BEST CRAZIEST IDEA WE'VE EVER HEARD Minneapolis 2000 - SKY GONDOLAS OVER THE MISSISSIPPI
Since first getting elected mayor of St. Paul in 1993, Norm Coleman has played the role of civic cheerleader to the hilt. The pom-poms seem to suit him. He lured Minneapolis-based Lawson Software to relocate in downtown St. Paul and helped engineer the National Hockey League's return to Minnesota. Yeah, he's spent millions of public money along the way, but St. Paulites reelected him anyway and he often gets what he wants from the city council. Mind you, not everything has panned out as Norm envisioned it--that LeRoy Neiman museum just can't seem to come together (we can't understand why). But earlier this year, Coleman topped that idea by touting a scheme that's been kicking around the margins of civic discourse for a few years: SKY GONDOLAS OVER THE MISSISSIPPI! Yep. Cable-suspended sky cabs would wing over the river connecting the RiverCentre parking ramp to Harriet Island Regional Park. The 2,200-foot ride would take all of two and a half minutes. Estimated cost: $3 million to $4 million through as yet undetermined--come on, all together now--public-private partnership. Finally, an answer for everyone who has wondered, "How can I get across the river without taking the Wabasha Bridge?"