The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

vaguely articulate

with 2 comments

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Passing through the tangle of racing traffic, sky flung steel, and electrical equipment in Queens Plaza the other day, a humble narrator felt incredibly vulnerable. Part of my anxiety was generated by the absolutely stellar idea of siting bike paths on the sidewalk, formerly the only safe place and haven for the pedestrian in this place. The remainder was generated by the sheer sensory overload offered by this intermodal transportation center with its never ending traffic flow.

That is, until I was nearly struck by a bicyclist who was rolling down the sidewalk at a minimum of fifteen miles per hour.

from wikipedia

According to the DSM-IV classification of mental disorders, the injury phobia is a specific phobia of blood/injection/injury type. It is an abnormal, pathological fear of having an injury.
Another name for injury phobia is traumatophobia, from Greek τραῦμα (trauma), “wound, hurt” and φόβος (phobos), “fear”. It is associated with BII (Blood-Injury-Injection) Phobia. Sufferers exhibit irrational or excessive anxiety and a desire to avoid specific feared objects and situations, to the point of avoiding potentially life-saving medical procedures.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It has been mentioned before at this, your Newtown Pentacle, that in the opinion of this citizen- mixing vehicular traffic and pedestrian traffic is a fairly ill considered idea. Sounds logical, right? Bicycles are, in fact, vehicles. Bicycles are, in fact, being directed into pedestrian lanes- commonly called “sidewalks”.

Let us break that down- “side”, as in side of road, “walk”, as in walking.

Not cycling, nor riding, nor whatever the hell it is that those people call Biking these days.

from wikipedia

Agoraphobia is a condition where the sufferer becomes anxious in environments that are unfamiliar or where he or she perceives that they have little control. Triggers for this anxiety may include wide open spaces, crowds (social anxiety), or traveling (even short distances). Agoraphobia is often, but not always, compounded by a fear of social embarrassment, as the agoraphobic fears the onset of a panic attack and appearing distraught in public.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Incidentally, before “those people” (who I’ve stood shoulder to shoulder with several times on various issues involving alternative transportation options) leap at my throat, no condemnation of the biking community at large is at work here. It’s not that fellows fault that he was on the sidewalk, although he was operating his vehicle in a reckless manner given the number of pedestrians on the street, as he was following the layout of the bike lane. Which has been set into the sidewalk with no lane demarcation other than a painted lane, and which terminates in a street cut shared with pedestrians.

No solution is offered, the crowded interweaving of traffic in Queens Plaza is surely well studied, but we’ve got a problem here.

from wikipedia

The fear of being touched (also known as aphephobia, haphephobia, haphophobia, hapnophobia, haptophobia, thixophobia) is a rare specific phobia that involves the fear of touching or of being touched. It is an acute exaggeration of the normal tendencies to protect one’s personal space, expressed as a fear of contamination or of the invasion, and extending even to people whom its sufferers know well.


Click for details on Mitch Waxman’s
Upcoming boat tours of Newtown Creek

July 22nd, 2012- Working Harbor Committee Newtown Creek Boat Tour


2 Responses

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  1. Thank you, thank you for your blog on bicycle riders.. As both a driver and pedestrian I’ve come to despise them Someone must have given them a special pass to do whatever they want to in New York City.
    They run red lights, cross in front of moving cars and on the 5100 block of 48th Street it is extremely
    dangerous to pull your car out into the driving lane without checking the onslaught of bikes speeding down the street!!!!.

    dorothy neary

    July 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm

  2. […] recent posting- vaguely articulate- detailed a close call with a speeding bicycle in Queens Plaza’s dangerous weaving of […]

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