Today the Daily Telegraph dedicated an entire page to undermine our efforts to make Sydney's roads safer for everyone - whether they are walking, riding a bike, taking public transport or driving.
They criticise the City for running courses to help people improve their bike riding skills and increase safety on our roads.
And even though they were made aware of it, they failed to mention that the City also runs courses to improve driver safety by teaching people how to instruct L-plate drivers.
They also criticised a Sydney University study on the speed of bike commuting.
One of their journalists did what thousands of other people do every day in Sydney - he rode a bike to work. He arrived just six minutes after a reporter who caught a train.
Ironically the Daily Telegraph story makes a strong case for more education about sharing the street and the need for a safe, separated bike network after their reporter was abused & threatened while riding.
He wrote "almost immediately clashing with motorists nearly smashing me off my bike as I approached Centennial Park. Not long after, two cars blasted horns at me for no good reason â€” this was hell on wheels."
The paper also failed to mention that the State Government's Strategy (Sydney's Cycling Future Dec 2013) also says riding a bike can be quicker than a car for trips up to 5kms and faster than public transport for trips up to 8kms.
In a recent media release to promote National Ride2Work Day, I was quoted as saying:
"We also know if you live within 5 kilometres* of a busy city centre, riding a bike is usually quicker than other forms of transport. That's one good reason Sydney's bike rider numbers have increased 132 per cent over the past four years."
(* Greaves, S & Ellison, R. B. (2011). Travel Time Competitiveness of Cycling in Sydney, Australia.University of Sydney.)
An earlier version of the media release had a typo that incorrectly stated the figure of 15km.
It's unfortunate this small mistake was made, but it was quickly corrected.
Here's what they asked us and what we told them:
Is the City sticking by that 5km claim? We actually tested it this morning - one reporter on the train from Bondi Jctn and one on a bike from the same location and the train reporter got to Martin Place six minutes faster than the cyclist one!!
It's not our claim, it was made by the University of Sydney who conducted a study into transport which is quoted in the release.
The Sydney University study concluded that 'bicycles are competitive with cars up to a distance of approximately five kilometres.' It also says a range of other factors need to be considered when looking at travel times by various forms of transport.
The State Government's Strategy (Sydney's Cycling Future Dec 2013) also says riding a bike can be quicker than a car for trips up to 5kms and faster than public transport for trips up to 8kms.
What does the LM mean when she said "by other forms of transport"?
The Lord Mayor was referring to all other types of transport - cars, buses, trains, taxis. Her quote said riding a bike was usually quicker.