, 2021 (12:06 pm)

      Tell that to Sound Transit.  They vetted gondolas as high capacity transit options for connecting local areas (like WS) with light rail spine stations (like SODO & I.D.) in 2014.  They just didn’t tell anybody when they presented ST3 to voters in 2016.

  • Matt August 5, 2021 (11:20 am)

    There is a mass transit technology that is faster and cheaper than gondolas, and I don’t know why we aren’t considering it:  catapults. Imagine getting in a padded car, flung across Elliot Bay, landing on or near a giant net by Lumen field. No cables, no expensive land acquisition or environmental impacts (other kinds of impacts, tho). The modern trebuchet industry has made significant strides in occupant safety, and it would be a boon for tourism—who wouldn’t want to see that!  Plus each car could have Wi-Fi. 

  • Jeepney August 5, 2021 (11:36 am)

    Gondolas are worthy of serious consideration.  We are not building more roads, and light rail takes a long time and huge $$$$$$ to build.  We should at least consider it.

    • Derek August 5, 2021 (6:00 pm)

      It should be zero consideration as the high winds on Elliot Bay and inefficiency and ugliness alone should keep it from being taken seriously.

  • Marcus August 5, 2021 (11:41 am)

    No, no gondolas.  Cheesy solution and too much a gimmick.  Can you imagine being stuck in one with a violent person, like being on a plane with a violent passenger.   Who is going to handle security in every gondola.  Really we need more common sense here.  Sorry but very bad idea.

  • Green Wonder August 5, 2021 (11:43 am)

    Why not both?Yes, I’m new to West Seattle. The gondola option in my mind is just another way to ADD options. Yes to Light Rail. Why not both?

  • WS Lover August 5, 2021 (11:47 am)

    Has nobody ever been to Portland? Great use of the Gondola and I don’t believe they have ever had serious issues. If it saves money why not see if it could work. I would love for constant road construction that doesn’t pay off in the long wrong to be looked at by the city planners again! Most of their solutions actually create more traffic accidents! Really need to look to others outside of our community for help.

  • Del August 5, 2021 (12:15 pm)

    My thoughts would be: get rid of the water taxi, and replace it with a gondola, as well as add a paid parking garage on alki. Running the ferries and water taxis cost too much to run and aren’t great for the environment.  the gondola addition needs to be unrelated to the light rail discussion.

  • Rachele Hales August 5, 2021 (12:18 pm)

    Why aren’t we considering catapults???

    • Amy August 5, 2021 (3:15 pm)

      Comment gold right here!

  • WSMadness August 5, 2021 (12:51 pm)

    I am so happy I will be retired and out of this place by the time any of this comes close to being implemented. Maybe in the grave lol.

    • Bob l August 5, 2021 (2:58 pm)

      Ya me too.  I’ll just pay for it. Hahahahahaha

  • StopCuttingDownTrees August 5, 2021 (3:48 pm)

    I’d like to see the ST3 extension into West Seattle delayed permanently. Sound Transit is the most-corrupt agency in the State, and possibly in State history.

    • Peter August 5, 2021 (4:55 pm)

      Please present your evidence that proves your claims of corruption. I know will, you certainly wouldn’t be just making stuff up.  

      • Jort August 5, 2021 (5:24 pm)

        This person seems to believe that “corrupt” is equal to “I really don’t like them!” Claiming that Sound Transit is the most “corrupt” agency in state history (again, like usual, with the absolutely histrionic absolutist hyperbole) really shows a lack of curiosity or knowledge about the history of our state. But sure, whatever. The transit organization is sooooo corrupt because REASONS!!!

  • WSMadness August 5, 2021 (6:15 pm)

    Excuse me, but about those inflated car values to rake in more money or the fundraiser they wanted to host for the King County exec? Laughable that you would even think they are not corrupt. 

    • Mickymse August 6, 2021 (9:37 am)

      Please step back from the right-wing media… They LIE to you. Repeatedly. On most issues.Sound Transit did not “inflate” any care values. The Legislature passed a law that gave the agency taxing authority. That law created a standardized table based on MSRP of vehicles and a depreciation schedule. That is what the agency followed; and they don’t have any choice about whether to use it or not. If you don’t like it, complain to your legislators. ST also didn’t “trick” voters. There was literally a public website that anyone could have gone to as part of the ST3 campaign where a car owner could enter their information and receive an estimate of their tax.

  • Kathy August 5, 2021 (7:43 pm)

    ST  isn’t planning any at grade stations in WS, so once built the trains will not cause traffic collisions. We are about to get 3 more stations next month, UW District, Roosevelt and Northgate. Link ridership at least before the pandemic far exceeded projections. Sure it’s expensive and slow and challenging to build. Trying to integrate a unique mode (gondolas) into the existing system will just make the system more expensive and complicated, you have to think of the long-term operational costs. The Portland Tram is one stop, primarily serves tourists and a population of employees at a medical facility that is hard to get to on existing roads, and proved very costly to build and operate. It’s operation is subsidized 85% by the medical facility. No such sugar daddy for ST and taxpayers. Enjoy your dream. 

  • Randy Sampson August 20, 2021 (2:02 pm)

    You know, it’s not a surprise that I am not a big SKYLINK supporter.   You can tell that from the posts I’ve made on their FB page.  But, after a couple months of thought, at the very least the idea deserves a thorough vetting especially given the $6B cost overruns that are likely not to get any smaller in the coming years.  I’m not a fan of overhead privacy infringement, I’m not a fan of the lower capacity during rush hour that a gondola system would provide, but it deserves a hearing.   What I really don’t like is the massive displacement of residence in the Avalon/Delridge area that WILL happen with the current ST LINK plan.  I despise that even more than the privacy issues of a Gondola.  You know … it would seem that there should be a way to do this without all this displacement and privacy infringement.  To tell the truth, I’d rather not have either if it can’t be resolved. 

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