Call me jaded, but any transportation infrastructure proposal that features a shot of The Dukes of Hazzard's soaring General Lee instantly moves to the top of the pile. Architect Tiago Barras' High-Speed Car Ramp would be a welcome addition to any community:
We propose a High-Speed Car Ramp that enables pedestrians and cyclists to cross freely the "Segunda Circular" highway. North and South become connected again.
The cars' path is altered by a ramp that acts as a bridge for vehicles. Drivers are expected to accelerate— burning more gas—which is provided by Galp Energia, the main promoter of the competition. The ramp will provide a long lasting event. An event that will take place every second a car goes by. This long lasting show will bring people from all over the World.
A new tourist attraction takes place. The arrival of this new catalyst will foster the redevelopment of the whole region.
Not radical enough for you? A wilder proposal of Barras' that's made the blog rounds is his Passing Cloud aircraft, which eschews the closed cabin of an aircraft, lacks bossy flight attendants, and even gets rid of seating.
The Passing Cloud is an innovative and environmentally friendly method of transportation that doesn't require expensive steel tracks or concrete highways. It is made of a series of spherical balloons that form the shape of a cloud. Its inner stainless steel structure is covered with heavy weight tensile nylon fabric. During the journey, It moves according to prevailing winds speed and direction at the time of travel. Since it moves with the wind, no wind is ever felt during the trip, offering the passengers a full "floating sensation".
It's an unique journey. The feeling of floating in the atmosphere - on top of a cloud - with an open schedule and unknown final destiny. All National Ground would be potentially covered at virtually no cost and the help of the wind. The journey becomes your destiny.
Might be freezing up there, but not having to deal with passive-aggressive flight attendants or intrusively-sized fellow passengers might make it a worthwhile trade-off.