No such sys­tem any­where in world

Wear

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - Con­tin­ued from B FROG DE­SIGN

sen­gers, float­ing around Austin.

Hey, at least McDaniel isn’t sug­gest­ing a sys­tem of flume rides. I asked if he was mak­ing a se­ri­ous pol­icy pro­posal or just be­ing provoca­tive.

“Both,” said McDaniel, a graphic de­signer by train­ing, not an en­gi­neer. The map, with its dozens of miles of lines, was mostly a provo­ca­tion, he said. But the idea of us­ing gon­do­las as a Cen­tral Austin cir­cu­la­tor sys­tem, he said, “is not only fea­si­ble, but it just makes a whole lot of sense.”

Build­ing a light rail or street­car sys­tem, on the other hand, while it might be worth­while in the long run, McDaniel said, would be dis­as­trous for busi­nesses along a line dur­ing con­struc­tion.

“We’re try­ing to make (the gon­dola pro­posal) un­com­fort­ably vis­i­ble, just to show peo­ple there’s an alternative out there,” he said.

Although McDaniel said he’ll be host­ing Round Rock of­fi­cials at Frog De­sign this week to talk about gon­do­las, he hasn’t set up any meet­ings with Austin of­fi­cials.

Rob Spil­lar, Austin’s trans­porta­tion di­rec­tor and an en­thu­si­as­tic pro­po­nent of the city’s $1.3 bil­lion ur­ban rail ini­tia­tive, was po­lite but not es­pe­cially in­ter­ested in the con­cept.

“I really ap­pre­ci­ate peo­ple who think out­side the box,” he told me. “A lot of good ideas spring from that type of think­ing and that ap­proach to the world.”

He said that over­head

A ren­der­ing of a pos­si­ble sta­tion for the Wire, Frog De­sign’s con­cep­tual mass tran­sit sys­tem of over­head gon­do­las in Austin.

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