Ed Reiskin and the Bicycle Derangement Syndrome
What is it about bicycles that encourages people to do and say foolish things? Riding bikes is mostly for young white men, but there are older white men whose mid-life crisis puts them on bicycles in an apparent attempt to be cool and, while they're at it, struggle against growing old.
Let's call it the Bicycle Derangement Syndrome (BDS). Unfortunately, the guy in charge of the city's transportation system is suffering from an advanced case of that malady.
From the SF Examiner on Tuesday:
Ed Reiskin, transportation director of the SFMTA, stressed the importance of the Masonic Avenue improvements, saying years ago his wife would not let him ride his bicycle along Masonic Avenue with his then-young daughter in tow because it may be unsafe. Masonic Avenue has long been one of the most dangerous streets in San Francisco. From 2007 to 2012, according to the SFMTA, 117 people were injured and two people were killed in traffic collisions “It’s like a minifreeway,” Reiskin said. “It’s really uninviting [to bicyclists]. Even crossing Masonic on foot is not a great experience.”
It must have been a sobering experience for Reiskin's wife to learn that even their child is an accessory to her husband's BDS affliction.
Like it was for Tim Hickey's wife. From a C.W. Nevius column:
Tim Hickey has been using his bike as his primary transportation for four years, sometimes taking his 20-month-old son, Liam, with him. He's been hit by cars three times and believes protected bike lanes are the only reasonable solution. "My wife would not let me take Liam on Polk," he said. "It's too dangerous."
Which city streets in particular does Hickey think are safe to take his infant son on his bike? There really aren't any, since a simple fall can cause serious injury---especially for children---or someone running a stoplight can be fatal to both father and child.
And this guy interviewed by Nevius:
With so many sad stories, you'd think the riders would begin to wonder about [the danger of]urban cycling. But art professor Anthony Ryan, who was hit by a car on the way to work at San Francisco State, says that isn't going to happen. "All implants," he said, tapping his upper row of front teeth. "I landed face first, and my teeth were all over the street. But I haven't quit. I sold my car three years ago. I guess I'm either committed or I should be committed."
Later: I meant to add Noah Budnick to the list of those who clearly suffer from BDS.
On Tuesday, March 29 T.A.'s[Transportation Alternatives] Projects Director, Noah Budnick, struck a deep pothole and crashed as he bicycled in Brooklyn near the exit of the Manhattan Bridge bike path. Noah was transported by ambulance to a local hospital, where he remained in intensive care for nine days. On April 13, Noah was airlifted to Boston where he is now undergoing rehabilitation for the head injuries he sustained in the crash.
Tomorrow: The Masonic Avenue Derangement Syndrome.