It's always fun to ponder how to make New York City's terrible commutes less, well, terrible, and WXY Architecture + Urban Design's Claire Weisz has come up with one idea (h/t NYDN). Why not, she proposes with two colleagues, extend the Roosevelt Island tram?once called the "most modern aerial-train system on earth"(!)?in either direction, so that it links Central Park South to the west and Long Island City's Queens Plaza to the east? It would be transit with a view, plus make getting to Cornell's new tech campus on Roosevelt Island easier from both boroughs. It's just one of 46 different thought experiments submitted as part of the The Forum for Urban Design's Next New York call for ideas addressing the city's pressing issues in areas from housing and open space to transportation and zoning.
It's a pretty intriguing proposition, but real New Yorkers interviewed by the Daily News had mixed feelings, mostly because there are a couple existing subway line that connect those areas already. Many thought the view from a longer tram ride would be pretty sweet, while others thought the size of the dangling cars was a limiting factor; said one commuter: "The tram cars are very small, and they are already crowded during rush hour."
Meanwhile, Weisz and co.'s plan includes ferry links as well, to help build on the East River Ferry's existing routes by adding stops at Roosevelt Island, and then at Pier 35, Houston Street, and Stuyvesant Cove in Manhattan, plus Jay Street and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The team also wants to see several new bridges (see map at right)?connecting Governors Island and Red Hook, Greenpoint and Long Island City, Harlem and Yankee Stadium, Hunts Point and Soundview, and Gowanus and Red Hook. Feasibility and cost and all that aside, thoughts on these ideas?
· Sky and Water Links [Next New York]
· All Next New York proposals [Forum for Urban Design]
· A commute with a view! Visionaries plan a Queens-to-Central Park tramway [NYDN]
· Thought Experiments archive [Curbed]