Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday Burst of Weird and Awesome

Oddities and Awesome abound!

:: The video may be funny, but believe me, kids -- there's nothing funny about Bitchy Resting Face. I am a sufferer of the male equivalent, "Angry Resting Face", in that my facial features seem to default to an expression that society has decided is equivalent to SMOLDERING RAGE. I wish I had a nickel for every time somebody walked by when I was just standing there and said, "Wow, you look like you're ready to rip someone's head off!", when what I'm actually thinking is, "Do I want turkey or roast beef on my sub today?"

There's a very odd societal thing we have going on right now where any facial expression that's not a grin is interpreted to indicate a negative emotional state. It would be mildly annoying, but that gonzo assumption can have some unfortunate effects in the professional world.

:: I always wonder just what we'll do in Buffalo if we ever get the waterfront developed, because that will eliminate one of the three major topics of discussion around here, leaving us stuck with the Bills (ugh) and the Sabres (double-ugh). But, over the last couple years, things are really starting to happen down there, which is nice. And in addition to the actual development that's underway, we have also seen a very welcome reduction in the amount of gonzo ideas being tossed about for the waterfront. I, for one, am thrilled to see the Era Of Goofy Buffalo Waterfront Proposals come to an end!

Only...not everybody got that memo, because someone cooked up a really detailed idea for cable cars on the waterfront. And not San Francisco-style cable cars, either -- we're talking about the little ones that hang from an overhead cable. Like this:

What's more, this isn't envisioned as a tourist attraction or 'something to do on the waterfront'. This person actually wants this cable car system to be part of Buffalo's commuter infrastructure. People who work downtown would drive to the cable car station and ride the cable car to their downtown job, or to a Metro Rail station so they might then get to their job. Cable car systems of this type -- or 'aerial trams' -- aren't the fastest moving of transportation systems, so how they'd be embraced by commuters is hard to imagine.

The article concludes with this: "Even our long-held hopes of rapid transit to Niagara Falls and the Airport might one day be possible for far less money than expanding MetroRail!" Did I read that right? An aerial tram from Buffalo to Niagara Falls, which is 25 miles away? Aerial trams don't tend to go much over 30 mph, so are we really expecting people to sit in an aerial tram for an hour to get to a place they could drive to in less than half that?

Now, I like cable cars/aerial trams. I like riding the ones at amusement parks. And I'm sure I'll have a thrilling time riding one if I ever vacation in Switzerland. But as a major part of a city's transportation infrastructure? A flat city like Buffalo that already has tons of roads, surface parking never more than a block away downtown, and declining population?


Oh well. More next week!

1 comment:

mylittlegeekery said...

I am also relived to see some of the odder aspects to Buffalo's waterfront development fall away. Having been in prime viewing for Rochester's Fast Ferry debocle (my manager at Brockport Wegmans left to be the engineer on the ferry). Even great ideas can quickly turn into gigantic gibbering monsters if polititions have their way. So I remain skeptical, yet hopeful, that all goes well.