GONDOLA? West Seattle SkyLink’s response to Sound Transit’s feasibility report

A week and a half after Sound Transit released its feasibility report about whether gondola service could replace light rail for West Seattle, the organization proposing it has released its response. West Seattle SkyLink sent the eight-page response to us last night – read it here or below:

West Seattle SkyLink says the Sound Transit report was no substitute for a “technical engineering study by gondola experts.” They say, “The Feasibility Report was prepared in-house without any analysis by an engineering firm that has experience with gondola technology, design, or construction as is usually the case. There are several US firms qualified to undertake a feasibility study for an urban gondola feeder.” The response also says, “Another glaring deficiency in the Sound Transit Report is the lack of a review of current urban gondola projects … most of these urban gondola projects are being considered as feeders or connectors to a light rail or rapid bus system, just like an urban gondola would be for West Seattle.” The projects they cite range from Los Angeles Aerial Rapid Transit, for which a Draft Environmental Impact Report is due out this summer, to the “cable-car” aerial line that just went into operation a week ago in Haifa, Israel. Much closer to home, SkyLink also notes that Kirkland looked into using gondolas for a connection to a Sound Transit station (the city’s website says a feasibility study was done in 2018 but the gondola alternative was not included in recent environmental analysis).

Overall, the SkyLink response concludes, “The Sound Transit Report did its best to throw as much dirt as it could on urban gondolas as a feeder to its light rail system without noting the many other public transportation agencies, both domestic and foreign, that have found an urban gondola feeder is exactly the appropriate complement to their bus and light rail systems.” Their contention continues to be that a gondola line could be built more quickly and inexpensively, with much less residence and business displacement, but as for how much money and time it would take, that would be up to a “properly produced study” to determine.

Will such a study be commissioned? Sound Transit staff repeated last week, in a presentation to the 34th District Democrats, that it would be up to the board to order it. ST’s Carrie Avila-Mooney added during the 34th DDs’ meeting Q&A that the agency “has no voter-approved money” to study it. The board’s next meeting is Thursday, April 28th, and it will include a public-comment period; watch for the agenda here.

192 Replies to "GONDOLA? West Seattle SkyLink's response to Sound Transit's feasibility report"

  • Darius April 18, 2022 (5:45 pm)

    It’s time to move on from this distraction. There was never any way to practically connect this to the rest of the system. It would’ve wound up as an anachronistic stump in our larger transit system, like the street cars.Any more time, effort, or money spent towards this would be a bad-faith undermining of our regional future transit planning.

    • Sam April 18, 2022 (8:26 pm)

      I feel the same way about all the energy spent on bike infrastructure.<ducks flying objects>

      • Kevin on Delridge April 19, 2022 (8:03 am)

        Sometimes I wonder what it is like to be so obtuse, truly a marvel.

        Maybe you could try expending the little bit of brain energy you have to learn about proper bicycle infrastructure. And maybe, just maybe you would understand why what we’ve built is inadequate. This is assuming that you truly care about traffic congestion, which is doubtful.

        • Julian April 19, 2022 (6:27 pm)

          So negative when someone briefly voices an opinion that differs from yours…maybe practice what you preach and think about how there can be multiple points of view that differ from yours?

          • Kevin on Delridge April 20, 2022 (12:07 am)

            I don’t base my opinions on civility politics, I base them on reality. Try it sometime.

        • JJ April 21, 2022 (2:57 pm)

          The idea that everyone can switch to bikes is rooted in ableism. It’s great that you have the privilege to get around this way and we have to find solutions that work for others, too.

          • Kevin on Delridge April 22, 2022 (9:42 am)

            Did I say everyone can or should switch to bikes or do you simply want to setup a straw man for yourself?

            Before you embarrass yourself again I’ll go ahead and correct the record for you. I didn’t say that nor do I believe that to be true. Nor is that the position of bicycle advocates. Let me break it down for you.

            More people using bikes means less people on the road in their car. The less people in their car the more pleasant it will be for those who need to or have to use their car, including those who are not able to bike, walk, use public transportation, etc.

            Here is a great video covering this very topic.

            Now, that makes me very interested in your actual prescriptions here. Your premise of “everyone switching to bikes” is of course silly so you use the concerns of ableism to shroud your terrible ideas in a way that you think is unassailable. Because of course “Are you not concerned for those with disabilities?” You’ll say snidely.  The reality is that your terrible positions make it worse for EVERYONE including those with disabilities.

            If you were actually concerned for the mobility of those with disabilities you would be a staunch bike advocate, but instead you’ve selected your position based on what ever biases you might have and are fishing for anything to justify them including using the people in our community with disabilities as a pawn for your terrible political positions. You should be ashamed of yourself.

        • SpencerGT April 22, 2022 (12:09 am)

          I mean, fewer people use our bike infrastructure than use our vehicle or pedestrian infrastructure.  It’s not completely off-base to be concerned.

          • Jort April 22, 2022 (9:04 am)

            Our “bike infrastructure” also costs a fraction of what the city, county and state dedicate to car driving. Actual fractions.

          • Kevin on Delridge April 22, 2022 (9:22 am)

            Yes, and have you spent any time to understand why? Could it be that we’re building the wrong type of infrastructure? Could it be that we’re not building complete infrastructure? Could it be the culture which has.. let’s say negative ideas about those who want to ride a bike?

            The answer to all of this is yes. We are not building the right infrastructure such as protected lanes,  sensible junctions (including more advanced signaling). We are not building complete routes; every street in this city should be able to handle bikes be it with dedicated space or traffic calming. And yes, the culture of many in this city is not conducive to those who want to ride a bike to get around. I would argue the terrible infrastructure we do get is a result of these attitudes. Which creates a great negative feedback loop where-in the terrible infrastructure results in low usage which can then be used to build more terrible infrastructure or nothing at all.

            The analysis “we waste money on bike infrastructure no one uses” is incomplete. Concern is valid but that concern seems to lead to the conclusion that money can never be well spent on bike infrastructure. My concerns for example, are that we are currently building streets today  that are terrible for bikes, Delridge being a good example.

            If you’re really curious about how it can be done well, this YouTube channel does a great job covering Dutch and other European cities doing this well. https://youtube.com/c/NotJustBikes

            The short story, if bicycles had the same freedom that cars and pedestrians have in terms of navigation (meaning a safe and complete network of infrastructure) a lot more people would use their bike. Today, I have to carefully plan out of a route to each destination to avoid getting injured or killed. Is that a reasonable expectation? Does it lead to the outcomes we want?

    • Marfaun April 20, 2022 (3:52 pm)

      Sound Transit vetted gondolas in 2014 as high capacity transit options for connecting local areas to light rail stations; same with RCW and federal statute.   So SkyLink is as much Sound Transit’s idea as West Seattle advocates’.  Not a distraction, a solution vs. losing dozens of businesses, hundreds of employees, up to 1000 residents, acres of green space, and suffering 5-7 years of traffic jams and pollution.  Visit the website & learn about it: https://www.westseattleskylink.org

  • 935 April 18, 2022 (5:47 pm)


    Again…Sheesh. What about aerial vacuum tubes? like banks have for drive up deposits? Or miles long “magic carpets”? (think horizontal unstepped escalators) HEY!! Maybe our rainforest overlords can do UAVs for personal use?

    My personal favorite ACTUAL gondolas aka Venice. After all, we ARE a waterfront city!

    Real problems require real solutions – with real thought behind them. End this nonsense.

    • Sam April 18, 2022 (8:30 pm)

      It sounds like you are not up to date on AVT technology. 

  • Booooo April 18, 2022 (5:59 pm)

    The Gondola Club itself does not contain any engineers or transportation experts, just a bunch of people drawing lines on the back of a napkin.  They haven’t even done any simple capacity/load calculations which would prove this to be infeasible.  What Sound Transit did is more than I would want a government group to do in entertaining a pipe dream like this.  If the Gondola Club believes in this so much, put your money where your mouth is.  Raise the money yourselves to fund a study.

    • Martin April 18, 2022 (6:34 pm)

      Sound Transit just approved $4.2m for consultants to look for cost savings opportunities, they hired the same team who is already contracted to plan the whole project, what do you think will be the chance that they will come up with ways to reduce the project scope so that they get paid less? Was that contract “voter approved”? Voters approved $1.7b for a West Seattle light rail extension. Now the cost will be at least $3.2b. Who approved the extra funds, voters?The City of Kirkland hired gondola experts to do an engineering study for a gondola to connect Kirkland downtown, but Sound Transit can’t spend $200k for a gondola engineering study to potentially save $2 billion?!?

      • Ballardite April 19, 2022 (8:03 am)


      • Rick April 19, 2022 (11:00 am)

        What’s a few billion? 

      • Neighbor April 19, 2022 (3:31 pm)

        Voters approved an amount.  The project will cost a different amount.  Are voters the only ones paying?  I thought some federal dollars were provided as well.  Has the amount voters will pay gone up?

    • Marfaun April 20, 2022 (4:02 pm)

      SkyLink is a team of volunteers connected to gondola experts who design and build systems worldwide.   Sound Transit classifies gondolas as high capacity transit, like rail and BRT.  So if you’re up for  losing dozens of businesses, hundreds of employees, up to 1000 residents, acres of green space, and suffering 5-7 years of traffic jams and pollution, go for light rail.  If not, visit the SkyLink website & learn more: https://www.westseattleskylink.org

      • JG April 22, 2022 (4:28 pm)

        Please provide documents from gondola experts regarding what’s possible in West Seattle

  • Mr J April 18, 2022 (6:12 pm)

    The Skylink proponents strike me as West Seattle’s equivalent to Flat Earthers, the more time we dedicate to this ridiculous gondola system the more credibility they’ll get. We didn’t vote for a gondola, stop pushing a feasibility study to draw this out. Bellevue tried to stop light rail too, they failed. I also don’t get this argument about money. It’s not your money, the region voted for this, a cheaper alternative isn’t going yo change how much you’re contributing. There’s no refund check for you.  

