The Sky is Falling

Dear Mr. Healy,

I enjoyed your article in the Times regarding skywalks. However, I was a little surprised that you kept the national blinders on and did not discuss the skywalks in Calgary (the largest skywalk system) or the underground networks in Montreal and Toronto (two of the largest underground). You did note that cold-weather skywalks were not really a problem, but I think any study of what makes these systems work or fail should have included the Canadian examples.

Perhaps a critical mass of buildings needs to be present (the failed systems are quite small), or rapid transit (something that Cincinnati and Hartford do not have, and that Dallas does not connect to), or just a long winter. In any case, it would have been interesting to have gotten the reaction from those places. Is the Calgary skywalk now falling out of favour? Does Toronto regret its underground retail pull?

(Mr. Healy later responded that the "blinders" were not intentional, since he was focussing on failed systems, which tended to be located in the US. See NPR host Kurt Andersen's skywalk article for a prescient analysis from almost 20 years ago. )


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