Elon Musk’s Partners Propose Bad Idea For the L Train Shutdown

Today is a first for me! Normally my major “product lines” do not clash with each other. But today we have NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority clashing with some of the folks involved with HYPERLOOP.

Who wants to climb into this bowel bobbing in the river? With the likely L train shutdown looming in 2019—affecting 250,000 people who commute between Manhattan and Brooklyn daily—it’s time to look at possible solutions. One solution is turning parts of 14th Street into a bus, bicycle, and pedestrian only zone. And then, there’s this:

“Imagine a giant condom,” says Gonzalez Cruz from AECOM, LA’s infrastructure design mega-firm which does work for NASA and has partnered with Elon Musk for the Hyperloop project. Last weekend, among variedly reasonable ideas for the pending L train shutdown proposed at the Van Alen Institute in Manhattan, AECOM came up with the “L Transporter.” It’s basically a 2,400-foot fiberglass-fabric tunnel “immersed” in the East River that would let people walk and bike over, under, over and under the water.

Parts of the tunnel would bob above the surface while other segments could be anchored to the river floor, allowing for boat traffic to pass above it, they said. They also envisioned projecting images onto the tunnel’s interior walls in order, “to provide a cross between art and technology for New Yorkers,” Cruz said.

Finally! Someone providing a cross between art and technology for New Yorkers. Surely, “projecting images” would make the experience of crowds shuffling through a constipated wobbly underwater intestine less of a nightmare.

The project, being financially unrealistic, did not win the $1,000 contest prize or get an honorable mention.

Marina Galperina / GAWKER
Image: AECOM

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