    • Napkin? April 18, 2022 (7:38 pm)

      Wow Mr J, what a sizable insult to a lot of people.  Should the no gondola people also be likened to flat earthers?A decent amount of people are filing a lawsuit about this.  Myself included of course.  We’ll see if it gets a real study done. The thing about this city is that if you aren’t with the masses you are likely going to be shouted down and insulted.  Totally intolerant as always. 

      • doug April 18, 2022 (8:58 pm)

        Filing lawsuits because your idea doesn’t work?At least we know that all the blather about saving tax payers money is just blather when you want to gum up the project in courts. Clearly you just want the light rail and progress for the city to be stymied for whatever narrow interest you have. 

      • K April 18, 2022 (9:08 pm)

        But in this case you’re asking “the masses” to pay for a thing you just basically admitted only a minority wants.  So you’re going to sue someone to push a project forward that the masses have no interest in?  And they’re the intolerant ones?

      • StuckInWestSeattle April 19, 2022 (12:24 am)

        Hit a little close to home? Admit it the Gondola is a stupid idea at best and is little more than a tourist gimmick.

  • Pessoa April 18, 2022 (7:09 pm)

    Light rail is a solution?  In ten or so years, after the parades, and speeches by grandstanding politicians, and every beaming man, woman, and child has had their first – and only – joyride, you’ll be stuck with an ugly concrete monstrosity snaking across West Seattle that will do zero to alleviate traffic congestion, and do nothing to increase net access to public transportation.  Access to light rail?  Great if you live within walking distance of a station – and if not, then what?  It’s stunning just how many times this light rail marketing ploy has been used across the country and how it continues to dupe the easily duped.  

    • bill April 18, 2022 (8:52 pm)

      Of course light rail won’t alleviate traffic congestion. Nothing is going to take us back to the open-road days of yore, save a truly lethal pandemic that kills on the scale of the Black Death. Light rail will make traffic congestion lighter than it will be without light rail. This is about making the future less bad.

    • Jort April 18, 2022 (10:16 pm)

      This is simply and transparently untrue. Rail transportation has been successful in cities of many sizes and social structures all around the world; this is not even in question unless you somehow deny that there are other cities beyond Seattle on this planet. It is a proven, reliable technology that serves core transportation needs. No city on planet earth has “solved” traffic congestion and the light rail does not claim to do so, either. It serves as a sustainable and reliable alternative to the personal vehicle. If you are so concerned about a “concrete monstrosity” I encourage you to look at the thousands and thousands of miles of paved roads right in this very city, including the gigantic, multi-billion dollar concrete automobile viaduct that literally displaced thousands of lives and homes and tore an almost irreparable scar down the middle of the city.

      • Marfaun April 20, 2022 (4:09 pm)

        Ah, Jort.  I’m no fan of disrupting lives with freeways either.  Have you visited the SkyLink website?  My guess:  no.  If you had, you’d note that gondolas are the lowest impact, lowest carbon footprint, fastest-build, cheapest grade-separated HCT option for getting through dense development in hilly terrain.   Then again, perhaps you want to lose all those residents, businesses and that green space, and get stuck on your bus in traffic for 5-7 years, so you can ride light rail in 2032 to SODO, where you can transfer to the next bus or train.  

    • James April 19, 2022 (6:31 am)

      Traffic congestion?? Pessoa I think I like your posts the least. No one can solve congestion. Those days are long gone. You’re bringing up straw man items and demanding it’s a bad transit option from there. Gondola will not solve any of those things either and it’s also uglier and slower. 

  • K April 18, 2022 (7:13 pm)

    The gondola proponents never had realistic ideas to begin with so it’s no surprise they are completely unwilling to accept reality when it’s presented to them in a report.  Saying we can get the permitting, DEIS, and infrastructure in for gondola service in less time than it’s taking Metro to upgrade an existing bus line to a RapidRide is laughable to even the most optimistic among us.  How anybody is even still talking about this with a straight face is beyond me.  If they think it’s so amazing, they should be working on a ballot measure to approve and fund it, not spending all of their time polluting message boards with gondola nonsense whenever someone mentions a light rail.  Move on already.

    • SkyLink Supporter April 18, 2022 (10:48 pm)

      Thinking an aerial gondola system is unrealistic if it’s simply not studied is similar to saying people don’t live on the streets if they’re not counted. It’s patently groupthink to believe new modes cannot be formally studied, much less incorporated, in the context of regional transit expansion.

      • Neighbor April 19, 2022 (3:45 pm)

        Just stop.  You’re hurting all of us today and especially hurting future generations.  Light rail works for Seattle, is understood, and is approved by voters.  Even according to proponents the only benefit to Skylink is to save a couple years before the system opens.  After that it is strictly worse than light rail.  So you save 2 years over the period of generations.  We are paying the price of short sighted voters in the 1970s.  Please do not repeat their mistakes.

        • SkyLink Supporter April 19, 2022 (6:21 pm)

          A cursory review of the SkyLink proposal outlines far more benefits than what your comment lists as the only benefit. Sound Transit’s report does too. Supporters like me are not “hurting people” of any generation. In contrast, ALL DEIS proposed light rail alternatives require the demolition of:

          Sodo – USPS, Cannabis City, Franz Bakery Outlet

          Delridge – SkyLark, Ounces, Bartell Drugs HQ building

          Avalon – Pecos Pit BBQ, WS Brewing, Budda Ruksa

          This is in addition to displacing hundreds of WA residents and likely a heron rookery. SkyLink is proposing high capacity transit which avoids all of these demolitions/displacements that actually hurt people.

    • Marfaun April 20, 2022 (4:13 pm)

      If Sound Transit (& RCW and federal statute) hadn’t already vetted gondolas (since 2014) as high capacity transit options for connecting local areas to light rail stations, SkyLink wouldn’t be advocating for gondolas.  And neither would the more than 1400 West Seattle people who have signed SkyLink’s petition for an ACTUAL study, not a rehash of ST’s internal documents by uninformed staffers.  If you look forward to disruption and destruction, let’s go with light rail.  On the other hand, you can visit SkyLink’s website & learn more: https://www.westseattleskylink.org

  • Barton April 18, 2022 (7:36 pm)

    Typical of the City to not just exhibit leadership and say – no we are not going that route (no pun intended) and instead waste a bunch of money to go through some sham process to support what it fully intends to do while at the same time insulting everyone’s intelligence.

    • WSB April 18, 2022 (7:55 pm)

      This isn’t the city, it’s Sound Transit – a separate authority spanning an area of King/Snohomish/Pierce counties – and ST has said it’s “not going that route” – as previously reported, this was ruled out in the planning of ST3. But ST Board member King County Executive Dow Constantine, a West Seattle resident, requested this report. – TR

      • CMT April 19, 2022 (6:30 am)

        Yes – I should have said “local leadership.”  Ridiculous and typical waste to try to appear as if things are being considered when they are not. Trying to please everyone and pleasing no one. And I am not urging a gondola.

  • Lyn April 18, 2022 (7:42 pm)

    I gotta be honest these gondola people really crack me up. Like who are they? Who actually wants a gondola as a viable commuter option? Do they actually live in WS? What about when they wanted one that connected to Pikes Place instead of the parking garage that they were planning to build, same group? I feel like it’s just a legion of gnomes that is perpetuating this idea just for the sheer anarchy of it-

    • Yes to SkyLink April 18, 2022 (10:19 pm)

      You believe in gnomes, but not in gondola technology? ;)

  • Meeeee April 18, 2022 (7:47 pm)

    Just stop with the gondola nonsense.Fund it yourselves if it’s such a great no-brainer idea. 

  • Kram April 18, 2022 (8:01 pm)

    I understood ST’s approach to their feasibility to be legally cautious. Voters voted for a train, not a gondola regardless of budget. A gondola would be wrapped up in courts forever. Wouldn’t it be more productive to try and bring this to a vote and raise the funds for it separately? If it’s so cheap, fast and easy why not sidestep ST altogether. ST will never consider this and open letters are just a waste of everyone’s time.  I actually agree it has potential to be something impactful I just don’t agree with “we don’t want a train anymore; we want this other thing instead” mind set. ST is building a train system. If you want a gondola, get enough people to agree with you and pitch it separately.

    • Al April 18, 2022 (9:13 pm)

      Absolutely. I wouldn’t mind a gondola option separately, additionally. Put it to a vote and see. But the train has already been voted on, don’t try to un-vote our trains for another 20 year delay, like last time. 

    • SkyLink Supporter April 18, 2022 (10:42 pm)

      Sound Transit should rebrand itself as Sound Trains if it isn’t open to a multimodal network.

      • K April 19, 2022 (6:25 am)

        Sound Transit IS a multimodal network.  They already have bus lines and a commuter train in addition to the light rail.  When you don’t even know the basics of our existing regional transit options, you should not be surprised that no one trusts your “expertise” on a new one.

        • SkyLink Supporter April 19, 2022 (8:33 am)

          I’m well aware Sound Transit runs buses and commuter trains (heck, I ride their buses sometimes), but I’m still appreciative of you talking down to me and my “expertise.” Thank you ever so much!

