30 jun. 2010

The Santo Domingo Airborne ExpressWay™ (Expreso Aéreo)

The Santo Domingo Airborne ExpressWay is an engineering undertaking construed to address transport inefficiencies that arises from a legacy of missteps and unplanned growth of a sprawling city. The mixed‐up, so‐called Avenues, with traffic stops at every corner contribute directly to the general low productivity state affecting the Dominican Republic. Being the most populated and economically active city in Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo the capital, is a very inefficient city, from a “road user” vantage point.

It is usual to take an hour to go from west area to downtown (roughly ten kilometers), mainly due to the sheer number of stops. Built with the seemingly appearance of a highway, the Santo Domingo "avenues" are a misconception in terms transport effectiveness. With traffic lights at every corner you drag along the way, in utmost frustration. To make something bad even worst, the government has conceived the AMET’s solution.

The AMET is something similar namely to the New York City's MTA, but with the traits many x‐institutions portray in underdeveloped countries like ours. Buses are a wreck, untimely threadbares (because they get "rusted" on the first six months of acquisition, with doors hanging out without closing and ostensible mis-treatment and rough handling...). They truly conform a visual parade of an awful negligence and  dilapidation...

The Airborne ExpressWay is a pertinent solution to carry out the task of making Santo Domingo a more advanced transport‐efficient city. This expressway should go airborne, as its name implies. It has to be built strong, with appropriate technologies to make the “platforms”, as thin as possible in order to counterpoise high speed winds that are possible during the Hurricane Season, usually affecting the Caribbean Area from July to the end of October.

The airborne feature goes a little further in requirements than its counterpart in other countries, namely the United States. Santo Domingo has evolved in a chaotic manner. Many tight two-lane streets end up at one of the so‐called avenues. At many corners, a traffic light will stop traffic for as much as 100 seconds. Oftentimes, an AMET Officer will stand concurrently with the Traffic Light, overriding its signal and guessing an ad-hoc "circulation method" whose results aren't always plausible...A turtle might outrun you at these sluggish safaris. Going from point A to B becomes a nightmare at rush hour, with endless vehicle chains, going forward in a start‐stop bumper‐to‐bumper foray.

The proposed Airborne feature has to be a serpentine going around buildings and taking the best airborne route. In terms of design the airborne feature is the core issue to resolve. It has to be a City’s Monument, an elegant solution to the problem, with intrinsic effectiveness to resolve the traffic requirements. It has to be “Thin” to counterpoise high‐speed winds. It might, even better, have a design that will use air speed to fix the structure in position. I guess by recirculating the air with vents, extended at specific posts in the high structure, it might be feasible to channel wind force so as to take advantage of it to keep the structure in place. Somewhat like moving the wind around or using its force to make the structure stronger. The higher the speed,
the stronger it should become. Thus, high speed winds will not damage the structure. It has to be fine architecture and engineering technology built‐in the structural design.

The Serpentine feature means the road might go around the city taking the best routes. Because it is airborne it does not have to adjust to available space, making an elegant snake‐like structure is a most. The serpent structure should be understood as a “flexibility” requirement. Adaptive runways sizzling around buildings and cluttered areas; gently departing from the ground, circling
obstacle buildings and structures; dazzling straight over the air; and smoothly blending with the entourage of neighborhoods, parks and highly populated areas. It has to become such an engineering feat that the Airborne Roads of Santo Domingo should become as renowned as the Statue of Liberty or the Eiffel Tower.

The Roads Support Columns must be erected with the highest security standards in place. Due to  the requirement that the “serpentine” goes around the city as needed, most of the bearing columns will be located in populated areas. The Bearing Columns bases should be designed to cope with environment. A children park and gardens will surround its base. The Transport Platforms (Runways) where the road will be laid should be as thin as possible, and with counterpoising measures for high speed winds.

To avoid vehicles from falling off the road to the ground, special holdings have to be erected in the sides. The lane containment feature should be a strong but not sturdy or awkward‐looking piece of the structure. Everything has to be an elegant design.  

The Exits should be planned as cohabitation between the existing Avenues and Streets with the new Ariborne Routes. Exits should be conceived to chime in the existing streets without much disturbance on the environment. As everything it should be considered to be an elegant design.

Merging the existing road and the airborne routes might prove to be an exploit in itself. The Exits design should be a two‐pronged folk. Two problems must be addressed at the same time. How to access ramps going up to the airborne road, when you are departing from you original place and how to access ramps going down to the existing surroundings once you have arrived to your destination. Again sheer elegance is required to cause the minimal effect on the environment. Also the outer looks of the exits should be conceived as to blend with the environment. I guess conceiving a display or gallery like feature will help to take advantage of it for advertising or art work display. A mural paint might also be considered as a solution.

Dominican painters will be charged with the exploit. Once the SDA ExpressWay is in place going from place to place should become a pleasant foray. Signaling and Maps will make it easy to use. With time, the Santo Domingo’s Airborne Expressway will become a marvelous architecture achievement and international touristic attraction like the Malaysian Twin Towels.

These deeds represent a cumulative effect in the Unique Development Path, we at ClusterNet, dream of for the Dominican Republic.

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