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San Diego: Aerial gondola proposed for area between Balboa Park, downtown

Saturday, June 21st, 2014
Issue 25, Volume 18.
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A gondola to sweep through the air between downtown and Balboa Park is proposed today by San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts.

In an interview with the U-T San Diego, Roberts floated the lofty idea of an aerial tram. The paper reported that Roberts is expected to win unanimous approval from the County Board of Supervisors next Tuesday to spend $75,000 to hire a consultant to study the project.

"I've only got four years left to do good things and I've been harboring this for quite some time," Roberts told the paper. "I figured that instead of just visualizing it, let's do a feasibility study."

Roberts' proposal calls for SANDAG to manage the study, which he said should take two or three months to complete, the paper reported. The $75,000 request will come from Neighborhood Reinvestment Program money to fund the study that will look at logistics of building an aerial gondola and how much the project might cost.

Roberts told the paper that he has spoken privately with representatives several downtown groups and received a positive response from all.

The paper reported that one scenario would have a downtown terminus at the trolley station between Fifth and Sixth avenues. The Balboa Park stop, roughly two miles away, would be somewhere near Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The elevated gondola cars would carry multiple, paying passengers.

"You want to be in the places where you can capture a lot of foot traffic and tourists," Roberts told the U-T. "The gondola here would have a number of units because you want it to be an effective means of transportation... Imagine the vistas you could get of downtown, the bay and the park. The whole thing is in the very embryonic stage, but I'm excited about it."



Comment Profile ImageReality Checker
Comment #1 | Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 12:39 pm
Personally, I like the idea a whole lot. I would certainly ride it. But the first image the came to mind thinking about this was of an immature partying Gaslamp drunkard falling out of it onto a freeway and getting rolled up like hamburger meat.

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