          Sound Transit is actively trying to replace many of its bus lines with light rail. The 550 will be eliminated next year. Looking at the long-term vision, it’s clear Sound Transit’s primary future interest is in light rail, at the expense of financial sense, green space, homes and businesses. While light rail makes sense for the spine, it can be more destructive than helpful in other areas. The square peg goes into a round hole for ST, instead of shaping the peg to meet the hole (ie supporting a variety of modes).

          • Not JORT April 19, 2022 (9:21 am)

            Hey Skyline Supporter, how many people taking your gondola would have to take another form of transit on the downtown side?   With Link, I would need to take a bus to the Avalon area, then the Linkity-link all the way to work.   With your gondola I would need to take another bus, or Link when I got downtown.   You have just made my commute longer, not shorter.   

      • Ollie's mom April 19, 2022 (7:45 am)

        Sound Transit also has buses

      • Ballardite April 19, 2022 (8:05 am)


    • Marfaun April 20, 2022 (4:15 pm)

      Voters voted for transportation (bus, BRT, bike, parking structures, trains, housing) in ST3 in 2016, and the promise, not the plan for a West Seattle train — at $1.7 billion delivered by 2030.  It’s now $3.2 billion delivered by maybe 2032.  That’s not what we voted for.

  • Eric April 18, 2022 (8:16 pm)

    Gondola people, meet Fear of Heights people.

    It’s over. Move on.

    • SkyLink Supporter April 18, 2022 (10:41 pm)

      The proposed guideway up Genesee is also pretty tall and destroys homes and green space.

  • StopCuttingDownTrees April 18, 2022 (8:16 pm)

    No one hates Sound Transit more than me, but this ridiculous gondola scheme makes ST3 look almost reasonable in comparison.

  • JJ April 18, 2022 (8:53 pm)

    How is a gondola any more effective than the water taxi?

    • jradz April 19, 2022 (11:41 am)

      1. You wouldn’t have to find parking near the beach.2. Less expensive user fees (Fuel vs electric costs and lower maintenance costs = less fees)3. Less polution emited into the sound4. More consistant schedule through the winter months5. You could easily run this directly to a bus hub rather than having to walk 5 blocks from the ferry terminal.

      • Neighbor April 19, 2022 (3:50 pm)

        Once again gondola supporters betray their complete lack of understanding.  There have been bus stops within a block of the ferry terminal for years now.  Clearly you don’t use the transit system.

        • jradz April 19, 2022 (4:45 pm)

          You caught me! I work from home, dawg… do you wanna debate any of my even more relevant points, or just stick to the convenience aspect? 

    • Yes to SkyLink April 20, 2022 (7:46 am)

      The water taxi is a great option for some at certain times, but the gondola would serve more, at a more continuous level, with faster loading, a smoother ride, and would connect to the link line, which the water taxi does not. 

  • Nuttier Than A Squirrel April 18, 2022 (8:59 pm)

    The Gondolans are out of their frigging minds.  Did you see the part where gondolas would have to load up and depart every 10 seconds in order to make it a feasible mode of mass transportation?  Absolute straight-from-the-jar woo woo cult business right here.

    • Yes to SkyLink April 18, 2022 (10:35 pm)

      ‘Absolute straight-from-the-jar woo woo cult business right here.’



      Many revolutionary new ideas were at first called crazy, you know.


      • Neighbor April 19, 2022 (3:52 pm)

        Yes, some good ideas were once called crazy.  But not every crazy idea turned out to be good.

        • Yes to SkyLink April 19, 2022 (9:30 pm)

          That may be true, but this isn’t one of those.

    • jradz April 19, 2022 (11:44 am)

      Have you ever been to Crystal? Whistler? ANYWHERE with a gondola? people seem to be able to load, carrying ski/snowboard gear, just fine. The best part… if you miss one gon… there’s another in 10 secs… Not 34 minutes till the next bus or train! 

      • Neighbor April 19, 2022 (3:55 pm)

        How many people do those ski lifts move in a day?  Light rail currently runs a train every 10 minutes.  They don’t get stuck in traffic so they tend to run on time.  Have you seen people board buses and trains?  There’s no way you’re getting members of the general public to fill gondolas every 10 seconds. That’s so insane I can’t even believe you are arguing in good faith.  The gondola is clearly a troll and it’s costing taxpayers money.

        • jradz April 19, 2022 (4:49 pm)

          NOT FROM WEST SEATTLE! AND THEY WON’T UNTIL 2034!!!! We don’t need EVERYONE to use the Gon, just those that it would benefit. As a Kraken ticket season ticket holder, it’s hard AF to get to the rink by anything but a BUS because you can’t take the water taxi back home! Why the opposition to another option to reduce congestion on the west side? No one is saying ONLY gondolas… we’re saying ALL POSSIBLE OPTIONS TO OFFSET THE POPULATION BOOM WS IS SET TO EXPERIENCE BETWEEN NOW AND 2034!

          • 935 April 20, 2022 (4:35 am)

            Kraken ST holder here – I have had zero trouble getting to and from the arena using existing methods.

          • JG April 22, 2022 (4:34 pm)

            Sound Transit is building light rail. Please do try and convince SDOT or someone else to build you a Gondola in the meantime.

        • Martin April 19, 2022 (8:56 pm)

          This one carries 4500 skiers per hour with boots and skies: Austrian Ski Resort Build’s World’s Highest Capacity Gondola | First Tracks!! Online Ski Magazine (firsttracksonline.com)Just imagine if they wouldn’t have to worry about all their gear… every 8 sec a cabin leaves, but there are 5 cabins in the station at the same time, meaning people really have 40 sec to get off and on.    

  • Al April 18, 2022 (9:10 pm)

    We have already proven that the best way to never get transit is to keep approving and then cancelling it. The only question is how many more times we will cancel it. .It seems clear this gondola stuff is nothing more than the latest attempt to cancel transit development. Nobody seriously believes we’re going to take ski lifts to work downtown. 

  • Yes to SkyLink April 18, 2022 (9:35 pm)

    Still hoping that a proper feasability study will be commissioned. Sounds quite affordable when you consider the potential up-front and longer term operation costs savings, along with the numerous other benefits.

    It’s really too bad some here feel so negatively about this even being talked about, let alone properly studied, when some neighbors have shared in a vision of this truly being worthwhile and possibly better for WS!

    Seems like it should be possible to hold disagreements without insulting and completely discounting others ideas.

    • Jon Wright April 18, 2022 (10:03 pm)

      The time for “proper feasibility studies” was 8 years ago when ST3 was getting scoped out. We picked rail; time to accept that and work to make rail the best it can be. Anything else is a distraction that is going to delay getting transit delivered to West Seattle.

      • SkyLink Supporter April 18, 2022 (10:37 pm)

        The vote was for an idea, given that Sound Transit didn’t start planning until years after the vote. That means people voted for a concept, not a plan. This is the time to scope things out regardless of how patronizing comments like the above may be.

        • Peter April 19, 2022 (12:13 am)

          Skylink, that statement is entirely false. The ST3 ballot measure specifically authorized funding and building light rail. It was not the open ended vague “idea” that you claim it was. 

          • SkyLink Supporter April 19, 2022 (8:42 am)

            Peter, section two of ST3 authorizes the board to change mode if a project becomes too expensive or impossible to build. Light rail to WS sounds great as an idea, but becomes difficult to defend in practice (massive cost overruns, displacement of homes, businesses, and green space).  Sound Transit’s “plan” for light rail to First Hill is a good comparison. Turns out it was an idea, as they decided to serve First Hill with a streetcar instead. Given these conditions, what was authorized becomes more of an idea for transit funding with a primary mode of light rail, and less of a plan to serve all ST3 extension areas with that mode no matter the cost. Hope that helps explain my perspective, as I’m certainly not intending to put anything “entirely false” out there.

        • Bronson April 21, 2022 (7:47 am)

          Once again Skyline Supporter, we get the false equivalent of the First Hill Streetcar. The light rail to First Hill was canceled and the alternative was required to be put to a vote in ST2. Like the lack of authorization for a gondola in ST3, there was no authorization that allowed ST to utilize previously approved funds for something outside of the plan approved by voters. This has been clearly stated as the primary reason for lack of support by ST for the gondola as part of the ST3 plan. An alteration to that plan incorporating previously unapproved modes would require voter approval. I also want to point out that I cannot find any Section 2 in ST3 that makes the references to changing modes. Happy to review if you have a link, but all the historical documents on the website that I have been able to find have no such authority. 

      • Yes to SkyLink April 20, 2022 (7:57 am)

        Holding a position/conclusion that once a decision had been made, you never change course, after receiving additional info and numerous good reason to, seems like faulty reasoning.

    • Jort April 18, 2022 (10:11 pm)

      OK, I also want a “proper feasibility study” for my “proposal” to have individual helicopters fly everybody to and from West Seattle. I will sue if Sound Transit doesn’t do my study. This is a joke, of course, but so is the gondola. Just because you are a big fan of it doesn’t force Sound Transit, under any circumstances, to do a “proper feasibility study.” This “feasibility study” nonsense is just pretext to the Skylink anti-light rail advocacy organization’s eventual lawsuit attempt to slow down the constructions and add delays as much as possible. I really wish the Skylink boosters would be more honest about their intentions, because it’s transparently clear to just about everybody else.

      • Yes to SkyLink April 18, 2022 (10:47 pm)

        Okay then Jort, please put together a thoughtful, informative, sound, proposal which outlines the many potential benefits of your suggested technology, put together presentations showing examples of like technology being used successfully in other major cities around the world, attract many supporters and interested city leaders, and then maybe we can discuss the possibility of a feasability study from there.

