Monday, November 10, 2014

Traffic chaos: Are cable cars a panacea against dust and smog? – Handelsblatt

Miles of traffic jams in rush hour, exhaust-filled air and hopelessly overcrowded subways: the increasingly dramatic traffic situation in many cities spurred the search for alternative transport. Since it is hardly surprising that the ropeway already considered as a real alternative to bus, train and car in many cities.

From London to Hong Kong, the Sugar Loaf and the Bosphorus transport of steel cables suspended cabin passengers, shorten journey times between neighborhoods and stand for clean transport. Long the cable car is far more than just a practical vehicle for hikers or skiers. In densely populated cities, it is increasingly becoming a panacea for congestion and smog.

For example, New York: There, the real estate broker Daniel Levy named “East River Skyway” created a vision in which so many commuters likely has a dream that several mornings in a stuffy underground shaft full trains go by looks at himself, sometimes to accommodate him is. Skyline Panorama instead metro fug, so Levy’s plan.

First, he wants a gondola connection with two stops between the Lower East Side over the East River to Williamsburg to build the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Later sections could combine the financial district and the United Nations with Williamsburg. Each part will cost 75-125 million dollars and thus would be much less than new subways or even roads, anyway no more space according to Levy

The cost and space -. These are two powerful arguments that make cable car advocates advertising their plans. 10 to 15 million euro cost a kilometer on average, less than half as much as a streetcar line. No urban transport can be easily set up and dismantle, none is so quiet, so no emissions. Especially gondola manufacturers like Doppelmayr and Leitner from South Tyrol Vorarlberg promise a future business in the cities of the world. Leitner has secured recently a lucrative job in Mexico City

In the fast-growing capital of Mexico should Leitner gondolas in future connect the districts of Via Morelos and San Andrès De La Cañada. Reduce two lines and seven stops the running time of 45 to only 30 minutes. Already the end of next year to start the line operation. Finally, the cable car was taken to its operation in the Turkish capital Ankara – also it is a Leitner-project

Still depends Europe the major competitor from the Far East in terms of innovation from. But the concern for the competitiveness grows. By investing in research and development to catch up is to begin.

Also competitor, Doppelmayr is active worldwide. In the Bolivian La Paz just three cableways arise with eleven kilometers of track that connects the valley of the capital with the neighboring city of El Alto at 4,000 meters above sea level. Latin America, it seems, is in the gondola fever. Recently went routes in Rio de Janeiro and in the Colombian city of Cali million in operation, even in the Venezuelan Caracas hovers a cable car over the city.

And in Germany? In many places there are urban cable cars, as in Cologne on the Rhine, but hardly of any use except for beautiful views. Air traffic planners assume that there are numerous routes in this country that are suitable for cable cars. Built they will not. While in Wuppertal just the construction of a cable car is discussed with the students the University of lying on the mountain could achieve better. And Berlin-Marzahn gets to the International Garden Show in 2017 a few gondola stations. But of such individual projects have cable cars in Germany still alone in the mountains a future.


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