Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Expensive, difficult, slightly dangerous, not particularly effective... I'm on a roll.

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Little boats
  [vote for,

A new city, gleaming spires, beautifully designed public areas, and people being conveyed about in an intricate miniature canal system. Not fast, I'll grant you, but a great way for tourists to see the city.

The canals will be about as wide as an average car. They will not strictly be canals, as there will be a flow direction. The system will work like an elaborate lazy river ride. This would be best suited to a city/town in a hilly area. The boats will be comfortable and modern, with a selection of open top and enclosed models, some designed like minibus taxis, some designed just for two (aah!).

A driver would be possibly be unnecessary because the boat would just follow the flow of the channel. Payment would be on entry to the system, Passengers would enter and leave the system at stations. There will be a tendency for all transport to be in a down hill, or along gradient direction.

Any suggestions for the uphill, return of boats to the beginning side will be appreciated. I was thinking a subterranean conveyor.

The system would give architects many opportunities to create interesting landscaped features, and graceful mini-aqueducts, possibly that run into buildings, and allow people to disembark in restaurants and shops, whilst imbuing the area with the pleasing sound of trickling water.

And there would be ducks, oh yes, ducks and swans and all maner of swimming birds, drifting along with the boats.

Zircon, Jan 20 2003

The Falkirk Wheel http://www.falkirk-...irk-wheel/wheel.htm
Falkirk's Lottery-funded "World's largest fibreglass chilidog". [my face your, Oct 17 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Lazy River Office http://www.halfbake...zy_20River_20Office
This is not our first Lazy River idea. [Monkfish, Oct 17 2004]

Lazy River Mall http://www.halfbake...Lazy_20River_20Mall
[Monkfish, Oct 17 2004]


       Perhaps a waterwheel sort of thing to get the boats back up. (+)
snarfyguy, Jan 20 2003

       Going up hill: either use the traditional log-flume conveyor belt method or the more extravagant "Falkirk Wheel" method (see link).   

       If boats are to be retured to the beginning, have them float into large enclosed tanks, to be lifted vertically until they are high above the rooftops and then let them float gently down a network of elevated canals to the start. This way, the sailors will be afforded spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.
my face your, Jan 20 2003

       // Any suggestions for the uphill, return of boats to the beginning side will be appreciated //   

       Submerged chain or cog-railway driving the boats "against the flow" of a return channel or channels. The water is pumped back through vast underground pipes.
8th of 7, Jan 20 2003

       [blissy] I was thinking that this could, with the careful use of submerged channels, be made to meander across lakes in local parks etc. so you can have all the reed and herons you want. Also there can be themed canal accoutrements in different areas of the city, in chinatown for example, the willow pattern could be recreated.   

       [m f y] thanks for the link, I love that thing, saw it on some news program ages ago and have never really investigated further.
Zircon, Jan 20 2003

       For cool climates, switch to powered sleds in winter. Or fill the canals with vodka.
Monkfish, Jan 20 2003

       Return is easy, and the tech to do it is very old.   


       at the low point of the causeway the boat enter a series of locks raising them to the high point of the system.   

       Not alot of elevation would be needed to keep a gentle flow going. maybe 20 feet max for a medium sized system.   

       I would sugest that you rent the boats rather than just charge admission. in the winter you could rent Ice skates.
IronJeff, Jan 20 2003

       // in the winter you could rent Ice skates. //   

       With a bit of careful thought in the layout, bobsleighs might be an option for the winter commuter-in-a-hurry.   

       On Sundays, you could have turbulence weirs that rise up out of some of the canal beds, then turn up the flow nad have recreational rafting or kayaking.
8th of 7, Jan 21 2003


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