        • notJORT April 19, 2022 (9:29 am)

          you mean like the drivel that the Skyline folks have created?

    • JG April 22, 2022 (4:35 pm)

      There are tons of operations costs, when you consider ST is not a Gondola-operating business. They would have to hire whole new crews to run and maintain the thing. That’s a lot of extra cost

  • Joe Z April 18, 2022 (9:50 pm)

    The gondola is better suited for a lower capacity route such as from the Junction to Alki. If they are willing to run a gondola over those of us who live in North Delridge and Avalon, then they should be willing to run it directly over Schmitz Preserve Park and the expensive houses on the ridge, right???

    • Yes to SkyLink April 18, 2022 (10:55 pm)

      Light rail will have an elevated view in places as well, and you all act as if creepy drones don’t exist, or that busses don’t drive loads of riders past homes and yards and apartment windows every day. No one really cares about what you’re doing in your yard (yawn), most riders will be more interested in their phones, or the expansive view, or bird watching.

      • James April 18, 2022 (11:48 pm)

        No to Skylink. Absurd clown show of an idea.

  • Aaron April 18, 2022 (10:44 pm)

    The gondola circus needs to pack it up and go home. Their sideshow is a transparent distraction meant to tie up a real mass transit solution in endless red tape. We’re already decades past the point where we should have had a light rail line to West Seattle. They want to extend it for decades more!    

  • ProbablyYourNeighbor April 18, 2022 (11:26 pm)

    As someone with a civil engineering background, when this idea was first floated it seemed far fetched, but I put the time in to read the website, the comments gondola folks have left here, and the resources that both pointed to. After doing the research, as an alternative to the capacity that light rail offers and without getting into what people voted for and all the legal whatnot, it’s pretty clear that the gondola concept has an extremely light grasp on reality.

    What I’m not sure gondola folks understand is how deeply frustrating it is to have made it this far- mass transit on this scale is something that should’ve happened 30 years ago, and the progress we have now has been hard-won, only to have a small group want to go back to square one for a highly questionable idea. If it feels like you’re getting shouted down, it’s because you’ve repeatedly presented the same information to the same audience, and nearly everyone in that audience has decided they aren’t buying what’s on offer. Which is to say- the conversations on this website (thanks WSB, as always!) and the feasibility study are ample evidence that you’ve had your voices and message heard. And yeah, given the binary choice between light rail and gondola, having done the research, I am going to completely discount the gondola because it turns out that’s what it merits.

    By all means continue to use your voices to advocate for what you think is the best solution, but I sincerely hope the ST feasibility report will be the last taxpayer money spent on the gondola idea.  For my part, I’ll take every opportunity to let ST that light rail is what I voted for, what I’m paying taxes for, and what I expect to be built.

    • Interested in details April 19, 2022 (7:19 am)

      Rather than a vague appeal to civil engineering expertise, would you mind offering details about how a civil engineering perspective finds flaws in the feasibility of the gondola proposal? You tease us with “not getting into what people voted for and all the legal whatnot” but then followed only with discussion of what people voted for and all the legal whatnot. Is this verbal slight of hand or do you actually have information you can share with your civil engineering background that can inform this discussion? If your desire is to end the discussion, you might find that thoughtful insights drawn from a civil engineering background would be more effective than appeals to legislative dogmatism. And to those who think Skylink supporters are just obstructionists… If they’ve lived here long enough they know that it isn’t necessary to take action to impede the progress of light rail, especially to West Seattle. The chances of ST bringing light rail to West Seattle by 2040 and for less than 6B are still less than 50/50. When the region experiences successive years of population decline it will inevitably lead to political opportunity for those targeting growth-oriented projects for cost reductions in a region that is no longer growing, as it always has before, whether those savings are realizable or not. West Seattle residents WILL be left disconnected if they don’t get connected quickly before the shift in the prevailing economic and demographic realities becomes obvious enough to move voters.

      • Rail Supporter April 19, 2022 (8:47 am)

        Light rail is something you force into a budget. We need a greener planet yesterday. Car-centric city is a thing of the past. We need to move to bikes and trains if we want to be a serious city. Stop stalling with this Disneyland ride glorified ski lift. It’s frustrating voters like me. 

        • Yes to SkyLink April 19, 2022 (12:20 pm)

          A gondola system would be a greener choice, in building and operation, and could be up and running likely years sooner.

          • K April 19, 2022 (5:21 pm)

            A gondola would not be expandable, forcing those outside of the immediate service area to continue to use cars, buses, and other fossil-fuel-burning modes of transportation generations into the future.  People in poor neighborhoods deserve clean, rapid transit, too.  So do those with disabilities (who definitely can NOT board in a matter of seconds).  Reality doesn’t stop existing just because you’re excited about your idea.

          • Yes to SkyLink April 20, 2022 (8:07 am)

            @K, sorry but your information here is not correct. A gondola system would be much easier and more realistic to expand offering additional lines and sooner, then light rail would be. Also, there is a link to a video in another’s comment which shows riders in wheelchairs loading onto an urban gondola And being secured, with impressive quickness, in a matter of seconds.

        • Pessoa April 20, 2022 (4:28 pm)

          Rail Supporter: Let us know how that environmental thing works out after you’re torn up a good portion of West Seattle, hauled in thousands of tons of concrete, and other materials to errect an ugly edifice that, in the end, will not even move the needle on public transportation.  

          • JG April 22, 2022 (4:36 pm)

            You don’t think trains move the needle on public transit? Seriously? I can’t even…

      • ProbablyYourNeighbor April 19, 2022 (12:18 pm)

        You seem to have read your own meaning out of what I said, which is fine. The two points you focus on- the functional feasibility of a gondola, isolated from all the legal whatnot, and then the legal whatnot, I thought were given adequate contextual separation with one in the first paragraph and the latter barely mentioned in the last paragraph. No sleight of hand intended.

        You will no doubt find this explanation inadequate as it falls short of a professional biography and gratis technical analysis of the gondola concept, but this is the comment section of a neighborhood blog and if people are unwilling to trust engineers that specialize in the subject matter, well it just isn’t my burden to bear. My experience is in the construction of civil works projects, with plenty of insight into, in simplest terms, how solutions are selected to address project needs. Functionally, the most glaring problem with the gondola concept is that it doesn’t exist as the skylink website would lead people to believe it does. It was quite frankly startling to find that many of the numbers quoted on the skylink website are simply pulled from the first search results for capacity, speed etc. Those cherrypicked numbers are then thrown together to create the illusion of a gondola concept that is competitive with light rail, but there isn’t a gondola system in the world that possesses all of the claimed attributes. That means that the proposed gondola concept wouldn’t just be state of the art, it would have to be wildly beyond state of the art. Going back to the engineering experience, sometimes ground-up or highly unique solutions are the right answer, but they rarely are because of the time, research, and resultant cost to meet project requirements. Could the gondola concept as described by skylink eventually be made real? There’s little we can’t accomplish given resources and time, but maybe we’re better off not squandering either when a better solution already exists.

        There are plenty of issues with the gondola concept beyond just designing and building the thing, probably the most relevant being that the capacity (ie how many people the system moves over a period of time) of the best gondola systems in the world barely matches articulated bus systems, and is a fraction of real-world capacity of in-service light rail systems.

        As I said earlier, the gondola concept deserves to be discounted on merit alone. 

        • SkyLink Supporter April 19, 2022 (2:32 pm)

          ProbablyYourNeighbor, although I disagree with your assessment about merits, I appreciate that your comments are respectful and exhibit critical thinking that is sorely missing from many of the comments written by other detractors. And we can agree the comment section of a neighborhood blog isn’t the best place to litigate!

          I’m not sure if you were speaking of your own background, as I don’t know it beyond what you’ve written above, but I can say that Sound Transit’s engineers do not specialize in aerial rapid transit. I would absolutely trust independent experts, and if they said it wouldn’t work, then I’d take my loss here. An independent study would accurately tell the public what could exist in terms of capacity, speed, and the like. I think all of us commenting here would have more coherent analysis if all the facts were presented to the public by those in the know. Otherwise, we are reliant on data from gondola systems installed elsewhere in the world over the last decade. Even ST didn’t check out systems that have gone up and running since 2014, which is why I discount the results of their report. In any case, I don’t believe the merits can be discounted without more detailed analysis from independent experts.

    • Km April 19, 2022 (11:20 am)

      Probably the best gondola comment to date. Absolutely spot on.

  • Peter April 18, 2022 (11:29 pm)

    If Skyline thinks a full engineering study of a gondola is needed, why don’t they just do it themselves instead of continuing to demand more work and resources at taxpayer expense?

    • JG April 22, 2022 (4:37 pm)


  • Zark00 April 18, 2022 (11:57 pm)

    Pretty amusing that all the anti-gondola commenters clearly know nothing about the technology and think it’s the same as the old Disneyland ride. One guy thought cars every 10 seconds is impossible lol! Google ‘gondola transit’ and read for 5 minutes. Might stop you from further embarrassing yourselves. Cheaper, greener, more efficient, transit that is uniquely well suited to a situation like West Seattle. 

    • Rail Supporter April 19, 2022 (8:48 am)

      It’s embarrassing you think “every 10 seconds” is real when the LA Gondola people even admitted to that being wrong. 

      • SkyLink Supporter April 19, 2022 (6:06 pm)

        Do you have evidence to support your assertion about the LA Aerial Rapid Transit group? Otherwise, it seems like a tu quoque comment.

