Streetscast: An Interview with New SFMTA Chief Ed Reiskin

Photo: Bryan Goebel

One thing seemed clear about Ed Reiskin at today’s press conference announcing that he has been chosen to lead the SFMTA: he gets it.

As someone who has not owned a car since 1991, Reiskin understands that reducing the city’s dependence on automobiles requires a safe and reliable transit system, comfortable, dignified bikeways for cyclists of all ages, and an inviting pedestrian realm that encourages more San Franciscans to walk.

Transit advocates are excited by Reiskin’s potential. While it’s too early to tell if he’ll be as bold as Janette Sadik-Kahn, we do know that he has met the New York City DOT Commissioner on several occasions, and has said that she is an inspiration. If New York can build out over 250 miles of new bike lanes in three years, why can’t San Francisco do something similar?

One of the problems with former SFMTA Chief Nathaniel Ford was he wasn’t willing to take risks. Reiskin seems like the type of transit chief who will take risks. Here at Streetsblog San Francisco, we’re encouraged by his appointment.

After today’s press conference at SFMTA headquarters, we were granted a short one-on-one interview with Reiskin. We barely touched the surface on some of the major issues the SFMTA is facing but it’s a start. We look forward to having many more conversations with Reiskin after he assumes his role August 15.

[audio: http://sf.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2011/07/Ed-Reiskin-Intv.mp3]

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