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About the SkyLink Team

SkyLink is a citizen advocacy group which supports the construction of a regional mass transit system as soon as possible for mobility and climate justice.

 

We see light rail as the “spine” of the system and believe as many neighborhoods as possible should have a high frequency connection to it.  We also think that aerial technology should be considered as one of the modes to accomplish this, given the topography of the Puget Sound Region.  

Discussions about a gondola connection from West Seattle to Link light rail have been going on since at least 2017.  After the closure of the West Seattle bridge in March 2020, Martin Westerman, Martin Pagel, and Joyce Hengesbach got together
to promote a gondola as a high frequency/high-capacity way to connect the hilly West Seattle peninsula to the Link light rail spine faster and with much less disruption and destruction than proposed light rail plans.  The announcement of a 73% cost overrun on the West Seattle light rail project and the ever more urgent and apparent need for an emission free alternative
to cars and buses has attracted other citizens to support the SkyLink proposal.


SkyLink Principals


Martin Westerman has authored two environmental business books and dozens of articles, taught green business and communications at the UW Foster School of Business, and currently serves on the boards of the Seattle Green Spaces Coalition and the West Seattle Transportation Coalition. He lives in West Seattle.  


Gondolas Offer A Way to Rise Above West Seattle’s ST3 Controversy | The Urbanist

 


Martin Pagel grew up in Germany using many forms of public transit.  He is passionate about how public transportation infrastructure can reduce traffic congestion, climate impact, and housing cost by improving mobility. He lived and worked in West Seattle and currently resides in South Seattle.  


Gondolas Could Be the Light Rail Complement Seattle Needs | The Urbanist

 


Joyce Hengesbach is a former business executive and thirty-year resident of West Seattle.  She has used public transit in her travels on six continents, and in early 2020 experienced riding the urban gondola in Medellin, Colombia
where the aerial system was instrumental in turning the city from a troubled metropolis into an award-winning international SMART city.

How Medellín, Colombia, Became the World's Smartest City