  • Pro Rail April 19, 2022 (12:01 am)

    All the gondola people have clearly never ridden a gondola meant to move lots of people. They’re an accessibility nightmare. In order for the idea to work the gondola system would have to run continuously, but what happens to people carrying lots of bags, or unable to walk fast due to a disability. You can’t keep stopping the gondola, but you also can’t forget that these people also deserve to have access to public transportation. Also as a person with a fear of heights, hanging off a wire in a giant box is the absolute last thing I want to experience. They sway enough without any wind as is. 

    • Yes to SkyLink April 19, 2022 (7:22 am)

      They don’t seem to be an accessibility nightmare in other cities that have had success with gondola lines.

      You’ve given examples of exceptions, which might delay things for some seconds. There would be operating staff to help keep things moving along as needed.

      And fellow passengers would likely help each other when the occasion calls for it.

      Also, consider if we hadn’t moved forward with escalator or elevator technology because of similar concerns, because someone might delay their continuous stream of usage for some seconds or a minute?

      • notJORT April 19, 2022 (9:37 am)

        Have you gone to one of these “other cities” and personally timed the gondola departures.    Every 10 seconds you say.   And what is the tolerance for stopping the ride to let a wheelchair on the gondola?   Go get some real data

        • Yes to SkyLink April 19, 2022 (11:20 am)

          No I haven’t ‘personally’ gone to and timed all the existing gondola departures, but that’s really not necessary, since others have, and the data exists, and seems credible. You can do some research yourself if you have questions or doubts about the info being shared. And a proper feasability study would help clarify many of the questions and concerns being asked.

          And, I have personally been on one urban gondola system, the London Eye, and it was great. Easy, smooth, safe feeling ride, with an awesome view.  There were others in the same cabin and it felt similar to riding with people on a bus, didn’t feel any different or unsafe to me, as I know others have expressed concerns about.

          Have also seen the Portland aerial tram in action but haven’t been on it.Also researched and watched numerous videos of existing gondolas before fully supporting SkyLink.

          • Yes to SkyLink April 19, 2022 (12:07 pm)

            Sorry, meant to say the London Thames cable car, London Eye is another thing.

        • jradz April 19, 2022 (11:31 am)

          What’s the tolerance for pulling a bus over, lowering it, strapping someone down, bringing the ramp back in, and raising the bus before proceeding? Rolling or walking up a small ramp certainly beats trying to get a wheelchair on a lowered bus or elevated train platform. You’re over here crying alligator tears for the handicapped, but  we have a chance to improve access to transit for the disabled and you want to stop it in it’s tracks? Awesome… Think, THEN speak.

        • Yes to SkyLink April 19, 2022 (11:33 am)

          Oops, comment published while still editing. Was also going to add that, regarding wheelchairs and other potential slow-downs, it would actually be easier and faster to roll onto a gondola car straight from the platform, with a wheelchair, bike, stroller, or with luggage, than it would be on a bus, or light rail. I can say this confidently, having a fair amount of experience riding these other modes, and from watching videos of other urban gondola systems.

    • Yes to SkyLink April 19, 2022 (7:56 am)

      Give this a watch, shows some examples of loading, and operation.


      Also keep in mind, urban gondola technology is evolving, so a WS gondola system would have more modern and improved technology and design, over earlier built systems.

      • None April 19, 2022 (10:01 am)

        I’m not an engineer but have used many times the gondolas mentioned in the video. The mountains in Medellin are pretty steep and also very high. The same for the ones in La Paz. I’ve lived in West Seattle for more than 10 years and we don’t have the same level of mountains. Medellin and La Paz have actual mountains surrounding the metropolitan area; in West Seattle we have hills that are actually walkable. Regardless of the technology, I don’t think that WS has the geography for this project. This comment comes from a person with a house that will be turned down when the expansion of the light rail happens.

        • Yes to SkyLink April 19, 2022 (12:00 pm)

          Thanks for sharing your experience and input, and respectfully so. Gondola systems certainly have their benefits for hilly terrain, and specifically for WS, actually addresses some challenges light rail has. Steep terrain isn’t a requirement though for gondola technology, that I’m aware.

          Another benefit to consider, it would be much easier to extend the network and add future lines, as gondola cars can run over most any  terrain, and with lesser impacts and losses to the surrounding neighborhoods. What are your thoughts about this?

          Also, we may take a moment to consider how the soundscape of WS will forever change. Light rail will bring quite a bit of new sound pollution to the area, especially for neighbors, and wildlife, along the route. A gondola system could be significantly quieter. How do people feel about this?

        • zark00 April 20, 2022 (3:29 pm)

          West Seattle topography is ideal for a gondola. Between the elevation changes and waterways that have to be traversed, it’s a perfect example of an area that would be very well served by a gondola. 

    • Joyce April 19, 2022 (10:22 am)

      Dear Pro Rail,Well, it’s obvious you’ve never ridden an urban gondola or even watched one of the many videos about them.  I’ve been on the one in Medellin.  It was easy to board, comfortable and enjoyable to ride (and I have a slight fear of heights), and took me quickly to a light rail platform that would otherwise have required 60 or more minutes to access by foot, bike, bus, or car.  As for how it works for people with disabilities, watch this:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaE7a7vFdS0&t=5s

  • Joyce April 19, 2022 (7:27 am)

    I support light rail as the main component of the regional transit system Sound Transit is developing.  However, after spending a lot of time digesting the information in the DEIS, I believe
    it is not the appropriate way to connect West Seattle to the light rail network.  The incredible construction challenges and
    the severe, adverse impacts it will have on residents, businesses, and the
    environment do not justify connecting three (now possibly two) stations in the
    far north of the peninsula to the SODO light rail station– TEN years from
    now.  As of 2019 the project is 73% over
    what voters authorized in ST3 and will probably cost 2 to 3 times as much by the time
    it is built. 

    Sound Transit projected 13,000 riders from West Seattle in 2040 based on pre pandemic bus ridership out of West Seattle and growth estimates.  Recently they said they’re not sure about the demand following the pandemic.   There may be faster, cheaper ways to move riders to SODO — like buses or a gondola. I have read everything on the
    SkyLink website and done my own research on urban gondolas and think it is a
    viable option.
      If Sound Transit can give
    $4.2 million to an outside firm to look for cost saving ideas, why won’t they
    spend $200,000 for an outside expert to study a gondola

     All light rail to date, including the construction of the East Link line and the Lynnwood extension, was
    funded by the taxes created in the Sound Move and ST2 measures.  West
    Seattle is the first project to be financed by  ST3. When it was on the
    ballot in 2016, the Seattle Times recommended a NO vote because ST3 would “provide little direct benefit. . .and
    voters would lose the
    opportunity to periodically say whether its funding should continue or its
    course corrected.”
       THEY WERE RIGHT ON!   https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/editorials/the-times-recommends-reject-sound-transit-3-and-demand-a-better-plan/

  • Rail Supporter April 19, 2022 (8:44 am)

    Light rail is the only way. Shut down this Gondola nonsense. We’ve all had enough. Stop stalling something that already takes so long. Fund your own Disneyland ride.  There’s a reason that car-centric LA can’t even get their short Gondola project to grow legs. No one likes it as a viable transit option! Period!

    • Pessoa April 19, 2022 (9:33 am)

      Intra-city light rail rail is a failed experiment in every city where it has been peddled.  It is has proven to be be a failure in Los Angeles and other cities – I know, I’ve lived in a few of those cities.  Get out of your dreamy Seattle bubble a little more often.  

      • Jort April 19, 2022 (3:42 pm)

        You continue to say this and it is simply an outright lie, just full-stop.  Los Angeles is not the only city on the planet, and their system continues to be built out. If you are judging rail’s success, as you mentioned earlier, on whether or not it “relieves congestion,” keep in mind that no agency is stupid enough to make that kind of claim, because literally nothing in human history has ever “solved” automobile congestion, certainly not rail. There are literally hundreds of examples of successful intra- and inter-city rail projects across the planet, this is without question or argument, full stop. It is absolutely wild to accuse others of being in a “dreamy Seattle bubble” when you continue to tell blatantly false untruths that are irrefutably wrong with hundreds of examples available, globally.

        • zark00 April 20, 2022 (3:41 pm)

          Jort you’re very vocal about the admirable goal of moving us from car-centric to public transit-centric. Why are you so anti-gondola when it would obviously be a huge step toward that goal?  Is it the ‘this is just like the Disney ride’ mentality? Or is it that you believe that it’s gondola OR light-rail and never could be both?  The total cost of a gondola would be about what the cost overruns for the light-rail already are. By the time we start building a train, the gondola could be up and running, removing cars from the road, leading to lower car ownership, and promoting mass transit. Connecting West Seattle ASAP to the light rail system, with a gondola, paving the way for the future WSea LR seems like it’s completely in line with your ideal about how transit should work around here. I truly do not understand why you are pro-mass transit and anti-mass transit at the same time. 

      • JG April 22, 2022 (4:40 pm)

        We literally have light rail in Seattle. Are you saying our rail system is a failed experiment? Like, really??

  • marcus April 19, 2022 (8:56 am)

    drizzle drazzle druzzle drone — time for this project to just go home.

  • Nicki April 19, 2022 (9:27 am)

    Each and every time Skylink people put out something, I have failed to see one thing that eases my mind – what happens when there’s an emergency in one of the cabs/cars/whatever you want to call them and it’s stuck over the Duwamish Waterway? Especially if one is on fire. Do the people just jump out and oh well they were a sacrifice to the Gondola Gods? At least with light rail, you have another track beside the one you’re on and can walk on that one to safety. So until you can honestly tell me what your plan is there, I’m sticking with what I know and that’s light rail.

