April 19, 2006

Last night, riders on the Roosevelt Island tram were stranded for more than 12 hours, with the last finally getting evacuated at 4:30 AM. The Times reports: High-Wire Rescue Over East River "A four-minute trip on the Roosevelt Island Tramway turned into a harrowing overnight ordeal as a series of power failures left about 70 people suspended hundreds of feet in the air, forcing a daring rescue over the East River that ended early this morning."

The Roosevelt Island tram was built 30 years ago by Von Roll.

Earlier this month, the tram at Jackson Hole (WY) carried its last skiers before it is retired in September, after 40 years of use. Jackson Hole is seeking funding to construct a new tram.

Skeptics argue that Jackson Hole retired the tram early in order to secure state funding for its replacement. Jackson Hole president Jerry Blann said, "The Tram is nearing the end of her natural life – she’s a child of the 60’s that’s been going 100% summer and winter and has earned a graceful retirement."

Does the Roosevelt Island tram deserve an early retirement? Should it be replaced or is subway service to Roosevelt Island enough?

Will this make the proposed gondola between lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and Governor's Island less likely to be built?

NPR: Jackson Hole Resort's Tram Retires this Weekend
NY1: Roosevelt Island Tram To Remain Grounded Pending Full Investigation
Brooklyn Papers: City, state gonzo for Governors Island gondola
Press release: Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg Announce Call for Visionary Ideas for the Redevelopment of Governors Island

Posted by Andrew Raff at April 19, 2006 10:16 PM
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