View Full Version : Sidewalk of the Future

16 August 2007, 09:30 AM
Moving Sidewalks, France Decides, Aren't Thrill Rides
By Daniel Michaels and David Gauthier-Villars

PARIS -- France created the world's fastest passenger jet and fastest train. Now, one Frenchman is trying to perfect the world's speediest moving sidewalk.

It has been slow going.

For more than a decade, Anselme Côte has been working on a rolling walkway to whisk people through train stations, airports and malls faster than a city bus.

The 58-year-old Frenchman has spent $13.7 million in state and private funds on three prototypes, and studied hundreds of trial users. Yet when he finally inaugurated his masterpiece five years ago, so many people tripped that authorities halted the walkway for three months.


16 August 2007, 10:16 AM
Anyone remember Robert Heinlein's The Roads Must Roll (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Roads_Must_Roll)? The backdrop of the short story was a series of moving sidewalks arranged with low-speed walkways on the outside with higher-speed ways next to them, until the central area was moving at 100mph.

In a later story, he referenced the ruins of the old Dallas-Houston route (part of his eventually-annoying habit of borrowing chunks of plot and setting from one book to fill out another).