    • jradz April 19, 2022 (11:22 am)

      Ah, yes! Spontaneous gondola fires… the REAL silent killer! Are you serious!?! This would be the icing on the cake for ANYONE in West Seattle. Clean, quick, efficient, and COST EFFECTIVE! 

      • Nicki April 19, 2022 (8:24 pm)

        Actually yes I am serious. Safety is something I am concerned about. I’m sorry you don’t place as high of a priority on it as I do. I see all you care about is it being clean energy, fast, efficient and cost effective…… Which, great….. Good to care about them….. But don’t sacrifice safety for all of those either.

        • Yes to SkyLink April 20, 2022 (8:34 am)

          @Nicki, understand you are concerned about safety. Gondola systems are considered one of the safest transportation modes available. There would be safety and emergency planning and protocols in place, and hopefully more specifics regarding safety could be shared in a feasability study. Understandable to be nervous and have questions about a new transit technology, but keep in mind, there are unique safety risks with all transportation modes that we currently utilize, from walking, biking, driving, busing, railing, flying… and this would have it’s own too. 

          • Nicki April 20, 2022 (10:59 am)

            Yes and there have been examples given for all of those. I haven’t seen any examples given as of yet for Skylink or any gondola system.

    • zark00 April 20, 2022 (3:55 pm)

      If the cable snaps, it would be catastrophic. Same as a derailment, only difference being it’s statistically less likely than a derailment. Since gondolas are separate cabins, there is no chain reaction like a train accident. Yes, it would suck for the people in the 3-4 cabins that would fall if the cable snapped. But it’s not like the whole thing goes down, unlike a train derailment. The cable locks at each tower to keep the rest of the system from falling. Catastrophic failure on light rail would likely be much worse than on a gondola in terms of loss of life – elevated light rail far far worse. Every cabin has fire suppression, and they don’t have any fuel or motors or anything to catch fire in the first place. It’s effectively a non-issue. 

  • Friend O'Dinghus April 19, 2022 (9:27 am)

    Everyone in West Seattle needs to submit their comments before the deadline. I know I am.

  • I Voted Too Many Times April 19, 2022 (9:37 am)

    Anyone care to remember how many times We voted for/against the Monorail? It would be done and running by now. Just saying …

    • Joyce April 19, 2022 (10:02 am)

      Are you making the point that public agencies will do what they want despite voter approval?  

  • Marie April 19, 2022 (11:18 am)

    Whether you love the idea of a gondola or hate it, this was not a feasibility study. It was a hastily dashed off report done by a Sound Transit staffer to fulfill a politician’s campaign promise. A proper study would be done the way the city of Kirkland did their NW 85th Station Plan. They hired a transportation engineering firm, Fehr Peers, to do the plan. Fehr Peers, in turn, brought in SCJ Alliance, experts in gondola technology, to see if it made sense to integrate gondolas into their plans. You can see their proposed plan here, which includes the possibility of three gondola stations. This is the work of transportation engineers, not “staffers.” https://www.kirklandwa.gov/files/sharedassets/public/planning-amp-building/station-area-materials/station-area-plan_transportation-comm-slides9-22-2021.pdfIn our case, the engineering firm for Sound Transit is HNTB Corporation. They are under a $90+ million contract with Sound Transit for planning. They should be the ones doing a feasibility study to see how, or even if, gondolas can be integrated into the transportation plan for West Seattle. There is plenty of money available to conduct not just this study, but others that would support a robust multi-modal system. Sound Transit awarded them an additional $4.2 million in August of last year, for this purpose: “This contract modification would support the upcoming efforts to identify capital cost estimate reductions and would include a review of project design and construction efficiencies as well as potential major project definition changes for Board consideration.” You can read the text of the contract modification here: https://www.soundtransit.org/st_sharepoint/download/sites/PRDA/ActiveDocuments/Motion%20M2021-43.pdfA gondola study would easily come under this heading. Judging from the comments here, this may all be a moot point – it appears that the train has left the station, so to speak. But taxpayers would probably like to know how that $4.2 million is being spent.

  • My two cents April 19, 2022 (12:21 pm)

    I commute into and out of WS daily. I imagine there are quite a few people who do the same, from everywhere around the Sound.  How is a gondola supposed to help any of us?  Its a cockamamie, stupid idea that will cost more than it should, most likely be dangerous, and will be forgotten about once everyone realizes they can move quicker on a train or by car. 

    • SkyLink Supporter April 19, 2022 (1:45 pm)

      “Most likely dangerous!”

      Trams, Cable Cars, Electric Ferries: How Cities Are Rethinking Transit – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

      In all seriousness, if one thing is clear about this proposal and process, it is not forgettable. An aerial gondola system would help connect the peninsula to the light rail spine this decade and provide an emission free way on and off the peninsula.

    • jradz April 19, 2022 (4:56 pm)

      You’re missing the point here. You’re reverse commute is NOTHING compared to what we deal with currently. This is not about YOU getting TO the west side, this about US west side residents being able to get OUT of it, when necessary.

  • Keenan April 19, 2022 (12:52 pm)

    A gondola is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard of.  It’s embarrassing this study was released and a shame the person who suggested it wasn’t slapped in the face and laughed out of the room. Also, what the hell is wrong with this city?  We already voted in favor of ST3, which specifically planned for trains to West Seattle and a new station in the Junction.  Why revisit the issue?  It’s OVER.  Just BUILD IT ALREADY.  This constant voting and re-voting is what killed the monorail expansion when it was voted down on the fifth vote after being approved four times.  What a mockery of Democracy.  The people have already had their say, so everyone should just STFU and build the damn thing as fast as possible. 

  • Rico April 19, 2022 (12:55 pm)

    ST budget for the train “light rail” is $350,000 per West Seattle household.   The budget is $12B   Given Sound Transit performance history, the total cost will be substantially higher, maybe even double the estimated cost.  In addition, the rail will displace 100s of homes.  Given projected growth, we should be asking if the train is even necessary, and we should be asking for for better solutions.    Seeing ST conisder another option is difficult though.   Upton Sinclair:“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”The ST budget will make rich men out of many people.  

  • Mj April 19, 2022 (1:17 pm)

    Study study study, enough already.  This costs both money and time.  It’s time to get focused on light rail routes, stations and tunnel versus aerial and make a decision and start construction.  

  • Scubafrog April 19, 2022 (1:48 pm)

    I don’t see a vote nor massive-funding for gondola, light rail has both.  Now, if local businesses and citizen groups really pushed for gondola, I’d be of different opinion.  But they aren’t, as far as I know. As is, it just kind of appears as a non-essential tourist attraction.  Light rail’s on it’s way, it’s going to take patience.  The bridge is soon to open, which is really going to ease traffic, and traffic tensions in WS.

    • SkyLink Supporter April 19, 2022 (2:38 pm)

      Locals are pushing for an aerial gondola system! SkyLink’s petition exceeds 1400 signatures. If tourists took it, great, but its primary purpose would be to provide emission free, grade separated transit from the peninsula to the light rail spine with haste.

      • K April 19, 2022 (5:33 pm)

        1400 people is 1.7% of West Seattleites.  If you’re into facts and stuff, you could at least admit that this is not at all a popular idea (which is likely why SkyLink proponents are calling for every action BUT a vote on it).  They’re literally talking about suing to force 98.3% of their neighbors into paying for their own pet project in lieu of the actual project that was voted on and approved by a majority of people in the region.  In fact, if you want to compare the number of SkyLink supporters to the whole region, your support goes down to .003%, so that’s asking 99.997% of your neighbors to fund your pet project in lieu of the one they voted on.

        • SkyLink Supporter April 19, 2022 (7:42 pm)

          As opposed to the 98.3% of West Seattleites who’ve signed a petition opposing an aerial gondola system? And the 99.997% of residents in ST’s jurisdiction who’ve done so as well?

          In all seriousness, volunteers getting over one thousand people to sign a petition is no small feat. To combat some of the misinformation in the above comment, I’d like to point out that a vote would have to be sent to the ballot by Sound Transit, and it would make no sense to hold a vote on something that hasn’t been properly studied. Which is why you don’t hear supporters calling for a vote right now. It’s not a “pet project,” and requesting a $200k spend for a study in the context of $4.2 million currently being spent on cost reductions is extremely reasonable. Second, SkyLink is not proposing a lawsuit. If someone commenting here sues, they would be doing so as an individual, as I haven’t seen anything coming from SkyLink’s website or social media presence suggesting a lawsuit.

          • GW April 21, 2022 (2:10 pm)

            You got them to sign the petition with a ton of false information and unrealistic projections.  Not that impressive.

  • Pessoa April 19, 2022 (2:40 pm)

    I haven’t looked seriously at the gondola option, but I will take a look at it.   What I do know is that  light rail is not the answer; it hasn’t been for other cities, and it won’t be here, either.  For the extravagant price, the disruption, the years in the making, the Ballard-West Seattle extension will never come anywhere close to paying off in terms of ridership and/or reduction in traffic congestion.  What you will see are reductions in bus transit for those who rely on it as they try to shoehorn everyone onto light rail.  So, after the initial novelty wears off,  you’ll have your light rail that you can proudly show to the inlaws coming in from out of town, but that’s about all.  

    • Kevin on Delridge April 19, 2022 (3:48 pm)

      Of course it isn’t “the answer” as in the only answer. It is an answer, one that can be combined with other transit and planning solutions such as zoning, bicycle infrastructure, buses, trams and heck even gondolas.

      Reductions in buses that match the light rail route is sensible of course, so we may see some reductions but that can be paired with new routes to better connect those outside of the range of the light rail line.

      Ridership all comes down to speed and completeness. If it is faster for you to use transit options rather than jumping in your car, most people will do so which surprise reduces congestion.

