Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Ed Reiskin

It's not clear that Ed Reiskin was/is a poor administrator, but there were early doubts raised about his judgment. When he was still head of Public Works, the Bicycle Coalition interviewed him as a kindred anti-car soul.

I found the interview alarming and disqualifying:

“I enjoy biking because it’s the best way to get around. Last week on my day to do kid drop-off I took my five-year-old on the back of my bike. And she was really excited: ‘Can we do this every morning?’

Since it's not safe for adults to bike in the city, taking a child on your bike is child-endangerment. Not surprisingly, Streetsblog, the Bicycle Coalition, and anti-car City Hall insiders were undeterred and approved hiring Reiskin to run the MTA.

Four years later, Reiskin again confessed about his compulsion to commit child endangerment:

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.

It must have been a sobering moment for Reiskin's wife, who is apparently a sensible person. Maybe City Hall should have interviewed her for the job instead.

And it's not only his child he wanted to endanger. A few years later, he urged city parents to have their children ride bikes to school! Even the Centers for Disease Control warns parents about the danger of cycling for children.

He and Barbara Garcia wrote a deceptive op-ed on gun and traffic safety while embracing the dumb Vision Zero slogan as city traffic policy.

For City Hall, none of the above foolishness disqualified Reiskin as head of one of the largest and most important city departments that under Reiskin seems more like a jobs program than a transportation agency.

When Reiskin was hired in 2011, the agency had 5,239 employees; as of 2017, it had 6,387. I suspect Reiskin was well-liked in the agency, which, by the way, has a $1,268,000,000 budget, most of which of course is spent on wages and benefits.

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At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a Reiskin fan. But the city and sfmta/muni are notorious for making things public only when they want to make changes for the worst.

Everybody knows muni is bad. It was the entire reason for why the sfmta was created in the first place. Today muni being bad is all of a sudden big news. Just like Reiskin's Masonic was huge news. Once they started construction on the street everything was buried. Complete silence. My guess is sfmta and our streets are only going to get worse.

At 4:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new director of the sprawling agency that sets transportation policies in The City had some reassuring words Thursday for anyone concerned that he’ll be in over his head due to his lack of transit experience.
“I’m a fast learner,” said Ed Reiskin, formerly director of San Francisco’s Department of Public Works. “Give me a month and I’ll be well-versed in all these things.”
SF Examiner July 22, 2011

Guess eight years wasn't enough time for Fast Eddie ("I'm car-free!") to become 'well-versed' enough.

At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My bug with Reskin, and any future head of MTA, is that they be advocates for ALL San Franciscan's and for many modes of transportation. Ed's problem was he was in the pocket of the SF Bike Coalition's Board. He was blinded by their rhetoric. He is and will always be a true believer that bikes will someday be the main means of transportation for our society. Sound like I am too extreme in my crystal ball view? Just chat with one of the Bike Coalition board members for a few minutes and you will see.

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Agreed. BikeThink: The ideology of bicycles.


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