A favorite Seinfeld moment of mine involves Jerry and George discussing the benefits of installing moving walkways all over New York City. Predictably dumbfounded by the actions of a female, Jerry wonders if he somehow offended his date by suggesting the city look into adding moving walkways. George quickly glosses over the details of the date, instead focusing on what has quickly become the crux of the conversation. He excitably replies, “Like at the airport? That’s a great idea! We could be zipping all over the place.” He later goes on to add, “They never try anything.”
Well, leave it to the Dutch to try anything. Joanna Goddard’s A Cup of Jo blog directed me to a post from last month on The Pop Up City about the installation of a “transfer accelerator” at the Overvecht railway station in Utrecht, Netherlands. “Transfer accelerator” actually seems to be a fancy way of just saying “mega slide.” Designed by HIK Ontwerpers as part of the railway station’s recent renovation, the slide is meant to both aid travelers when they’re in a rush and act as a “great instrument to make the city more playful.” It may not be as ambitious as throwing down a maze of moving walkways, but it’s still pretty damn cool. Considering Chicago’s often frustrating public transit cluster, adding a slide or seven may help with our collective morale. It’d be nice to try something at least.
Check out the Dutch news video about the slide as well as a first-person account of what it feels like to use the “transfer accelerator” (spoiler: it’s like sliding down a big slide):