      If you’re interested in reducing congestion, I hope you’ll consider learning about all the options and how they relate to each other. In general, I don’t disagree with the negative impressions of SDOT/Sound Transit but I would argue they are hamstrung by reactionary positions such as yours which generally rejects a number of tools and approaches that are necessary for a sensible transit plan.

      If you are unwilling to learn, enjoy the congestion because it isn’t going anywhere. That said, I would be curious about how you think we should resolve congestion.

    • Jort April 19, 2022 (3:56 pm)

      Here is a quote from 2002,  from then-director of Sound Transit Joni Earl: “We’ve never said we will reduce congestion. What we’re about is another option, out of the congestion.” That was from twenty years ago. No transit agency on the planet promises to “relieve” congestion with rail projects (since that is literally impossible), they simply note that it is a sustainable, scalable transportation alternative to driving. Anti-rail zealots frequently attempt to pin this false standard on transit agencies, as though Sound Transit and others are making lofty promises and that the only point of a rail system is so that drivers can have shorter commutes. Nobody is arguing that except anti-rail detractors. It is unfair to hold transit projects to a goal they, themselves, never promise. If somebody is under the mistaken belief that rail projects are intended to “relieve” traffic congestion, then I would humbly argue they need to undergo some serious education before they speak about the subject, and certainly before they admonish others about it.

      • Pessoa April 19, 2022 (7:35 pm)

        The only question for you then, Jort is this:  Why build it?Unintentionally, you’ve done a remarkable job of arguing the limited benefit that this light rail extension would bring to West Seattle.  

        • Jort April 19, 2022 (8:37 pm)

          This is the Car Brain at its finest: “the only way to measure any project’s value is how much it benefits car drivers.” I will not do your homework for you: the benefits to light rail have been articulated ad nauseam and there are hundreds of examples to easily cite, and I don’t intend to try to convince you if your criteria for worthiness extends no further than the dashboard of a person’s automobile-centered perspective. Unintentionally, you’ve done a remarkable job showing that opposition to rail transportation isn’t based in reason or rationality, but instead in emotional attachments to automobiles and a belief in their singular supremacy in all transportation planning.

        • Kevin on Delridge April 20, 2022 (12:11 am)

          And you still don’t get it, astonishing.

  • Life-long Westsider April 19, 2022 (4:22 pm)

    I was intrigued when I first learned of the SkyLink gondola system proposal. It sounded like pie in the sky, too good to be true, a fun concept that likely would not hold up to serious scrutiny. After reviewing the details over and over, my intrigue has deepened. Comparing on cost, carbon footprint to build and operate, construction timelines and impacts, razing homes and businesses, footprint of stations, capacity loads, commuter speeds, wildlife habitat and green space impacts, port and auto traffic disruption, timeline – in virtually every aspect SkyLink seems incredibly preferable. I believe $200k for a basic study that has not seriously been done is a smart move – and a tiny drop in the budget and timeline buckets. ST has made it onerous to determine which homes and businesses are at stake; those folks will be out of luck. Talk to some of the businesses likely at stake – Tom’s Auto? Our beautiful YMCA building? Trader Joe’s? The list is significant.  ST has shut this idea down with plenty of inaccurate verbiage and virtually no serious review by credentialed professionals. I hope all the naysayers take the time to explore in detail the carefully researched proposal with an open mind. I’ve met the SkyLink advocates and to a person they are intelligent, informed, articulate, respectable, well-intended, passionate, forward-thinking community advocates for what they believe is the smart, long-term preferred choice for the people, businesses and spaces in West Seattle – including commuters. There are a growing number of use cases choosing a gondola system that mirror the SODO to West Seattle need for high capacity transit in spaces challenged by dense real estate, hilly terrain and commercial waterways.

  • jradz April 19, 2022 (5:05 pm)

     82,123 residents of West Seattle, $300,000,000 price tag… that’s only $3,653.06 per person. I’d MUCH rather increase taxes to fund a gondola that gets us to the city before 2034 than to pay as much as we do to provide babysitters and diaper changers for a bunch of junkies! Period!

    • MyThruppence April 19, 2022 (6:26 pm)

      The Gondolans are triggered and swarming. Light rail is what we approved, and light rail is what we will begin building soon. Get over it. If you all want money to study this as a mode in addition to light rail, then raise the money and knock yourselves out. I will give it a fair reading when it’s complete. Until then, the DEIS for light rail is due next year, then construction begins no matter what you find with your study.

      • SkyLink Supporter April 19, 2022 (7:26 pm)

        Describing people like insects is one way to build credibility…Ah well, I guess I’ll meet you at the First Hill light rail station, or the Avalon station to be completed in 2030, as ST3 put up as an idea when it went to the ballot.Until then, I won’t “get over it,” and I’ll work to keep leaving existing housing, commercial enterprises, and green spaces intact.

        • MyThruppence April 19, 2022 (8:39 pm)

          Gondolas allow us to keep existing housing, commercial enterprises, and green spaces intact? Tell me more. Do the multiple towers required for such a system to operate ride on the air too? The system doesn’t require a terminal point station, or do people parachute out over target at just the right moment? Inner-city rail of many types are in use and continue to be built all over the world for all of the previously considered and voter-approved reasons.

          • Yes to SkyLink April 20, 2022 (10:55 am)

            Some information for you from the sky link website:

            Construction   Gondola:  requires two years to place slim towers, assemble prefabricated parts and cables by crane and/or helicopter.  Placing towers requires little or no demolition of existing structures.  Light rail:  requires 5 years to build Duwamish bridge, demolish homes & displace businesses to clear a wide corridor, and build elevated guideways and/or tunnel.

            Stations    Gondola stations are about half a block long while Link stations occupy almost two blocks. 

            Displacement    Elevated light rail cannot be built until a wide corridor is cleared.  That will cause five years of continuous disruption, displace businesses, destroy green spaces such as the northern portion of the Duwamish Greenbelt, narrow streets, and displace as many as 700 homes, businesses and 1200 jobs.  A tunnel may reduce impact to some neighborhoods but may increase cost and make it difficult to extend the line to White Center later.  A gondola, with slim towers and smaller stations, would cause minimal displacement and could be finished in two years with far less disruption. 

            Sustainability   Both light rail and gondola can run on clean energy.  But a gondola could reduce emissions in 2026 rather than 2032. With little foundational concrete, prefabricated tower parts, minimal construction, smaller displacement, and zero particulate emissions, gondolas are more environmentally friendly as their carbon footprint is much smaller than building a bridge, elevated guideway, larger stations, and possibly a tunnel. 

      • Martin April 19, 2022 (9:25 pm)

        Voters approved $1.7b to connect West Seattle to the light rail network by 2030, no mention that a thousand people may lose their homes. Last I heard Sound Transit had trouble delivering that promise. With a gondola they could do that sooner and for less and without the destruction of homes, businesses, and habitat and a far reduced carbon footprint.

        • MyThruppence April 20, 2022 (7:22 am)

          Voters approved $1.7b to connect West Seattle to the light rail network by 2030, no mention that a thousand people may lose their homes.” This always seems to be the fall back argument. Sure seems like Jort is right on this one (Jort Jort Jort!) and your group is merely scheming for a court fight to hold up light rail. I do not know the real motives for this, but I can assure you that someone is funding this effort. May I ask Martin, does your group receive outside funding? If so, may I ask where? These are questions I would ask of any group that I am considering, so I don’t find them unreasonable. Thanks.

          • Martin April 20, 2022 (6:43 pm)

            As it says on the website: “SkyLink is a citizen advocacy group which supports the construction of a regional mass transit system as soon as possible for mobility and climate justice.”   – no hidden funding besides gofundme and now you can donate through: Seattle Parks Foundation — West Seattle SkyLink Feasibility

  • flimflam April 19, 2022 (5:31 pm)

    It can be sketchy enough trapped on a bus with a “person in crisis” let alone being high in the air in an even smaller space.

    • Life-long Westsider April 19, 2022 (7:56 pm)

      We’re comparing light rail to gondola system, neither allow off-loading between stations.

      • Jort April 19, 2022 (8:45 pm)

        A light rail car can hold a few hundred people; a gondola … maybe … 10? There’s room to move away on a train, and in a serious emergency the train can certainly stop and let people out. There is no emergency exit on the gondola, except death from a hundred feet of falling. Make no mistake, the gondola people will easily hand-wave off concerns about sharing confined space with zero exit possibilities for the duration of the entire journey. That’s because the gondola people don’t actually want a gondola, they just want to stop light rail construction. 

        • Martin April 19, 2022 (9:33 pm)

          The gondola folks even suggested expanding light rail to South Park, just not wasting $3.2b to push light rail up the hill. Not sure it will be a good idea to stop a train on a 15-foot guideway or ask the people who got stuck in a full train in a tunnel after the Applecup how they felt. The fact is that a lot more things can go wrong on train as it has motors, cables which can get lose etc whereas a gondola cabin is simple and therefore they tend to be a lot more reliable. 

        • zark00 April 20, 2022 (4:10 pm)

          1 – gondola cabins hold 30-40 people. Link light rail cars, the newest ones, have 74 seats each. 2 – there is no egress from a raised light rail car. You can’t open the door and get out when it’s 50 feet in the air. 3 – if a gondola fails catastrophically, it’s potentially up to 4 cabins with 40 people each. If the raised light rail fails catastrophically it’s hundreds of people falling to their death. The whole train goes down, there’s no separation of cars, they’re all going down. 4 – You’re stuck in a train or stuck in a cabin with weirdos – 6 of one… Statistically a gondola is the safer option for mass transit, but both are very safe, and are much safer options than biking, walking or driving.   The misinformation about gondolas is wild. 

