Los Angeles is always accused of “borrowing” ideas from New York, but here’s one lesson the Big Apple should take from sunny Los Angeles — New York needs an Angels Flight.
I am spending some time this summer in New York in my girlfriend’s new neighborhood of Washington Heights. They call it that for a reason; it is damn hilly. So hilly in fact that in one spot there is a tremendous staircase to get to the shops at the top of the hill. After climbing it several times in the 95 degree weather with that terrible East Coast humidity to match, I thought, “there’s got to be a better way.” Then it hit me: Angels Flight.
It wouldn’t look like our classic Angels Flight; the staircase is too narrow. Instead of two cars counter-balancing each other, it would be a one-car system, taking up two-thirds of the staircase. Much like our canyons, people use the staircase for exercise (and they probably think it’s nice!), so you’d have to leave room for that.
The price could not be 50-cents per ride because hopefully people would use it multiple times per day, and even at 50-cents, it would add up. It couldn’t be more than a quarter or people might not use it.
Does it make sense to put such a system there? I don’t know, but what I do know is this city can use some Los Angeles influence.