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Here’s what an AI had to say about the Rosslyn-to-Georgetown gondola proposal

AI-generated image of a gondola over the Potomac near Rosslyn (via DALL-E 2)

(Updated at 10:35 a.m.) The proposal to build a Rosslyn-to-Georgetown gondola remains just a gleam in the eye of aerial lift transport fans and Georgetown business owners.

But it has captured the imagination of Arlington residents to a degree few issues have.

With interest in the gondola far from fading — gear for our fake gondola-themed football team is still selling at a steady clip on Amazon — we thought we’d ask the newest version of GPT-3, the AI writing tool, to opine about it.

First, we asked it to write an essay about the advantages of a Rosslyn-to-Georgetown gondola. Here’s what it had to say:

As the population of the Washington, DC metropolitan area continues to grow, there is an increasing need for alternative forms of transportation to alleviate traffic congestion. One potential solution is the construction of a gondola from Rosslyn, Virginia to Georgetown, Washington DC, over the Potomac River. This gondola would provide an efficient and cost-effective form of transportation for commuters, tourists, and locals alike.

The Rosslyn-to-Georgetown gondola would provide a reliable and quick mode of transportation between the two neighborhoods. Currently, it can take up to an hour to travel from Rosslyn to Georgetown by car or public transportation. The gondola would be able to make the same journey in as little as 10-15 minutes. This would save commuters both time and money, as they would no longer need to pay for costly parking or Metro fares. Additionally, the gondola would be powered by electricity, making it a sustainable form of transportation.

The gondola would also provide a unique and enjoyable experience for tourists. Rather than having to make the long journey by car or public transportation, they would be able to take a leisurely ride across the Potomac and enjoy the scenery. The gondola would also provide locals with a new way to experience the city. Rather than having to fight through traffic or take the Metro, they could take a peaceful ride across the river and take in the views.

The Rosslyn-to-Georgetown gondola is a potential solution to the increasing traffic in the Washington D.C. area. It would provide a reliable, efficient, and enjoyable mode of transportation for commuters, tourists, and locals alike. The gondola would be cost-effective, sustainable, and offer unique views of the city. It is an attractive alternative to traditional forms of transportation, and could be a viable solution for the area’s transportation woes.

Compelling as that essay was, it had a distinct lack of rhyming. So next we asked for a poem.

A gondola from Arlington to D.C.
It would be quite a sight to see
It would cross the Potomac River
And make the trip so breezy

It’d provide a new way to commute
A scenic ride to pass the day
Visitors to D.C. would be enthralled
And locals would show their glee

At Rosslyn, the boarding station
The gondola’s cables will be tight
Away across the river they’d go
For the ride, it’d be a delight

With the monuments in view
The ride would be one of a kind
It’s a great way to travel
To Georgetown and back again

To crank the whimsy level to 11, we asked the AI to write an ode to the proposed Rosslyn-Georgetown gondola in the form of an Shakespearean poem.

O Gondola of Rosslyn-Georgetown,
Thou art a marvel of our time.
A scenic ride across the Potomac,
That so few of us can find.

A chance to soar above the water,
And take in sights both far and near.
A joyous respite from life’s drudgery,
An escape that we can cheer.

No more shall we endure the traffic,
The daily hassles on the road.
Instead, we’ll board thy gondola,
And watch the city as it flows.

What pleasure dost thou bring us,
And what joy have we in store?
To cross the river in mere minutes,
And take in sights galore.

So thank thee we for giving us,
This wondrous mode of transport.
A journey that is smooth and easy,
For which we are quite content.

This is not to say the AI is totally sold on the idea, however. When you ask it to argue against the gondola, GPT-3 really goes to town.

The idea of building a gondola between Rosslyn and Georgetown over the Potomac River in Arlington and Washington D.C. has been floated in recent years, and while this may seem like a novel solution to the increasing traffic congestion in the area, it should not be built. There are a number of reasons why this would be a poor decision.

First, the cost of constructing a gondola system would likely be prohibitively expensive. The materials and technology required for such a system are both costly and complex. Furthermore, the maintenance of the gondola system would require significant resources and dedicated personnel on an ongoing basis. This cost would be shouldered by taxpayers and could be used on more pressing issues, like improving public transportation services in the area or providing more affordable housing.

Second, building this gondola would create a number of environmental concerns. The construction would require significant construction and excavation, which could potentially cause damage to the Potomac River and its surrounding environment. Furthermore, the gondola system would require a large amount of electricity, which could have an impact on local air quality.

Finally, the gondola system would not be a viable solution to the traffic congestion issue. While the gondola may provide a convenient way of getting between Rosslyn and Georgetown, it would do little to reduce the traffic on the roads, as it would only serve a limited number of people. Furthermore, the gondola system would not be able to accommodate large numbers of people at once, meaning that it could become overcrowded at peak times.

In conclusion, building a gondola between Rosslyn and Georgetown over the Potomac River in Arlington and Washington D.C. would be an expensive and environmentally risky endeavor that would not provide a viable solution to the traffic congestion problem. Therefore, it should not be built.

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