          • Jort April 21, 2022 (10:30 am)

            Flatly false and completely untrue. “Skylink” themselves say the cabins hold 10 people. The light rail also has evacuation egress on every elevation portion of the line. How many trains have literally fallen off their elevated tracks, like, ever? You can support the gondola, sure, but you shouldn’t outright lie and make up imaginary statistics to support your fantasies.

  • Auntie April 19, 2022 (5:55 pm)

    If I’m on the bus and there is unsavory behavior (which we all know darn well there is), I can get off the bus at the next stop. (Note that I don’t believe that Metro police or anyone else will take care of removing the bad actors). What happens if I am on a cable car with someone who starts acting up? Or lighting up, as the case may be? 

    • Joyce April 20, 2022 (7:26 am)

      First of all you, if you’re concerned about boarding a gondola cabin with someone, you can wait for the next cabin.  Also urban gondola cabins are usually equipped with video cameras and a security call button, and personnel are usually at each stop to assist with loading/unloading and any problems.  

    • zark00 April 20, 2022 (4:11 pm)

      You get off the gondola at the next stop. I think you could have put two and two together on this one. 

  • Ballard first April 19, 2022 (6:39 pm)

    Let’s do all of the light rail and gondola with Ballard first.  Then, West Seattle can learn from the mistakes and benefit from the technology developments and progress of gondolas in other cities.

    • James April 19, 2022 (9:08 pm)

      No. Us first. We have waited LONG enough. We’re the one in need as we’re an island. I see you Ballard Troll. 

      • Ballard First April 20, 2022 (2:01 pm)

        Hi James, it appears that you are implying the West Seattle Bridge will not be fixed before the DEIS of ST3 is complete; and that Ballard doesn’t also have a bridge. The troll lives in Fremont not Ballard. I live in West Seattle.

  • Joyce April 20, 2022 (7:22 am)

    Where are you going to go if a light rail train stops on 100 ft high guideway?   Gondolas have back up safety mechanisms and plans for rescues.  Not sure about light rail given what happened when the train stalled in a tunnel after the Apple game last year.

  • Ivan Weiss April 20, 2022 (8:03 am)

    I think we can say one thing for the gondola, at least. The discussion certainly generates clicks for WSB. :-)

  • Yes to SkyLink April 20, 2022 (8:46 am)

    At a gondola platform, there would be multiple gondola cars available to choose from, and as they run fairly continuously, you could simply choose to wait for the next batch of cars if you had concerns about riding with others. They would generally load and close fairly quickly too, so you would have a good idea of who your riding with as you step on, which would offer you more control regarding who you ride with than you’d have getting on light rail or a bus. There would also be gondola operation and security staff, to help manage and mitigate people issues.

    • k April 20, 2022 (10:06 am)

      “They would generally load and close fairly quickly…” you say here, but up above you’re claiming there would be no issues for people with disabilities or mobility challenges.  Which is it?  Tell me how someone who it getting used to their new crutches is going to fare trying to jump in “fairly quickly”.  Or how a blind person is expected to find their way to the door and board “fairly quickly.”  Will people with small kids be forced to use strollers because the doors close too quickly for a toddler to get on board by their own means?  Or will delays for people who are slower happen despite all your promises?  Will you just tell people with certain challenges they’re too slow for the gondola and the need to find their own way to SoDo?

      • Yes to SkyLink April 20, 2022 (11:06 am)

        As its been said before, there will be operations staff there to help with loading and unloading, or to slow or stop, if needed. Otherwise, the loading appears quite efficient and smooth, even for for folks in wheelchairs, with kids, etc. as demonstrated in some of the videos linked in comments.

        • k April 20, 2022 (1:20 pm)

          What you’re saying is that the flow SkyLink proponents keep promising only exists in very specific circumstances, and it will likely be much slower much of the time because of the numerous reasons people take longer to board and deboard.  It’s so easy to write SkyLink people off because they only speak in “best case scenario” terms, only admit to other scenarios when called out, and consistently paint the optimistic picture rather than the realistic one.  This is probably why it was so hard to get those 1400 petition signatures.  You don’t build trust by casually omitting these details.  

          • Life-long Westsider April 20, 2022 (3:32 pm)

            Can’t resist weighing in here. Watch a group of skiers weighed down with skis and poles, clad in clunky ski boots, manage to load themselves onto a gondola; in all the times I’ve witnessed this, I’ve not seen the need to slow or halt the expertly automated timing though I know it’s possible. Re. ‘Casually omitting these details’: do you need every item published on the SkyLink website spoon-fed to you here? Kudos to those on the SkyLink team with full-time jobs of their own who are expending precious time copying and pasting from the website, repeating responses to repetitious criticisms, and respectfully responding to frequently derogatory objectors. Please check out https://www.westseattleskylink.org/ for a massive wealth of detailed, researched information for your edification. 

          • Joyce April 20, 2022 (4:22 pm)

            There are many different types of gondola systems and the technology is advancing rapidly.  I have read about about a German system where there is a separate line for people with disabilities or need/want special help so that the regular line moves efficiently with others.  A study by experts in gondola technology could address these issues.

          • zark00 April 20, 2022 (4:27 pm)

            You have a fundamental misunderstanding of how gondolas work. A lot of people just imagine a ski lift or the Disneyland ride and believe that modern transit gondolas work the same. They do not. The cabins move very very slowly, or stop entirely, on the loading platforms. They are not permanently connected to the cable. The entire system can keep running at full speed while one cabin takes as much time as it needs to load/unload. The cabins are attached and detached from the cable without impacting it’s speed. They are then able to be stopped, moved really slow, whatever, at the station so that people can load as needed. When they’re ready they reattach to the cable and go. You can literally take one cabin, stop it at a station, and let the entire system continue on it’s way. People tend to imagine that to load the WHOLE gondola has to stop, let people load one car, then it starts up again. Not at all how they function.  Just watch a video, it’ll take like 30 seconds and you’ll understand. 

          • Yes to SkyLink April 20, 2022 (8:10 pm)

            What are you talking about? Your attack commenting is sbsurd. Stop the spinning, take a chill pill.

  • Kathy April 20, 2022 (6:33 pm)

    Could this be about the deconstruction of the administrative state by attacking the role of experts? Lots of armchair transit specialists are chiming in to criticize the people whose job it is to design and construct our public transportation. Maybe put your skills to use and apply for a job at Sound Transit. Otherwise, I think you should make your comments on the DEIS and then butt out.  I get that people will always be upset about the potential loss of houses or business space. This comes with the territory with any public works project.

  • ARPigeonPoint April 20, 2022 (7:06 pm)

    I am convinced the gondola people don’t actually commute downtown daily. 

  • Tom April 20, 2022 (10:43 pm)

    Government gets nothing right.  I just gave up a sweet gig in Tacoma because the choice became an hour and 27 minutes to get to the Sounder station, plus 45 minutes on the train, plus however long by #1 Pierce Transit.   It took 50 minutes to drive, but a hundred dollars a week in gas.  You want me out of my car.  Fine, no problemo.  However, you must give me an alternative that makes sense.  I am not even looking for convenience.  I am looking for a rational solution.  Rational does not include leaving at 05:30 and not getting home until 17:30.  Hello?   Where the hell are the functioning brains at Sounder or Metro or anywhere?  When it comes to public transit “You can’t get there from here” was a life-changing reality.  This sky thing is pure crap with miniscule capacity.  It is another “bridge to nowhere”.  SMFH.

    • Kathy April 21, 2022 (4:06 pm)

      It sounds like a rational solution for you, if the price of gas was the only thing keeping you from taking a “sweet gig”, would have been to sell your car and buy a used EV with low mileage, assuming you have a place to plug it in at your home and near your work site. 

  • marcus April 21, 2022 (7:46 am)

    I have read all the these comments.  They are absolutely amusing and is great entertainment.   I cannot purchiase this entertainment value anywhere else.  This gondola thing is basically “looney toons” and it is amazing that the gondola group has gotten this far.  This insanity needs to stop, “stop the insanity”.   Some times we need to lead, and some times we need to follow and some times we need to just get out of the way.  Please gondola group just get out of the way and direct your efforts to something more substantial like crime prevention and public/property safety.

  • FormerWSresident April 21, 2022 (8:58 am)

    Can these people just stop with these crazy ideas. It doesn’t work and it just delay viable solutions. Think about the monorail vs. light rail a decade ago. The light rail is an integrated system supporting the region. The gondola only serve WS and will require people to connect to other public transportation to get to their destination (outside of the city).  Stop wasting money and time on useless solution.

    • Pessoa April 21, 2022 (4:07 pm)

      Being a  link in an integrated system is irrelevant if that link is superfluous, i.e. the Ballard West Seattle extension.  You and others are glossing over the reality that light rail will not really improve access to public transportation in any quantitive way nor will it alleviate traffic congestion.  If you need a model of what the West Seattle -downtown light rail looks like ten years out, take the Central Link and remove the airport as a destination.  Virtually empty stations for the majority of the day.  

  • ALSO A FORMER WS RESIDENT April 24, 2022 (10:51 pm)

    As someone who has lived most of their life in the Delridge/White Center area and has depended on public transit to go in and out of their downtown job (even throughout the pandemic), how would a gondola help me? How would the gondola expand to people south of West Seattle? A light rail to West Seattle means a possibility of expansion southward. I’ve now moved to the Columbia City area and the light rail is a lifesaver in terms of my commute. I’m happy we are seeing large expansion east and north with the light rail. 

Sorry, comment time is over.